Undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been sentenced to six months in prison by a judge in relation to assault allegations brought against the five-weight world title holder.
The 34 year-old will have to serve at least 90 days at the Clark County Correction Center after Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa suspended the remaining 90 days pending the completion of a year-long counselling program.
It means that a potential unification showdown with WBO champion Manny Pacquiao is unlikely to take place on May 5th as Mayweather is due to start his sentence on January 6th and may not be released until March at the earliest if he shows good behaviour.
Pacquiao, 33, may now turn to other possible candidates for his first bout of 2012, with Miguel Cotto, a fourth bout with Juan Manuel Marquez and WBO 140lb champion Timothy Bradley said to be in the frame.
It is a huge blow to Mayweather who only last year declared his intention to be more active following 16 months out ahead of his subsequent return against Victor Ortiz and will now be out of commission until at least the summer.