By Ivan G. Goldman
Was Floyd Mayweather serious when he named Andre Berto and Karim Mayfield as candidates for his next opponent? Logic and history tell us no.
First the logic. You can’t sell either guy on pay-per-view, and Floyd is unlikely to give up all those PPV millions so he can select a blatant walkover opponent.
And now the history. If anyone still believes what Floyd says when discussing such matters, reflect on the time he held a poll, telling fans they could choose between Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana as his next opponent. They chose Khan, he fought Maidana. Twice.
So history tells us his utterances, tweets, instagrams, and other messages on such matters tend to reflect something apart from what he’s really going to do.
Mayweather floated the two latest names on his favored fighthype.com media outlet and elsewhere. Here’s a sample from the latest questions fighthype put to him: “Even though your fighting career is coming to an end, your promotional career is starting to take it (sic) off.”
I assume you noticed that question wasn’t even a question. Well it passes for a question on fighthype. Mayweather also said he was looking to put an Adrien Broner-Shawn Porter rematch on the undercard of his fight September 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Presumably the show will be promoted by his company with advice from boxing godfather Al Haymon, Floyd’s contractual adviser.
Is there another rematch that’s less called for after last Saturday’s stinker of a clinchorama between Broner and Porter on NBC? This rematch would follow the same logic Hollywood uses when first it makes a terrible movie and then it makes a sequel that’s even more terrible.
Mayweather, the best fighter pound for pound anywhere in the world, is by far the best-paid athlete in the world. Talent, accomplishments and money don’t always work as a team, and it’s a tribute to him and Haymon that they’ve done their work so well. No, that wasn’t a question. Just fact.
I have no quarrel with undefeated Floyd selecting a gimme opponent for his 49th and possibly final contest. But I strongly doubt it would be anyone so obviously not up to par as Berto, 30-3, 23 KOs, or Mayfield, 19-2-1, 11 KOs.
Berto lost three of his last five and Mayfield two of his last three. And junior welter Mayfield isn’t even a welterweight. He may be best known for getting fired as Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner. Team Pacquiao said he head-butted Manny, inflicting a slight cut.
Neither Mayfield nor Berto is ranked anywhere near the top ten in his division.
Floyd’s dual role of promoter and fighter is partly to blame for these goofy outbursts. The occupations don’t always work in perfect harmony. That could be seen when he floated the name of long-retired Oscar De La Hoya for Opponent Number 49.
Other possibilities? Kell Brook, Gennady Golovkin, Khan, and Keith Thurman. Also the winner of Timothy Bradley-Jesse Vargas, which will be fought Saturday night in Carson, California.
It’s almost impossible for a fighter to really clean out his division because there are always young guys moving up and clamoring for attention and bigger purses. So when a prominent fighter hangs up his gloves he can always be accused of ducking somebody.
But Mayweather, 38, has defeated a real murderers’ row of opponents.
Talk about him began to dissipate now that his easy victory over Manny Pacquiao is seven weeks behind him. He
decided this was a good time to get back in the news, and he had a point. When he quits, it’s just possible we’ll miss him.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available now from Permanent Press wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.