COMMENTARY | What do you do with boxing's biggest superstar when there's nobody left to fight? That's the dilemma facing Mayweather Promotions after Floyd Mayweather's cold-hearted dissection of 23-year-old battler, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Oh, there are a few names that would make sense and would generate big money, but they're blocked off from Mayweather due to promotional and/or network conflicts. There's Manny Pacquiao, of course, but the world has already seen how hard it is to get Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum to play nice with Mayweather and Golden Boy. Timothy Bradley would also be a decent opponent, but he's also aligned with Arum. But even if all parties involved were able to work together, Pacquiao and Bradley have tough bouts ahead against Brandon Rios and Juan Manuel Marquez, respectively, and there's no guarantee that either would make it to Mayweather's proposed May 3 fight date. Sergio Martinez could be an interesting choice, but the middleweight champ would have to agree to come down in weight to a bone dry 154 lbs. and would have to find some way to wriggle away from an ironclad contract with HBO in order to make a Mayweather fight on Showtime.
Right now, undisputed junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia looks to be the front runner in the Mayweather sweepstakes after a gritty, well-fought unanimous decision victory over hard-charging Lucas Matthysse on the Mayweather-Alvarez undercard.
However, a Mayweather-Garcia pay-per-view would be a very flawed event.
First, Garcia has no real, discernible fan base outside of the relatively small group of hardcore fans who obsessively follow just about everyone. Loudmouth father/trainer, Angel Garcia can shout insults all he wants in the lead up to the fight, but it won't change the fact that the casual fan, who is responsible for the lion's share of the PPV purchases, will be asking "Danny who?" Second, would there be anyone in or around the sport intellectually agile enough to make the case for a Garcia win?
It has to be assumed that Danny Garcia will be the emergency "go-to" opponent if nothing else materializes between now and when Mayeather's next opponent has to be locked in. But Mayweather-Garcia will be an extremely tough sell and it won't be competitive. Choosing Garcia would be a step backwards for a Mayweather who is now riding high on an unprecedented wave of good will and positive fight karma.
So, in the absence of a viable and "doable" blockbuster opponent, a motley crew of pretenders has emerged to make their plea for a shot at a major payday and, likely, a major schooling.
"Meeting Floyd Mayweather would be my dream fight." Amir Khan told Boxingscene. Khan will be challenging IBF welterweight champ, Devon Alexander on December 7. "We are the superstars of boxing and, once I have got Devon Alexander out of the way, it will be Mayweather for me, fingers crossed...He is a tactician and looks great in the ring. I am not saying I will knock him out but I have the speed to overcome him."
Not to be outdone, Devon Alexander also had to call dibs on a Mayweather fight:
"You've got to think about it," Alexander also told Boxingscene. "Skills is going to be what gives Floyd problems. If you don't have skills and [aren't] fast just like him, you're not going to beat him. You've got to have the smarts just like him, the skills just like him, and the defense just like him…He don't fight too many slick southpaws like me anyways. If he did, it would have been a loss."
And going from the silly to the ridiculous, there's Carlos Molina, who barely did enough to wrangle the IBF junior middleweight belt from a sleep-walking Ishe Smith in the only dull bout on "The One" PPV.
"Who's next? I want Mayweather," Molina told RingTV. "I want all of the belts. I'm happy with this belt right now, but I want all four belts. Whatever I have to do to get that fight, I'll be willing to earn it."
In the wake of Mayweather's dominant win over Alvarez, even 48-year-old light heavyweight titlist, Bernard Hopkins has discussed his willingness to meet "Money" for a bout at the 160 lb. limit.
But Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaefer probably made more sense than anyone else when talking about Mayweather and the near impossibility of finding a good match for this coming May:
"It almost doesn't seem to matter who you put in front of him. [You] Probably could put the Klitschkos in front of him and he'll beat them too."
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Sources: Boxingscene, RingTV, ESNEWS, Fighthype
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Danny Garcia
- Manny Pacquiao