The boxing world received two gifts this week, not only the announcement that six-time world champion in five weight divisions Floyd "Money" Mayweather has returned to the sport, but also that he was immediately putting his undefeated record on the line when he faces the dangerous and highly touted five-time world champion in three divisions Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez in MAYWEATHER vs. MARQUEZ "Number One/Numero Uno" on Saturday, July 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada which will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. Mayweather's return and the fight were announced today at a press conference at MGM Grand.
"That's right. I'm back and you can all get ready for another chapter of the Mayweather experience!" said Mayweather. "I told my CEO Leonard Ellerbe from the start that I wanted to come back fighting the best fighters out there and Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the best in boxing today."
"To be considered the best in the world, you have to fight the best, and I have made it clear even when Mayweather was away from the sport that he was the only man I really wanted to fight," said Marquez. "I'm happy that he's come out of retirement and accepted my challenge. Unfortunately for him he might be sorry he came back at all."
The summer showdown between Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO's) and Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO's) will be promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Marquez Promotions.
"Mayweather Promotions is proud to announce the return of Floyd Mayweather after a much needed rest," said Ellerbe. "But he is coming back with a vengeance and clearly Marquez is a significant challenge for his return. It is going to be an extremely competitive and exciting fight."
"Floyd Mayweather is back and Juan Manuel Marquez is ready to fight," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. "Mayweather is clearly making a statement by accepting this challenge to fight the dangerous Marquez in his first fight back. Having seen Floyd perform live in his two previous fights, I know a big challenge brings out the best him. Boxing is in for a great night on July 18th."
"Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez has the potential to be one of boxing's all-time great fights," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "Not only are they two boxers destined for the Hall of Fame and two of the greatest technicians of this era, but they also both have a warrior's spirit that comes out when they get tested. I know that they'll push each other to the limit when they step into the ring July 18th."
"MGM Grand is thrilled to host Floyd Mayweather's return to the ring and welcome back the great Juan Manuel Marquez," said Richard Sturm, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM MIRAGE. "We anticipate this to be one of the hottest fights of the year and look forward to the exciting night of boxing these two champions will deliver to the MGM Grand Garden Arena."
"Floyd Mayweather is a special athlete and it's heartening to see him return in such a big fight against an accomplished opponent in Juan Manuel Marquez," said Ross Greenburg, President of HBO Sports. "Boxing fans will be intrigued by this mid-summer match-up."
For these two future Hall of Famers, all that really matters is what happens when the bell rings on Saturday, July 18 and with Mayweather's return to the ring in a quest to reclaim his pound-for-pound title by taking on Marquez, a man looking to add once again to his amazing legacy, this is a true mega-fight which will determine who is the premier boxer of this era.
Information on ticket availability will be made available shortly.