Floyd Mayweather Jr. selected the date of May 2, 2009, to hold a Las Vegas news conference announcing the end of his retirement -- the same day Manny Pacquiao was scheduled to fight Ricky Hatton in the same building.
More than two years later, the two men were again fighting for the attention of the boxing world Tuesday. Instead of sharing it.
Hours after Pacquiao finished hosting a media tour in New York to promote his Nov. 12 fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, Mayweather arrived at his private gym in Las Vegas for a media workout, which he broadcast live to fans via Ustream.
Between addressing his relationship with his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr. (it's resolved), and posing with a "Star Power" cake presented by his publicity team, Mayweather shot down the idea that he would use his upcoming fight against Victor Ortiz as preparation for a potential Pacquiao bout in 2012.
"I never said [Pacquiao would be next] at all. So please, don't put words in my mouth," Mayweather said. "Nothing is a precursor."
The 34-year-old fighter had a more definitive answer regarding a potential fight against light welterweight titlist Amir Khan, who is coming off perhaps the most high-profile win of his career, against Zab Judah in July.
Khan (26-1, 18 KO) has made his intentions clear about jumping a weight class to meet Mayweather at welterweight late next year.
On Tuesday, Mayweather said in clear terms that he'd accept the fight if Khan first goes through undefeated 22-year-old Jessie Vargas (16-0, 9 KO). Vargas is signed to the Mayweather Promotions label and will fight on the Sept. 17 undercard.
"You've got different fighters calling Floyd Mayweather out at this particular time," Mayweather said. "You've got one guy from the U.K. by the name of Amir Khan. I've told him he can fight Floyd Mayweather, but he must go through Jessie Vargas first.
"If Amir Khan can get past Jessie Vargas, he can have a fight with Floyd Mayweather."
Mayweather has seemed mostly disinterested in a fight against Khan to this point, citing his inability to sell tickets and pay-per-views to a U.S. audience.
With regard to Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO), Mayweather echoed his stance that the fight will be made only if the Filipino agrees to Olympic-style drug testing, which allows random blood testing both before and after the fight.
For his part, Pacquiao said in an ESPN interview Tuesday that Mayweather's demands for a blood test no longer stand in the way of a potential fight. He also said he believes Mayweather picked Ortiz, a southpaw, as his next opponent in anticipation of a fight with Pacquiao.
The topic of the megafight, which reportedly would pay each fighter in excess of $40 million, seemingly follows Mayweather wherever he goes.
Mayweather said he doesn't know where the fight against Ortiz ranks "amongst popularity" with fans but added, "Every time I fight, it's a pay-per-view extravaganza that averages 1.4 million homes."
When asked whether the drawn-out haggling over a possible Pacquiao fight had effectively diminished how impressive Mayweather's wins over Marquez and Shane Mosley were since he came out of retirement, adviser and close friend Leonard Ellerbe said no.
"All Floyd can do is go out and do his job," Ellerbe said. "A lot of media aren't true boxing fans. They don't really understand the history of the sport. How could you ever criticize Floyd Mayweather for what he's done inside the ring?
"There is a large segment of people who don't like him because of the character. The character 'Money Mayweather' and 'Pretty Boy' is what it is. When the [Pacquiao] fight happens, it's going to be no different. And I'm being totally honest with you, that's an easy fight."