Who Will Mayweather Fight Next?
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s name immediately pops up, but that doesn’t mean Mayweather will use one of his remaining five Showtime fights by taking him on him this early. The risk-reward may not be there and Team Mayweather is all about risk-reward. My sense is that “Money” will first fight less challenging opponents until the toughest one remains—and hopefully that would be Canelo (42-0-1), the current icon of Mexican boxing.
If Floyd fights again in September, I suspect one of the following will be granted the first opportunity for an early retirement package:
Khan: Amir is currently ranked number two in the WBC welterweight rankings, and though most might see this as another dominant win for Mayweather, a bout in England could translate to the proper risk-reward for Money—pun intended—a safe fight with a big gate.
Alexander-Brook: Speaking of May 18 in Atlantic City, Devon “The Great” Alexander (24-1) must get by undefeated Kell Brook (29-0). The winner will certainly deserve attention by Team Mayweather.
Maidana: If Marcos “El Chino” Maidana KO’s Josesito Lopez in June, he might earn an outside shot. He always comes to fight and has major power. However, the risk-reward here, based on styles, is a very favorable one for Mayweather.
Garcia: If Danny “Swift” Garcia keeps winning, look for him to be a viable, albeit safe opponent. Moreover, it would guarantee another stomach-churning sideshow between the fighter’s fathers and that’s always good for the gate.
Matthysse-Peterson: Apparently, Danny will fight the winner of the Lamont Peterson-Lucas Matthysse matchup which is scheduled for May 18 in Atlantic City. If so and if he beats the winner, he quickly becomes a “premier” opponent. But if Matthysse beats Peterson (as I believe he will) and then beats “Swift,” look for the Argentinean knockout artist to become as viable a threat as Canelo and look for Mayweather to avoid him. Of course, if Lamont should win and then beats Garcia, he quickly becomes a candidate for the final five.
Bradley-Marquez: The winner of Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez makes sense to me. Bradley, assuming he is not damaged goods, has the style to make for a competitive fight with Mayweather. He also would provide a “Someone’s 0 Must Go” type of event. JMM, for his part, has been schooled once by Money, but if he beats Bradley convincingly, he would present a different kind of threat this time around, especially in light of his Mexecution of Manny Pacquiao.
Trout: Austin Trout presents a good measuring stick insofar as “Canelo” is concerned, but the interest at the gate is probably not there.
Provodnikov: Fan-friendly Ruslan Provodnikov must beat someone again before he gets into this mix, but if he does, the risk-reward is good one for Money based on their respective styles.
Pacquiao: Manny Pacquiao would be a compelling opponent and the fight would yield a monster purse, but I just don’t see it happening, though a long shot might be a duke in Singapore or Macau. Sadly their time seems to have come and gone.
Ortiz: A rematch with Victor Ortiz would be highly doubtful. He has done nothing to earn it except dance with the stars.
Berto: Robert Guerrero already beat Andre Berto, as did Victor Ortiz. It won’t happen.
In the end, Canelo offers the biggest purse but also the biggest threat. If Floyd wants to complete the remaining five Showtime bouts, fighting Alvarez now doesn’t seem like the wisest choice from a business perspective. An early loss could convince him to retire, but fighting “Cinnamon Head” last and going for 49-0 at the same time would mean more money than—well—there is money.
My bet is that Money fights Amir Khan in England in September, assuming Floyd’s right hand is okay.