June 14, 2009

ORLANDO -- Floyd Mayweather's highly anticipated return to boxing will have to wait a little while longer. On Sunday Mayweather announced that he would be postponing his July 18 welterweight showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez after suffering a rib injury in training camp.

"I am extremely disappointed that this fight has to be postponed," said Mayweather. "I was training very hard and looking forward to getting back in the ring on July 18th."

With boxing's No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Manny Pacquiao, still searching for his next opponent, there was some speculation that Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs)may have been looking for an excuse to get out of a fight with Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) and move straight to a mega fight with Pacquiao.

But Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who promotes Marquez, told SI.com on Sunday that the contract between Marquez and Mayweather is still in place and the fight would be rescheduled in the fall.

"It's a legitimate injury," said Schaefer. "We have talked to a doctor. My understanding is that it is muscle related. It's a tough injury for Floyd because he was looking to fight twice this year. Now he is probably only going to get to fight once."

HBO senior VP Mark Taffet told SI.com the network has an open schedule in the fall and plans on airing the fight whenever Mayweather is ready to fight. Taffet said that HBO will hold production on the Emmy Award-winning reality series 24/7 but resume production whenever Mayweather declares himself fit.

Said Marquez, "I was very disappointed to hear the news about the fight being postponed. I will remain focused, in shape and ready to fight whenever the fight is rescheduled for."

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