PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – After a potential bout with Winky Wright and other rumored fights fell through, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is happy to have found a willing opponent.

Mayweather, the WBC super-lightweight champion, will face Sharmba Mitchell on Nov. 19 in a 12-round welterweight bout held at Portland’s Rose Garden Arena.

“I respect Sharmba for stepping up the plate to make this fight happen,” Mayweather said at a news conference featuring the fighters on Wednesday.

Mayweather, who is undefeated in 34 bouts, took the WBC 140-pound title from Arturo Gatti in June. The 28-year-old previously won the WBC super featherweight and lightweight belts.

He won the Olympic bronze medal in 1996.

The 35-year-old Mitchell, a former 140-pound champion, last fought in June on the undercard of the bout between Mike Tyson and Kevin McBride. Mitchell was declared the victor over Chris Smith in five rounds.

It was his first bout since he was knocked out last November by Kostya Tszyu. Mitchell says he feels more comfortable and confident now that he’s fighting as a welterweight.

“Getting down to 140 just demolished me,” he said.

There had been talk that Mayweather would face Wright in Las Vegas next month. There was also speculation he might fight Zab Judah.

It is the first big-time bout in Portland since September2002, when Roy Jones Jr. defeated Clinton Woods in six rounds at the Rose Garden.

AP-ES-10-19-05 2043EDT


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