BOXING: Mayweather will fight Cotto on May 5

LOS ANGELES – Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Wednesday convinced the Nevada State Athletic Commission to give him a boxing license so he could fight before reporting to jail June 1, and then made it official that he would not fight Manny Pacquiao in the near future.
Instead, Mayweather (42-0, 26 knockouts) will move up in weight and fight World Boxing Association super-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on May 5 in Las Vegas at the division’s weight limit, 154 pounds. The bout will be at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“We didn’t want a catch-weight (fight),” said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s adviser. “We’ll leave that to the catch-weight king.”
That was a dig at Pacquiao, the sport’s other top pound-for-pound fighter.
Pacquiao knocked down Cotto twice in a convincing 12th round TKO win November 2009 in a 145-pound catch-weight fight. Pacquiao is expected to announce next week that he’ll fight June 9, also in Las Vegas, and most likely against unbeaten world junior-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.
What boxing fans have been hoping for is a super-bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao.
But the fighters failed to strike a deal after weeks of posturing, Twitter challenges and covert meetings. The finger-pointing continued Wednesday with Mayweather posting on Twitter that he chose Cotto because “Miss Pac Man” is “ducking” him.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations failed in part because they couldn’t agree on how to split the purse in what was expected to be the most lucrative bout in boxing history.
Mayweather reportedly guaranteed Pacquiao $40 million for the fight, but that was not a 50/50 split.
Pacquiao’s manager Michael Koncz met with Mayweather to try to reach a deal.
Koncz said he offered Mayweather, with Pacquiao’s approval, a 55-45 split of fight revenues, with the winner gathering the larger percentage.
“Because it’s a prizefight,” Koncz said. “If you were the better fighter, you get the 10 percent bonus – $15 million to $25 million more than the other guy. That was my final offer, with a $50 million guarantee to each fighter. That was … rejected.
“For Floyd to say Manny never wanted this fight, or ducked it, is totally absurd.”
Nevada boxing regulators voted unanimously, 5-0, to grant Mayweather a conditional one-fight license and said he must stay out of further legal trouble and go to jail for 90 days as scheduled for his conviction in a domestic violence case.
“I apologize … I feel bad,” Mayweather said to reporters, after telling the commissioners that he’s not the money-flashing character he plays on HBO’s reality series “24/7.”
Mayweather said he’s receiving counseling to address his temper problems.
With license in hand, the Mayweather camp quickly announced Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) as his next opponent.
Cotto last fought Dec. 3, defeating Antonio Margarito by a 10th-round technical knockout at Madison Square Garden.
“Miguel Cotto is a world-class fighter,” Mayweather said in a prepared statement. “(But) I have no doubt in my mind that … Cotto’s reign as champion will come to an end on May 5.”

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