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Two big cards very tentatively set for Sept. 14, but don’t expecting dueling shows again

Kevin Iole
Boxing

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. may fight again on Sept. 14 (Las Vegas News Bureau via AP)

Two short emails released to the media Tuesday by Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, seemed to ignite yet another dispute between powerhouse promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy.

On Tuesday, Top Rank formally requested the date of Sept. 14 for a pay-per-view fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas between Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. As soon as that was released, though, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said his plan was to have Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight on that date at the MGM Grand Garden.

Both promoters, as well as the casinos, covet the Mexican Independence Day weekend date.

Mayweather is boxing's biggest star, and if he chose to fight, the Las Vegas casino industry as well as the cable and satellite operators, would likely side with him over any other fight. Mayweather does big business.

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Timothy Bradley rallied from a knockdown to defeat Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16 (AP)

Don't, though, expect there to be two major events in the city as there were in 2012. Las year on Sept. 15, Top Rank put on a pay-per-view show headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. against Sergio Martinez at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus on Sept. 15. A couple of blocks away, Golden Boy promoted a card televised by Showtime from the MGM Grand Garden that featured Canelo Alvarez taking on Josesito Lopez.

That, though, was a vastly different scenario. Top Rank president Todd duBoef said he had no intention of publicly announcing the Marquez-Bradley fight and had only notified the commission of his request. He said if Mayweather were to fight on Sept. 14, he'd move Marquez-Bradley to a different date.

"I get it. I'm not stupid," duBoef said. "If Floyd goes, I'll cede the date."

But duBoef pointed out that Mayweather hadn't fought twice in a four-month period in more than 10 years. He said "nobody in the industry" believes Mayweather will fight again in September, after he faces Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand on May 4 in a bout distributed by Showtime pay-per-view.

The last time Mayweather fought twice in a four-month span came in 2001. He fought Diego Corrales on Jan. 20, then returned to fight Carlos Hernandez on May 26.

Since then, he has fought 17 times and never has he gone again that quickly.

So, it appears unlikely -- for the time being -- that there will be two Las Vegas shows on Sept. 14 as there were last year. If Mayweather fights on that date, Marquez-Bradley will move to another date, duBoef said. But he said Top Rank will move forward with its plan, anticipating that Mayweather won't get to the post again within four months.

The odds suggest that duBoef is right, though Mayweather could try it just to tweak his former promoters, with whom he doesn't have the coziest of relationships. Mayweather loves showing who's boss and he would do that in a big way if he forced Top Rank to move a major event off its planned date.

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Canelo Alvarez could ultimately figure into the Sept. 14 mix (AP)

But, there is still potential for a problem. If Mayweather doesn't fight on Sept. 14, it would be no shock if Golden Boy were to plan on a show featuring Canelo Alvarez at the MGM on that date.

Then, the issue of who had the date first would become clouded. Last year, Top Rank had announced it would put Martinez-Chavez II on that date. Then, on Dec. 6, Schaefer emailed Kizer asking for the date for Mayweather. On Tuesday, Top Rank emailed Kizer requesting permission for Marquez-Bradley.

Mayweather could prevent the dueling fight card scenario simply by fighting on Sept. 14.

But if he doesn't, don't be surprised to see both promoters with big shows in Las Vegas on that night.

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