Floyd's ploy rankles Manny's army

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI

Short shots about the world of professional boxing:

On June 2, a day when he did an admirable charitable act, Floyd Mayweather Jr. sent 98 percent of the population of the Philippines into a frenzy when he said he would probably take time off from boxing.

The sports world is desperate to see a fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, who on Friday received the 2009 Boxing of the Year as well as the Boxer of the Decade awards from the Boxing Writers Association of America at its annual dinner in New York.

Two days before the dinner, Mayweather worked with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and had a meeting at his gym in Las Vegas with 17-year-old Hodgkin's disease patient Armando Carral.

That wouldn't be big news, except for when Mayweather was asked about his boxing plans. His response was a stunner.

"At this particular time, Floyd Mayweather is taking probably a year off, a couple of years off from the sport of boxing," Mayweather said. "I don't really know what the future holds for Floyd Mayweather at this particular time, but I'll probably take a couple of years off."

When told that Carral wants to see him fight Pacquiao, Mayweather beamed, but didn't back off.

"Like I said before, I'm taking a couple of years off," Mayweather replied.

Whether he means it or not is open for debate and no one on Mayweather's team is talking.

It's almost certainly a ploy, because if Mayweather walked away from the sport for several years while he's on the verge of perhaps the biggest fight in nearly 40 years, he would lose boatloads of credibility.

But he clearly threw the public in the Philippines for a loop. Mayweather's brief comments were the lead story all weekend in the Philippines and Pacquiao supporters went ballistic on the Internet, filling forums and bulletin boards with anti-Mayweather rhetoric.

It was a beyond-bizarre comment for Mayweather to make, but it's hard to understand much of what he does.

Hopefully, it was just some kind of bluff and the fight will happen to finally determine in the ring the identity of the world's finest boxer.

• Yuri Foreman, who lost his World Boxing Association super welterweight title to Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, fought with a torn meniscus and stretched ligaments in his right knee. Foreman said he originally injured the right knee that gave him trouble 16 years ago while he was riding a bicycle while living in Israel. Because he didn't have health insurance at the time, Foreman ignored the injury and simply wore a knee brace to support it when he boxed.

Foreman was examined in New York on Monday by Dr. Gerard Varlotta, who diagnosed the injury and recommended surgery.

"It was frustrating because you don't want to give up, but I couldn't put any weight on it," said Foreman, who said he will continue to box.

Foreman said Varlotta told him he'll be able to get back to 100 percent once the injury is surgically repaired and he completes his rehabilitation.

• Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. was well within his rights to force the Cotto-Foreman fight to continue after Foreman trainer Joe Grier threw in the towel during the eighth round Saturday, but I don't like it.

The corner knows the fighter better than anyone. Mercante could see Foreman was wearing a brace and could also see that Foreman was having great difficulty keeping his leg underneath him.

Mercante said he didn't know at the time Grier threw in the towel. What he should have done was gone to Foreman's corner, gotten Grier and discussed the situation with him.

Foreman wanted to continue, but fighters rarely say they want to quit.

The trainer's duty is to protect his fighter and if the trainer felt the fighter couldn't compete on one leg, Mercante should have respected that.

• While some have raved about the supposed improvement Cotto showed, I'm not among them. He got hit flush far too often by Foreman, who is not a particularly hard puncher. Had it been Pacquiao or Antonio Margarito landing those punches instead of Foreman, Cotto wouldn't have been upright by the ninth round.

• Roy Jones Jr.'s appearance on the HBO telecast of the Cotto-Foreman fight was a one-time thing because normal "World Championship Boxing" expert analyst Emanuel Steward was serving as Cotto's trainer.

HBO will use the great Jim Lampley, Steward and either Max Kellerman or Larry Merchant on WCB and will use Bob Papa and Kellerman on its "Boxing After Dark" franchise.

It has no plans to hire any other announcers.

• Vanes Martirosyan clearly dominated Joe Greene on Saturday, but I didn't come away all that impressed. Martirosyan is no match for the top guys at 154, like Paul Williams, Sergio Martinez, Cotto and Alfredo Angulo, among others.

• The next major stadium venue to land a boxing match will be new Meadowlands Stadium, which will open in September and serve as home to the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets.

Promoter Bob Arum said he would put a show there in the spring. He said he would likely do it with multiple world championship fights on the card rather than as an event built around one fighter or fight.

• I enjoyed the night outside watching the fights at Yankee Stadium, but I enjoyed watching the fights at Cowboys Stadium much more.

• The Baseball Hall of Fame asked for mementoes from the Cotto-Foreman fight. Foreman donated his shoes and his gloves, while Cotto donated his shoes.

• From the "who would have guessed?" department: Super middleweight contender Allan Green is an avid comic book collector. Green fights Andre Ward in Showtime's Super Six tournament on June 19 in Oakland, Calif.

• Super welterweight contender James Kirkland, who was arrested in April 2009 for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, is scheduled for release from a Texas prison Oct. 2, his co-manager, Cameron Dunkin, said Monday.

Dunkin said Kirkland, who is 25-0 with 22 knockouts, will be released into a halfway house. Dunkin said Kirkland would have a tune-up fight before the end of the year.

• Thursday is the 64th anniversary of the death of legendary heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. Isn't it time he be given a pardon?

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