Floyd Mayweather Jr. is in need of a challenge, and fast.
After defeating Robert Guerrero in his first fight in just under a year, Money Mayweather made it emphatically clear that he's here to stay as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
Guerrero certainly put up a fight early, but Mayweather's quickness and powerful rights were far too much for the 31-1-1 challenger to handle, and Money moved to 44-0 in his first bout since his release from prison in August.
The Ghost wasn't the preferred opponent for boxing fans when the fight was announced, but Guerrero has put together a couple of impressive wins, including his most recent victory over Andre Berto, and he seemed to be capable of at least threatening Money's unblemished record.
But Mayweather's impenetrable defense never gave Guerrero a chance to get back in the match after Money grabbed the lead during the middle rounds of the fight, and the champ cruised from there to a unanimous decision.
Now, the question becomes, what's next for Mayweather?
Well, first of all, Mayweather says he doesn't have many fights left, and according to ESPN's Dan Rafael, he's already mapped out the final act of his celebrated career.
"In 30 months my career is over," he said. "I want to rack up my six victories and hopefully do commentating and keep the sport of boxing alive. That's what I'm focused on."
He later added, "Well, you know, I only have 30 months left, so I want to just help clean the sport up. After this fight I've got five more fights. That's all I got to do, finish putting them stamps on my legacy."
Hypothetically, Manny Pacquiao is the obvious choice, as the boxing world has been waiting for the two to square off for years.
However, given that Pac Man has lost two consecutive fights, it's unclear whether Money would have anything to gain by fighting his rival at this stage of their careers.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix summed up the top candidates for Mayweather's next fight, and pointed out an important consideration to keep in mind.
There is going to be a groundswell of support for Mayweather–who confirmed before the fight he would be back in September and in the ring that he intended to fight five more times–to face Canelo Alvarez in the fall, and Alvarez, who has replaced a defanged Manny Pacquiao as Mayweather’s preferred opponent, is a solid choice. But is there any real reason to believe that an inexperienced Canelo will be able to locate Mayweather much better than Guerrero? Mayweather’s potential pool of opponents–Canelo, Danny Garcia, Amir Khan–just aren’t on Mayweather’s level, not as long as he is fighting on this level. It’s Floyd’s world, as long as he can keep his skills on top of it.
So Mayweather controls his own destiny, as he has for quite some time, and unless the terms change drastically between he and Pacquiao's camp, it's difficult to see how a bout between the two could come together.
ESPN's Skip Bayless reported that Mayweather pulled out of a deal that would've paid him $40 million, so it's unclear whether Money really desires the long-awaited showdown at all.
Skip Bayless @RealSkipBayless
Mayweather says Pacquiao turned down 40 mil. SHOULD HAVE. INSULT. Fight would've made, what, 300 mil? Manny wanted 45%! FAIR! Floyd ducked.5/3/2013, 5:55:17 PM
Assuming the two don't end up meeting, Alvarez would likely be the next-best candidate for Mayweather's first of his final five bouts, but somehow I doubt any welterweight can push Money to the limit, especially given how in control of the match he was from the second round on.
Regardless of whether anyone has a realistic shot of hanging with Mayweather, he will fight again. Here's hoping someone who has the talent and instincts to truly challenge Money emerges, but right now it looks like he'll cruise to 49-0 when all is said and done.
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