By Sean Crose
So Floyd has actually gone ahead and done it. He’s actually gone ahead and chosen an opponent who actually poses less of a threat than Amir Khan does. That’s right, Mr. Mayweather will be facing none other than Marcos Maidana this May.
Think about it for a moment:
Manny Pacquiao is facing Timothy Bradley – while Mayweather is facing Maidana. Miguel Cotto is facing Sergio Martinez – while Mayweather is facing Maidana. Vitali Klitschko is facing none other than Vladimir Putin (at least indirectly) – while Mayweather is facing Maidana. See where this is going?
While there’s little doubt that Floyd’s choosing Maidana over Khan is a good business decision, it only helps solidify the opinion that Mayweather is now only taking the monetary aspect of his career seriously. As far the athletic aspect of boxing goes, Floyd seems to pretty much be through with it.
One can see Mayweather actually hoping that Alfredo Angulo bests Canelo Alvarez next month. For what a perfect opponent Angulo would make! The guy’s exciting. Plus, a victory over Canelo would give Angulo’s story a real “Rocky” feel. Most importantly, however, Angulo would most likely be quite easy for Floyd to handle – just like Maidana will most likely be.
After that, perhaps Floyd could choose Keith Thurman (before he gets too good). Then maybe Shawn Porter or even Adrien Broner could step in for a big payday. Later on, Danny Garcia or Lamont Peterson might find their way onto the agenda – provided they don’t look too impressive in the interval.
What’s so sad is that one could easily imagine the above scenario actually playing out. It’s reality – not cynicism, and that’s truly too bad. One has to wonder what Mayweather’s legacy is going to be at this point. He’ll have spent several full years ducking serious opposition before retirement at the rate he’s going. That’s something fans aren’t going to forget, perfect record or not.
Then again, who’s to say Floyd will end up retiring undefeated, even after all his intense calculations? Maidana could rise to the occasion. Sure, there’s not much chance of that happening, but one really, truly never does know. Strange things happen in boxing, after all. Besides, if Maidana doesn’t somehow manage to pull it off, perhaps a future “easy” opponent will.
How will Floyd feel then?
Here’s something else worth considering. Floyd won a majority decision in his last fight, a fight most everyone believed he should have been awarded a unanimous decision for. What if Vegas judging inexplicably turns against Floyd in the near future? What if two judges of the Maidana fight see things differently than most everyone else does – the way two judges somehow managed to choose Bradley over Pacquiao several years ago? I’m not talking corruption here. I’m talking the kind of maddening, beyond-comprehension decision Vegas judges are famous for.
What will Floyd think then? What will all his cherry picking (yup, I called it cherry picking) have come to?
Look, there’s little doubt in my mind that Marcos Maidana will make an exciting (at least he’ll TRY to be exciting) and popular opponent. He just surprised the world by beating Adrien Broner, after all. Yet Maidana is not the best, not even close to the best, opponent Mayweather could have picked. Khan stood a better chance of beating Floyd – a fact I’ve little doubt Mayweather himself is aware of.
Floyd may be a great fighter, but he’s now turning himself into someone that’s hard to take seriously. Why? Because he doesn’t seem to be taking anyone else seriously. And he especially isn’t taking boxing – the sport which has made him rich – seriously. Fans deserve better. Know what else? Floyd himself deserves better, too.
If only he were aware of that fact.
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