When Floyd Mayweather Jnr was released from jail in August this year, there was only one question on everybody’s lips. "When’s he going to fight again"?
Word has been flying around in recent weeks that a ring return for the pound for pound king was imminent, and last Thursday it was all but confirmed.
"As of right now, I know May 4th is a date, and in September there's a date. That's what the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, said. At this particular time, everything is still up in the air. If those are my dates, I'm looking to go out there and perform on those days and look well for my fans."
“I don't know who my team has scouted as far as looking to do combat with. I don't know, but whoever it is, it's going to be an exciting show." Mayweather is rumoured to be fighting 4 more times before retiring. Twice in 2013, & twice in 2014. Based on those assumptions, let’s take a look at his potential opponent for May 4th.
Saul "Canelo" Alverez (41-0-1)
The golden boy of Golden Boy Promotions. The 22 year old ginger Mexican is one of the biggest prospects in boxing. Promoter Oscar Dela Hoya sees his young protégée as the heir apparent to Mayweathers throne, and is keen to make the fight a reality. Alverez is not without his critics though. He is yet to face a genuine contender in the 154 division & many fans and experts are clamouring for him to do so. Although the bout is easy to make as Canelo is scheduled to fight May 4th. I feel GBP will ultimately want more time to build this mega fight.
I think there is a good chance we will see Canelo on Mayweather’s undercard come May 4th, with a view to both guys meeting in September 2013. That seems the most logical way to build the fight. (We’ve just got to hope neither gets beat in between.)
Sergio Martinez (50-2-2)
Martinez is seen by many fans as the only legitimate challenge to Floyd Mayweather Jnr. The Argentinean southpaw carries the power, speed & slickness to trouble any fighter on the planet. Although campaigning as a middleweight (160) he has fought at 154 & has even offered to come down to a catchweight 150 to make the fight. Make no mistake about it, Martinez wants it big time. Unfortunately for him (& all of us) he's scheduled to fight British middleweight Martin Murray in April which pretty much rules him out.
Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (31-1-1)
Coming off a brilliant victory over Andre Berto in one of the fights of 2012, Guerrero was quick to call out Mayweather Jnr. The southpaw is your typical Mexican fighter, he throws punches from the first minute to the last minute & at 29 he's certainly entering his prime. Whilst he doesnt carry the power to KO Mayweather, he certainly has the work rate & chin to make this fight competitive.
Guerrero is promoted by Golden Boy so the fight can be easily made. I know a lot of fans don't like it as Guerrero is a natural lightweight (140lbs) However his last 2 fights have been at 147 & he seems comfortable at the weight. Guerrero is a true warrior who is deserving of the payday. If I was a betting man, this is where my money would be. (It's heavily rumoured to)
Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley (29-0-0)
The man with a head like a fridge is still sitting pretty since his controversial points victory over Manny Pacquiao. In an ideal world this would be the natural fight to make, however Bradley is promoted by Bob Arum. Uncle Bob & Floyd fell out years ago when Mayweather left Top Rank promotions & signed with Golden Boy. These 2 don't do business with each other & unless there is a biblical change of heart, there is practically no chance of this fight happening.
Austin "No Doubt" Trout (26-0-0)
For me this is the most intriguing potential match up for Floyd. Trout has just come off a comfortable UD victory over former Mayweather foe Miguel Cotto, so his stock couldn't be higher. Trout doesn't have a particularly exciting style and he is not the most dynamic character either. It's the sort of fight that hardcore boxing fans would appreciate, but I don't think it sells well to the casuals. Other potential problems are the weight. Trout is huge at 154 & it looks like Mayweather will be dropping down to 147.
Amir "King" Khan (27-3-0)
Golden Boy promotions have been desperately trying to build this fight for the past 2 years. Unfortunately for them whenever it gets close, Khan gets beat.
The original idea was for Khan to unify the 140 division against Lamont Peterson before moving up in weight to fight Floyd Mayweather. The plan hit the buffers when Amir dropped a controversial decision in Peterson’s home town of Washington DC.
When Peterson subsequently failed a drug test the result was “unofficially” erased from Khan’s record so all roads to Mayweather were back on if Khan could overcome Danny Garcia first. Amir was subsequently KO’d in round 4 leaving his career in tatters. He has since sacked trainer Freddie Roach & hired Virgil Hunter. On Saturday night he outgunned the overmatched but gallant Carlos Molina in his comeback fight. In the wake of Amir’s victory, Golden Boys CEO Richard Scheafer has been talking up the Mayweather fight once again. It won’t happen on May 4th, but if Khan has a big year in 2013 there is every chance this fight gets made in 2014.
Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (54-5-2)
No list of potential Mayweather opponents would be complete with the Pac Man.
The super fight that never was, will likely never be. Even before Manny lost to Timothy Bradley this mega-fight was losing its steam. For the past 3 years we have seen a succession of claim and counter claim as both parties seem more concerned about discrediting the other. Both fighters have lost a step since the original negotiations to place, and both fighters are now undoubtedly past their prime
The only way this fight was ever going to happen was if both guys kept on winning. The pressure & demand from inside and outside the sport would have been too great to refuse. (As would the money on offer.)
If Manny’s defeat to Timothy Bradley was ambiguous enough for people to give him a pass, his brutal knock out defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez was anything but.
Mayweather v Pacquiao would have been the biggest fight of all time. Now its just the biggest “what if” of all time.
Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-0)
Floyd has already shut out the Mexican once before so there is little clamour to see this fight again. Marquez is likely to retire or fight Pacquiao for a 5th time. Yes that’s right people, A 5THTIME!
Paulie Malignaggi (32-4-0)
Id actually like to see this fight, mainly because I am a big fan of both guys. Paulie may have paper fists, but he has an iron chin & a heart of a lion. There is practically no chance it will happen but if there is a succession of injuries and a last minute replacement is required, you never know.
Whoever Floyd fights next, people will still find a reason to moan about it. That’s the nature of boxing I guess.
Whether you love Mayweather or you hate him, you can’t deny his excellence. He is a box office superstar & one of the modern greats.
Enjoy him while you can, because you’ll miss his when he’s gone.
Thanks for reading