Most observers expected Floyd "Money" Mayweather to make easy work of Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero during their welterweight tilt on Saturday night, and that is exactly what happened.
Mayweather was so dominant, in fact, that there doesn't appear to be a boxer out there capable of beating him.
Mayweather's quality of opponents is something that has been discussed ad nauseum over the years.
It can be argued that he hasn't fought the best of the best due to the fact that he has yet to step in the ring with Manny Pacquiao, but wins over Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya, Arturo Gatti and a bevy of others are nothing to sneeze at.
The true issue when it comes to Mayweather, however, is that there is no current boxer in or around his weight class who can truly challenge him. It simply isn't fair to criticize Mayweather for picking weaker opponents when there is nobody out there who can hold a candle to him.
Mayweather put on an absolute clinic against Guerrero as "The Ghost" simply couldn't square him up. He moved across the ring with ease and never stood still long enough for Guerrero to string together any combinations.
As good as Mayweather was defensively, he was equally strong on offense as his strong right hand consistently broke through Guerrero's guard.
Mayweather's win was decisive and it proved that he hasn't lost a step at 36 years of age. He could very well retire right now with an undefeated record as one of the greatest boxers of all time, but he is compelled to continue fighting due to his mega deal with Showtime.
According to the press release, Mayweather's contract with Showtime is good for six fights over the course of 30 months.
Mayweather's win over Guerrero was the first of them, so he still has as many as five bouts to go. Should Mayweather go through with the next five fights, his deal with Showtime will be the richest for any athlete in the world.
Even if Mayweather isn't being challenged or pushed to the brink, he can't be blamed for wanting to see that contract through to the end. It is uncertain who he will face next, but it's hard to imagine that his upcoming opponent will put up a much better fight than Guerrero did.
Simply making it through 12 rounds should be considered an accomplishment on Guerrero's part.
The most appealing opponents for Mayweather at welterweight right now are Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi, but it's tough to imagine that either of them will be able to handle Mayweather's speed. One guy who could potentially come close to matching Mayweather in terms of quickness is junior welterweight Amir Khan, but he is vulnerable after losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia.
According to Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian, Khan wants to fight Mayweather. It's obvious why Khan would want the fight since it would mean a huge payday for him, but he hasn't done anything in recent fights that would suggest that he can give Mayweather a run for his money. Even so, he seems confident.
He is the best boxer in the world, without question. If someone is going to have a chance against him, it is someone with speed, and that is my best asset. So I do have a chance—with my speed and explosiveness. I would trouble him.
Mayweather hasn't been "troubled" many times during his career, so Khan seems a bit ambitious.
Even so, a fight with Khan might be attractive to Mayweather as Khan is a name fighter and would have big-time support from the British fans. A fight between them would likely be similar to Mayweather's bout against Ricky Hatton nearly seven years ago.
That fight ended with Mayweather knocking out Hatton in front of a strong British contingent and he could probably do the same thing to Khan. Once Mayweather beats Khan, if he decides to go that route, the pickings are slim. Assuming a bout with Pacquiao doesn't happen, the only big-money fight that is possibly on the board is a fight against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
With a record of 42-0-1 at the age of 22, Alvarez is the top young star in boxing. He scored the biggest win of his career over Austin Trout recently and is a hot commodity at the moment. While Alvarez may be the only guy capable of pushing Mayweather to the limit, ESPN.com's Kieran Mulvaney doesn't see the fight coming to fruition.
But don't be surprised if that contest, like the Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown that hung over the sport for three long years, proves theoretical rather than actual, at least for a while. Mayweather isn't in any big hurry to move back up to 154 pounds, and it's doubtful Alvarez can make welterweight.
It can be argued that Mayweather should make the leap up to light middleweight if he truly wants to challenge himself, but his current deal is huge regardless of whom he faces, so there isn't much incentive for him to move out of his comfort zone.
Mayweather will be nearing 40 years of age once his contract with Showtime expires, so maybe his skills will erode over the next few years, but there is no reason to believe that will happen. Unless Mayweather really swings for the fences by taking a fight against Pacquiao or Alvarez, his perfect record appears to be safe.
Fans were waiting for a chink in the armor to reveal itself against Guerrero, but that simply didn't happen. Mayweather seems to be getting better with age and there isn't an opponent out there who can realistically combat his frustrating defensive style.
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