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Welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been given permission to fight junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto on May 5 at the MFM Grand in Las Vegas. Mayweather was given a one-fight license after a one-hour hearing.
Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) has had one previous fight in the 154-pound division, which was when he won the belt in May 2007 against Oscar De La Hoya.
The choice of Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) as his opponent is not a surprise as he was one of the leading names to get the fight, along with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Along with Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Cotto is one of the biggest pay-per-view attractions in boxing.
Cotto, 31, is a three-division titleholder. This will be the first time the Puerto Rican will not have a Top Rank on his side throughout his career.
Mayweather, who will turn 35 on Feb. 24, had to get an approval to fight due to the fact that he faces an 87-day jail sentence in Las Vegas after a plea deal on domestic violence charges. He supposedly beat his ex-girlfriend and mother of his three children, Josie Harris, in September 2010. Mayweather continues to reiterate that he is not guilty of hitting Harris.
The commission originally was skeptical of letting him fight while he had a jail sentence pending, but finally gave permission when it was assured that Mayweather would begin his sentence on June 1 and would not ask for any more deferrals. If Mayweather fails to continue to perform all of his court-order requirements, gets into trouble, or fights his June 1 report date, the commission said it would impact his ability in the future to be licensed in Nevada.