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Hard Rumor: Mayweather-Marquez to be announced in a few days

The UK outlets are running wild with what appears to be a "hard" rumor that the discussed fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez is officially on, and an announcement is to be made in the days following Hatton-Pacquiao.

Sky Sports says:

Sky Sports News understands that the Pretty Boy will make a comeback on July 18 against Mexican ace Juan Manuel Marquez.

An official announcement is expected in the next few days, possibly after Ricky Hatton takes on Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night, live on Sky Box Office.

The news will come as a huge pre-fight boost to Hatton, because it is also understood that the winner of that will meet the winner of Mayweather-Marquez, probably at the tail-end of the year.

Hatton has always craved a rematch since his 10-round schooling at the hands of the former pound-for-pound king in December 2007.

That was the last time Mayweather Jr boxed but it is well-known that he has kept himself in shape.

The Guardian has this:

The "Pretty Boy" is thought to be in the gym readying himself for a comeback fight, news of which will interest Hatton. The Manchester boxer has identified both Márquez and, in particular, Mayweather Jr as the two fights with which he wants to end his career.

The first bout against Márquez, considered to be the second best pound-for-pound fighter in the world after Hatton's next opponent Manny Pacquiao, could be lined up in Manchester at the end of the year.

However, it would be Mayweather Jr's scalp that would be most prized by Hatton after his 10-round mauling in 2007 and it would be after that fight that he would most like to retire. Then, as he said yesterday, "you'll never see my arse in a boxing ring again".

I read a few days ago (and don't remember where) that Richard Schaefer was asked about this fight during the final Hatton-Pacquiao presser, and would only say that "nothing is done," which would seem to confirm that there were certainly talks ongoing, which everyone already knew.

Not announcing the fight prior to tomorrow's clash is class. The boxing world should be 100% focused on Hatton and Pacquiao right now. But, hammering this thing out and announcing it right after in what is sure to be a boxing high for a lot of folks is a great idea. Hey, strike while the iron's hot. If a lot more people are paying attention than usual tomorrow (which will be the case), no better time to try to line up the next huge fight.