After Floyd Mayweather Jr. dominated Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the boxing world has been buzzing about who the undefeated legend will fight next.
While there are some intriguing names out there, the politics of boxing, among other things, threaten to take some promising opponents for Mayweather off the board altogether.
A rising star? Nope. A top welterweight? Please. The former No. 1 boxer on the planet? Forget about it.
Here are some top boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. will never fight before he hangs up his gloves for good.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez
As far as remaining options for Mayweather, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez would be my dream pick. I don't think the 22-year-old rising star would defeat Mayweather, but I do think he would give him some problems and make it an entertaining fight.
Unfortunately, the main thing holding back a fight between the two would be the difference in weight. Mayweather is a welterweight (147 pounds), while Alvarez is a junior middleweight (154 pounds). It's hard to imagine Mayweather moving out of his comfort zone and exposing himself to Alvarez's power at junior middleweight, and it's even more difficult to imagine Alvarez losing seven pounds to move down to welterweight.
It's a shame, because I truly believe this is one of the few decent matchups for Mayweather at this point, but it is what it is.
The biggest reason that this fight would not happen is because, well, it hasn't happened yet. Pacquiao's association with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum throws a wrench in the plans. This is all about politics, and it makes me sick.
But there's also the fact that Mayweather doesn't have to prove anything anymore. There was a time when there was still question as to who the best boxer on the planet was, but that time is long gone. Pacquiao has lost his last two fights, including a defeat via knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez in December. Dan Rafael of ESPN.com ranks him as the No. 4 welterweight in the world. Plus, Mayweather's uncle, Roger, has basically said that Timothy Bradley Jr. is a more worthy opponent for Mayweather than Pacquiao (via the Los Angeles Times).
It appears the fight boxing fans long yearned for will never take place.
Timothy Bradley Jr.
While Roger Mayweather tabbed Timothy Bradley Jr. as a potential next opponent for Mayweather, that's unlikely to happen. Chalk it up to wretched politics again.
Bradley, like Pacquiao, works with Arum and Top Rank. Plus, Oscar De La Hoya, head of Golden Boy Promotions, has basically already ruled out a fight between Mayweather and Bradley.
When asked in January if Bradley was a candidate to fight Mayweather, De La Hoya told TheBoxingVoice.com (via BoxingNews24.com):
No, never, that’s not even a possibility. If you look at their [Top Rank] roster of who they have, who is Tim Bradley going to fight? What do they have to keep telling him, a bunch of lies? It’s not fair to the fighter.
In the end, all of these politics weaken the sport of boxing. It's people looking out for their best interests, and nothing else. If only boxing took a page from the UFC, but that's never going to happen. It will likely lead us to watching a legendary boxer fight inferior opponents until he retires.