By Nicholas Ayres-Wearne
As the dust settles from Floyd Mayweather dominating performance against Saul Alvarez, one looks ahead at who Mayweather could fight in 2014.
Showtime by all reports was not at all pleased with the rumored 830,000 buy rate of Mayweather’s fight with Robert Guerrero. This sub par performance was perceived to have contributed to Mayweather choosing Saul Alvarez as his next opponent. Alvarez would insure a healthy television audience with his large fan following and it surely helped the promotion and the buy rate that he was seen as a real threat. This was proven correct with initial reports indicating a Pay Per View buy rate of 2.2 Million.
After his victory over Alvarez, Mayweather said he will fight in May of 2014. The list of who could challenge Mayweather is starting to get thin. This perception could impact badly the PPV buy rate into the future. With reports showing that Mayweather-Alvarez drew 2.2 million buys, Mayweather needs opponents that will be seen at least by general sports fans as a challenge. The Guerrero fight proved that fans will not just dole out cash to watch Mayweather beat just anyone. Mayweather really has fallen pray to his own success, fans want to see him against tough opposition. The problem is that Mayweather makes fight’s look easy, which then add’s to the perception that there is no one for Floyd to fight. Fans want to believe at least for a moment before the bell sounds that there is chance Mayweather could lose. W
Tim Bradley could possibly be an opponent, but as he is promoted by Top Rank this leads one to believe that Boxing’s “Cold War” will keep this fight from happening. Added to this, is the figure of Juan Manuel Marquez who Bradley must get by first. He also could be “damaged” after his brutal fight against Ruslan Provodnikov.
Danny Garcia is the logical choice for Mayweather, with his win over Lucas Mathyysse being the most impressive victory of his career. His victory was also broadcast on the undercard fight for Mayweather-Alvarez Pay Per View broadcast. Garcia continues to rise to the occasion and is growing as a boxer. Another quality win for Garcia could enhance a potenial match-up with Mayweather. This fight one would imagine doing good but not spectacular PPV numbers currently. However another solid win for Garcia headling his own card could enhance a potential match-up with Mayweather and generate more PPV buys. This fight would also pair Angel Garcia against Floyd Sr in a match-up made in heaven or possibly hell.
Erislandy Lara is one of the most talented boxer in the world. He as it happens is also “adivised” by Al Haymon. Lara is a real boxer’s boxer, the Cuban has beautifully sublime skills that could pose some challenges to Mayweather. However considering that he doesn’t bring fans or money to the table, he must be considered a long shot to land a future date with Mayweather. If Lara can beat another top contender say Austin Trout or land a fight with Saul Alvarez and score a solid victory, he could begin to stamp his claim on a fight with “Money”. Stylistically Lara would pose a challenge to Mayweather. The Cuban is a pure boxer who has power in both his hands. He has hand and foot speed in abundance, it would be interesting to see how Mayweather would deal with his combination of skills.
The winner of Amir Khan-Devon Alexander could likewise land a mega match with Mayweather. However both Khan and Alexander have been shown in the past to have there own weaknesses which Mayweather could easily exploit. While Khan has shown he is clearly not true A class fighter with multiple losses and a chin made of some form of brittle dried out wood. His speed and movement are impressive but Mayweather would have a field day exploiting his amateur style. Khan’s British fans however could generate a healthy TV audience, even with Khan being a massive under dog.
Alexander has “Wins” against Lucas Matthysse and Andriy Koltelnik but these victories where horrible hometown decision in favor of Alexander. Likewise Alexander came up short against Tim Bradley in what was a horrible fight. A fight with the St Louis native would not generate huge PPV numbers for Mayweather, as Alexander has little name recognition outside of boxing circles. There would also be expectations that Alexander would be a no risk fight for Mayweather.
Sergio Martinez, the middle champion could be an option and a chance for Mayweather to further his legacy. This match-up would generate a huge amount of interest from both the casual sports fans and die hard boxing fanatics. Martinez is visibly fading as a boxer and is coming of a series injuries and a questionable “Hometown” decision against Martin Murray. Mayweather has shown he can dominate a skilled and considerably larger opponent in Alvarez. Against Martinez, Mayweather would have to be favored with his skills and boxing IQ, overcoming anything the Argentine could muster. Martinez’s power and athletic ability would make for an interesting fight at least from a marketing point of view. Added to which would be Mayweather’s quest for the lineal Middleweight title and in doing becoming the first man since Henry Armstrong to hold 3 would titles simultaneously. This fight one would imagine would sell very well on PPV.
Adrian Broner sadly should be mentioned. Broner is not the “second coming” of Floyd Mayweather as some would have you believe. He really is yet to truly prove himself. His personality and some solid wins that have made him a star, not his boxing skills. Likewise one has to doubt if his “Advisor” Al Haymon would allow another of his “Advised” fighters in Mayweather to give Broner what would be a blood curling thrashing. If however Marcos Maidana can beat Broner in there up coming fight, Maidana could make a marketable opponent for Mayweather. Maidana a brawler has added some wrinkles to his game with an improved jab and head movement and has scored two impressive victories against Jesus Soto Karass and Joseito Lopez in his most recent fights. If he can get by Broner he could be marketed as a solid opponent for Mayweather.
Manny Pacqiauo. I guess this fight has to mentioned though I would prefer not to spend to much time on it, other than to say, if Pacqiauo can KO Rios in there up coming match-up there may be some renewed interest in a Mayweather fight. Though I would not bet any money on this fight ever happening. Boxing’s “Cold War” stands even more in the way than it has previously.
Bernard Hopkins. The “Old Man” has said he could make 160 pounds by May 2014….
In an article by Rick Reno Hopkins was quoted talking about the weight issue “If I have time, I know my body, I know myself, I’ll hire the best coaches” Considering Hopkins as fought as a Light Heavyweight since 2006, it seems implausible that he would fight Mayweather who is a small Welterweight. However this is boxing the playground of the weird and wacky, so who knows right?
Oscar De Lahoya. Sickening to think about yet this fight would do massive numbers.
Oscar’s “Performance” on Showtime’s All Access show was cringe worthy with the “Golden Boy” still claiming he beat Mayweather in there fight. Added to which during the week leading up to Mayweather-Alvarez he admitted himself to Rehab. So there is a redemption storyline that could be milked for all its worth. Something along the lines off, Oscar trying to defeat his demons looks to the boxing ring to help him overcome his addictions. This perhaps may strike some as cynical, but boxing is a cynical sport that looks to make a buck anyway it can.
Mayweather could considerably fight well into his 40s, he is a remarkably young 36 years of age in boxing years. Having sustained hardly any hard fights and having one of the greatest defenses in boxing history. He has 24 months left on his Showtime contract and could fight 4 times during this period. At the moment though no one looks like they can even come close to pushing Mayweather let alone beating him.
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