It's the fight that every boxing fan wants to see.
Undefeated Floyd Mayweather will step into the ring on September 17th in Las Vegas against hard-hitting southpaw Victor Ortiz, but the fight may open the doors to a far more anticipated showdown with WBO welterweight champion, and Filipino icon, Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather has been inactive for over a year due to personal issues, and there have been calls that he is ducking a fight against Pacquiao, who has dismantled opponents in recent years. Mayweather said he had spent time with his family during his long layoff, in an interview with Brian Kenny of ESPN.
The Mayweather-Ortiz fight will draw plenty of interest, but it is the potential following fight that will be the blockbuster. Mayweather, 41-0 with 25 knockouts, appears to be using Ortiz as a tuneup for another southpaw, Pacquiao.
Ortiz is certainly no pushover.The WBC welterweight champion has a record of 29-2-2 with 22 knockouts, and is coming off impressive victories.
Ortiz and Mayweather will undergo extra blood and urine tests beyond usual levels before their fight. Mayweather had similar rules for his last fight against Shane Mosley.
It has been the random blood and urine tests that have sidetracked a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
Hopefully, Manny Pacquiao steps up the plate and takes the test so me and him can fight, Mayweather said. I'm just waiting.
Mayweather said his first focus is on Ortiz, and will take the Pacquiao negotiations one step at a time.
There are other fights looming over Mayweather's head. He is involved in domestic abuse charges from his ex-girlfriend which if convicted of all charges could land him in prison for 34 years, as well as a defamation lawsuit from Pacquiao.
The big question is if Mayweather is ducking Pacquiao. Both are elite boxers in the most respected weight class in the sport, and both are big name fighters that will command a huge payday.
The fight with Ortiz proves that Mayweather still has a focus on boxing, and the fact that Ortiz and Pacquaio are both left-handed boxers suggests that Mayweather expects a Pacquiao fight is imminent.