by Matt Gerovac
Love him or hate him, Floyd Mayweather is the face of boxing for this generation. After making the likes of Robert Guerrero and Canelo Alvarez look like they needed to check their prescription lenses, who will Mayweather choose to share his “Money” with next? Here’s a short list of possible opponent choices that have been surfacing in boxing’s rumor mill.
He’s fast, can box, and can’t take a punch. This is interesting because Mayweather haters like to talk about how he prefers to run and beat guys on points rather than taking a risk and going for the knockout. Amir Khan has talked about fighting Mayweather (a lot), he’s had his lights turned out (twice), and he may be the only guy that could even come close to Mayweather when it comes to hand speed. He also brings a huge international fan base to the table which couldn’t hurt the pay-per-view numbers. Plus, Mayweather could even put him to sleep with one of his sneaky straight rights.
I think this is the fight that makes the most sense (for Mayweather). Bradley is smaller than Mayweather, he doesn’t possess knockout power, and he seems willing to take a backseat in the promotional storm leading up to fight night. To be blunt, Bradley is tailor-made to be exploited by the Money team. Even though he beat Pacquiao by controversial (wrong) decision, he took the fight knowing he would make substantially less money than Manny. Timothy Bradley is a likable guy, which also plays in to Mayweather’s chosen status as boxing’s super villain.
First, we have to acknowledge the phenomenon of Hopkins. To compete with and defeat world class boxers that are a full generation younger is something we haven’t seen in boxing since George Foreman. The build up for a Mayweather/Hopkins showdown would be like the Super Bowl, but let’s consider the reality of what would happen in this fight. It would be like watching a chess match, “jab, clinch, jab, clinch” for twelve long rounds of pugilism. For boxing aficionados, it would be a treat, but for the average blood-thirsty, fair weather boxing fan, it may be coma-inducing. Besides, at a 160 pound catchweight, Hopkins would look like a guest star in “Walking Dead.”
Boxing’s newest “it” guy is gaining popularity with every match. He has power with both hands, a brawler’s temperament, and his fan base continues to grow. But, there are more reasons why this WON’T happen. For one, he’s too big. He’s a true 160 and Mayweather didn’t even really meet Canelo Alvarez at their 152 pound catchweight. Secondly, he’s too dangerous. Mayweather would box him silly at any weight, but if Golovkin caught him with a few of those body shots, Mayweather may start to quickly show his age.
By the time this finally happens, we’ll have to call it Rip VanWinkle vs. Methuselah – CLASH OF THE GRAY BEARDS. This fight could still happen, but not until at least the middle of 2014. By that time, Pacquiao will be 35 and Mayweather 37. So, at this point, they should probably just consider starring alongside Walt Frazier and Keith Hernandez in the next Just for Men commercial. It would’ve been really nice to see this happen three years ago, back when it still mattered. By the way, if anyone could please post a photoshopped photo version of this old man fight, it would make my day!