by Chris Cella
Yesterday Leonard Ellerbe—one of undefeated light middleweight belt holder Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s close advisers—told ESPN.com that the pound-for-pound top fighter in boxing has plans to step between the ropes twice in 2013.
“Floyd has told us that he is fighting twice in 2013 with the first date being May 4—Cinco De Mayweather—and the second date being Sept. 14,” said Ellerbe.
Over the course of the past year, Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO) fought just once—as he had in the past three years—and defeated Puerto Rican former champion Miguel Cotto for the WBA super world light middleweight title. Despite plans to get back into the ring before the end of the year, following the Cotto fight Mayweather served two months at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas on a domestic abuse conviction, and upon being released for good behavior, had remained pretty quiet about fighting again.
Ellerbe continued on ESPN.com, “Mayweather Promotions is looking forward to these two gigantic Floyd Mayweather events in 2013, and we are in ongoing discussions with our promotional partner, Richard Schaefer (chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions) in finalizing the opponent and other aspects of the upcoming promotion.”
Although no opponents have been announced, there are some names circulating who are indeed qualified candidates to go to battle with the undefeated star. First and foremost, Manny Pacquiao comes to mind. Pac-Man will be waging war this Saturday night for the fourth time against Mexican star Juan Manuel Marquez, but even with a third win in their rivalry, it seems the aura that once surrounded a “Mayweather/Pacquiao” super fight has faded.
When the thought of this possible fight first materialized, it could’ve been billed as one of the best match-ups of all time. But politics, as they so often do in boxing, have taken away from what this mega fight could’ve once been. Pac-Man no longer seems like the boxing “God” he appeared to be just a few fights ago, and regardless of the outcome of a Mayweather/Pacquiao showdown, fans would now claim that neither fighter was in their prime, at the top of their game.
So looking past Pac Man, there’s undefeated WBC light middleweight Saul Canelo Alvarez (41-1, 30 KO) who at just 22-years-old has risen to be the number one contender for Mayweather’s belt. On the same card Mayweather defeated Cotto, Alvarez won the biggest fight of his career in battling former champion Shane Mosley for 12 rounds and earning a unanimous decision. But despite his unblemished record, the Mexican champion doesn’t seem quite ready to jump into bed with a skilled pro like Mayweather.
The next possible opponent—and the most likely pick at this point—is interim welterweight belt holder Robert Guerrero, who is Mayweather’s mandatory challenger and has already begun expressing his interest in going to battle with the undisputed champion.
“He has a plethora of options,” continued Ellerbe. “Who doesn’t want to fight Floyd “Money” Mayweather and make the most money they ever made in their career? You hit the lottery once you’ve become a Floyd Mayweather opponent. That [Mayweather’s opponent] is still to be determined. He is just looking to come back in two gigantic fights in 2013 and continue to show why he is the best in boxing.”
Love him or hate him, you have to appreciate what Floyd Mayweather has done—and can still do—with his hands. Regardless of who stands across from him in 2013, fans will be dazzled as Mayweather will undoubtedly put on a clinic when the bell rings.
While he may only have a few fights left in him until he hangs up the gloves for good–more likely than not an undefeated, undisputed world champion–he can easily be considered to be one of the top fighters to ever lace up the leather and go to war in the original combat sport.
Over the next few weeks, boxing fans worldwide will be anxiously waiting to hear who is announced to share the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013 and earn his spot in boxing history.