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Loosening his belt

Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s reign as the WBC super welterweight champion was brief.

Less than two months after winning the belt from Oscar De La Hoya in the largest-grossing bout in boxing history, Mayweather surrendered the 154-pound title to remain as the WBC's welterweight champion.

Mayweather's decision means that the July 28 bout between Vernon Forrest and Carlos Baldomir at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash., will be for the WBC's super welterweight belt.

"He wasn't going to be able to defend both and so by doing this, it gives some other guys an opportunity to win a title," Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe said.

"Floyd's only looking to fight in mega-events anyway and he's got a lot of options."

Mayweather's decision also had a ripple effect on the boxing industry. Shane Mosley – a potential Mayweather opponent – had won the interim WBC welterweight belt in February, but he now loses that designation.

The WBC had Mosley and Luis Collazo fight for its interim welterweight title knowing that Mayweather was scheduled to fight for the 154-pound belt against De La Hoya on May 5.

Since Mayweather decided to keep the 147-pound title, he remains as the WBC's champion and an interim champion is no longer required.

Ellerbe said Mayweather is interested in a fight with Ricky Hatton, the super lightweight who knocked out Jose Luis Castillo on June 23 in Las Vegas. Hatton called out Mayweather after the bout and has taunted him repeatedly.

Mayweather (38-0, 24 KOs), who said after the win over De La Hoya that he planned to retire, has reversed himself and said he will fight Hatton (43-0, 31 KOs) for the right deal.

Ellerbe said Mayweather has been angered by the tenor of Hatton's comments.

"Floyd's never taken anything personally before, because he understands boxing is a business, but this is a different situation and it's become personal now," Ellerbe said.

"He's called out the best fighter in the world and he's going to pay for what he's said."

Hatton promoter Dennis Hobson has said he's offered Mayweather $10 million – or less than half what Mayweather made to defeat De La Hoya in a bout that sold a record 2.15 million pay-per-views – but Ellerbe scoffed at that.

Ellerbe said that as the 'A' side in the fight, Mayweather would be the one making offers, not receiving them.

"That's not how it works and nobody makes Floyd an offer," said Ellerbe, noting that only De La Hoya, as the sport's biggest draw, could make Mayweather an offer.

"If we choose to fight, Floyd will be the one putting any offer out."