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boxing:

Mayweather fight postponed

July 18 comeback postponed after Mayweather injures ribs

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The Associated Press

Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Juan Manuel Marquez, right, pose for photographs at the Empire State Building observatory in New York, on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, after a news conference to announce their upcoming fight.

Mayweather Training

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, works on his timing with his uncle Roger Mayweather during a workout in his gym Thursday, June 11, 2009.  Launch slideshow »

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his fans will have to wait a little longer for his return to boxing.

Mayweather announced early Sunday that his scheduled fight with Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 18 has been postponed due to a rib injury Mayweather recently suffered during his training.

The fight will be rescheduled, according to a statement released by Golden Boy Promotions.

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

The 143-pound bout was going to be Mayweather's first since a knockout win over Ricky Hatton in December 2007. In preparation for his return to the ring over so much time off, the 32-year-old Mayweather said he had been running up to 8 1/2 miles a day.

"The hardest part of getting back into it is the physical dedication," said Mayweather's trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather, earlier this week. "It's hard to get up in the morning and make yourself run when you've got 10 cars sitting in the garage."

Marquez, who is training from his own camp in Mexico, also released a statement expressing his disappointment.

"I will remain focused, in shape and ready to fight whenever the fight is rescheduled for," Marquez said.

Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO) is a six-time world champion who has claimed titles in five weight divisions. His opponent, Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO), is the current WBO/WBA lightweight champion.

Many had anticipated a showdown between Mayweather and the current pound-for-pound champion, Manny Pacquiao, if Mayweather defeated Marquez. Before the announcement of the injury, Mayweather said from his Las Vegas gym on Wednesday that he wouldn't be afraid of that matchup.

"If he wants me, he knows where to find me," he said.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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