Floyd Mayweather Jr. has long done things his own way. His announcement via Twitter that he is likely to fight Devon Alexander on May 4 in Las Vegas is simply more proof of that.
Mayweather is the world's finest fighter, as well as the sport's biggest draw. For months, he's said he'd fight on May 4, but he steadfastly refused to discuss potential opponents. Most speculation centered around Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez.
On Tuesday, though, Mayweather pulled a stunner when he said he's deep in talks with Alexander. Alexander pulled out of a scheduled Feb. 23 fight with Kell Brook on Monday, reportedly because of a biceps injury.
"The negotiations for my fight are almost done," Mayweather wrote. "The frontrunner is IBF champion Devon Alexander. It'd be a unification bout."
The choice isn't likely to stir a lot of excitement in the media or the fan base because Alexander is an unexciting fighter who has failed to perform on his trips to the big stage.
He is 24-1 with 13 knockouts, but is coming off an extraordinarily dull victory over Randall Bailey on Oct. 20. His most notable fight is a Jan. 29, 2011, loss to Timothy Bradley Jr. at super lightweight, a bout in which Alexander appeared to quit after being cut.
The Bradley-Alexander fight was hurriedly thrown together, in large part because of public demand to match the then-unbeaten super lightweight champions against one another. It was a poor style matchup, though, and Alexander showed little passion or desire to win, making for a dreadful fight.
Though the Mayweather-Alexander bout isn't likely to be welcomed by boxing fans, Mayweather's stature in the business is now so big that it likely won't matter. Mayweather bouts are a social event as much as they are a sporting competition. They draw from well beyond the boxing crowd.
The hype machine behind Mayweather is massive and that will undoubtedly carry it to a big pay-per-view performance.
The question to be answered is whether the fight will be distributed by either HBO, which has been with Mayweather his entire career, or Showtime. The fact that Alexander was to have fought on Showtime until Monday's announcement of his biceps injury would seem to indicate it would be the choice.
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Mayweather has worked with Golden Boy to promote his fights since 2007 and Golden Boy is a close ally with Showtime. Showtime has essentially turned all of its boxing programming over to Golden Boy, with very little use for other promoters.
Stephen Espinoza, Showtime's boxing programmer, is Golden Boy's former legal counsel.
If the fight winds up on Showtime, the additional promotion that could be done on CBS could benefit Mayweather. When Top Rank put the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley bout on Showtime pay-per-view in 2011, CBS broadcast the preview shows.
Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, didn't return messages seeking comment.
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