He’s not here in person, but he is in name.
Two months after the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr., the 49-0 world welterweight champion is being sought by both Saturday night fighters Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
And he’s also receiving some blame for the fans’ apparent backlash regarding this pay-per-view middleweight fight.
“There’s one fight that would make me really happy, and that’s getting a rematch for ‘Canelo’ with Mayweather,” Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, said. “Do I believe it can happen? Absolutely.”
Last week, De La Hoya slammed Mayweather in a Playboy article he wrote, effectively saying good riddance to the technical boxer’s career.
As pricey tickets set by Cotto's promoter, Roc Nation, kept Cotto-Alvarez a few hundred tickets shy of a sellout Thursday, De La Hoya blamed the letdown of the "circus" of Mayweather's lackluster victory over Manny Pacquiao in May.
"This is going to resurrect boxing, bring back the passion and excitement after the disappointment of the Mayweather fight," De La Hoya said. "It’s our opportunity, our chance to repay them with a great fight.”
Yet, De La Hoya also admits Mayweather’s powerful draw as a pay-per-view fighter since he’s generated the three most lucrative bouts in history – one being his 2013 majority decision victory against Alvarez.
“I’ve made peace with Mayweather, said, ‘Look, let’s just work together. Let’s forget about this. This is not good for the sport,’ ” De La Hoya said. “Let’s just make peace with Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, Bob Arum, bring Don King out of retirement, and have a Super Bowl of boxing. I’m tired of having a beef with Mayweather. Let’s move on.”
Meanwhile, Cotto’s trainer, Freddie Roach, also wants another shot at Mayweather after his other fighter, Pacquiao, lost the disappointing, long-awaited showdown that generated more than $450 million.
“Why I’d like to see a knockout is because Mayweather couldn’t knock [Alvarez] out and I would like Mayweather next,” Roach said. “Miguel tells me all the time he would’ve knocked [Mayweather] out with me in my corner. I want to see if that’s true.”
While Mayweather Jr. has not been seen, his father/trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. was spotted outside Wednesday’s Cotto-Alvarez news conference at Mandalay Bay.
After Mayweather Sr.'s friend asked why Mayweather Jr. would ever consider fighting Cotto again because, "He already beat him," a reporter answered that things are different now that he's trained by Roach.
That stopped Mayweather Sr. in his tracks and inspired him to break into a poem critical of his rival trainer.
"Coach Roach, who wouldn't dare to approach? The Roach, Floyd spoke, had no hope,” Mayweather Sr. said. “Manny just moved from first class to the coach with the Roach. And now he'll be sprayed with Raid, because at the end of the night his title will be gone, just like the Roach when the lights come on!"
But back to the reason he felt compelled to attend an event if his son was truly retired … .
“My son’s a way better fighter [than Cotto]. I’m pretty sure [Floyd Jr.] could take the [winner], but I’m going to look at it myself,” Mayweather Sr. said. “I’m going to look at it real good to make sure nothing gets past me.
“When you look at it again – one, two, … five times – the more you look at it, the more you understand. When they fight and I touch base with what I see – and I know what Floyd can do – I might say, ‘Let’s go do this.’ ”
Told of that, Roach replied, “He talks a lot.
“This fight is going to be the best fight of the year. I think Mayweather will fight [again], I really do. If Mayweather couldn’t knock him out and we can, maybe we are better.
“If Miguel wins by knockout, I’m going to ask Miguel to say some things he might not like to say, or I’m going to help him along.
“It’s all right there: '[Mayweather], you couldn’t knock this guy out and we did, and you got lucky against us the first time.' The thing of, ‘If Freddie was in my corner … ,’ we can use that. And ‘Freddie’s a better trainer than you.’ ”