Perhaps another hurdle has been cleared in the long delay over one of the most anticipated boxing fights in years.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has been the subject of widespread media reports about a possible upcoming fight with champion Manny Pacquiao, was acquitted on Wednesday of charges he threatened to send armed friends to harm two security guards at a gated community in suburban Las Vegas.
Mayweather, 34, was charged with misdemeanor harassment based on accusations in Oct. 2010 that he threatened the guards by telling them his friends had guns and would be called to take care of the two men, according to the criminal complaint.
The undefeated welterweight champion was found not guilty by a judge, as the ruling said prosecutors failed to meet the burden of proof. If Mayweather had been convicted he would have faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If this wasn't Floyd Mayweather, we wouldn't have been in court, Mayweather's attorney Richard Wright said, outside the downtown Clark County Regional Justice Center. Any other case would have resolved with an offer of an apology and a handshake.
Local media reported the encounter happened when the guards issued parking tickets to Mayweather, saying cars in front of his home were parked in violation of community rules.
These are my (expletive) cars, don't touch my (expletive) cars, the boxer told the guards, according to testimony.
Both guards, Miguel Burgos and Aaron Ryan, said Wednesday that they did not want to testify against Mayweather because they feared retaliation from the boxer.
Mayweather has pleaded not guilty in a trial next week on an unrelated misdemeanor battery complaint alleging he poked another homeowner association security guard in the face during a separate argument over parking tickets.
To many boxing fans, these stories are distractions, and only serve as minor stumbling blocks to Mayweather signing on to fight Pacquiao. The two fighters have gone back and forth on steroid testing.
Pacquiao has given Mayweather an ultimatum to make a decision by the end of 2012. The Filipino star has a major fight on Nov. 12 when he battles with Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time. Marquez is a veteran boxer who was more than competitive against Pacquiao in the previous two bouts.
A Mayweather - Pacquiao fight could be worth $50 million for both boxers.