Mayweather 'obligated' to fight on May 5: lawyer

Posted at 01/19/12 12:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) -- Undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a contractual obligation to fight in Las Vegas on May 5, according to the fighter's lawyer, Karen Winckler.

"Floyd has contractual obligations to fight on May 5th. The MGM Grand wants him to fight on May 5th," Winckler told Rick Reeno of Boxing Scene. "That's Cinco de Mayo weekend and that's a very big weekend for the MGM."

One of Mayweather's advisers, Leonard Ellerbe, announced late in 2011 that his fighter has scheduled his ring return for May 5 against a yet-to-be determined opponent. This was in limbo for a while after Mayweather was sentenced to 90-days in jail following a guilty plea to a 2010 domestic violence charge.

But Mayweather's jail time was postponed, and he subsequently issued a challenge to Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, telling Pacquiao to "step up" and fight on May 5.

Pacquiao and his team, however, prefer to fight at the end of May in a temporary outdoor stadium in Las Vegas, instead of on May 5 at the MGM Grand.

Winckler said that re-scheduling Mayweather's fight date will be not be possible. The lawyer explained that Mayweather's jail sentence was delayed precisely to make way for his May 5 fight, and that they have an existing agreement with the Clark County Judicial Court directing Mayweather to fight on that date.

"We have a legal commitment," Winckler said. "We are not going to disrespect the judicial system."

"Floyd is going to fight on May 5th at the MGM Grand."

Locked in

In an interview with Examiner.com, Ellerbe further explained that they were "legally locked in" for a May 5 fight date.

"We can't move off May 5th even if we wanted to," he said. "That's where we're at. We're legally locked in."

Ellerbe said they had no intention of asking for another postponement of Mayweather's jail sentence.

"We would never, ever remotely go back to the judge. The judge was more than fair to grant us the opportunity to bring in a major fight, whoever we're fighting, and bring the revenue to the city," Ellerbe said.

"We would never go to the judge and say. 'We want to move this date to a venue we don't even know about, an even that we don't know is even going to take place.' And Floyd would have to surrender three or four days later. Imagine if there is a delay with anything," he added.

Team Mayweather and Team Pacquiao have yet to agree on a final fight date. Mayweather has indicated that if Pacquiao turns down a May 5 fight offer, he will seek other opponents.

Ellerbe emphasized that Mayweather only wants to fight the best boxers in the world.

"He's at the level where he's the top guy in the sport, and he wants to make the top fights that are out there," he said. "He wants to make the biggest fights out there."

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