Floyd Mayweather Doesn't Need to Fight Canelo Alvarez to Bolster Legacy

Matt MetzlerContributor IIIMay 9, 2013

Floyd Mayweather's legacy to date cannot be disputed.
Floyd Mayweather's legacy to date cannot be disputed.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It's hard to argue with Floyd Mayweather's boxing legacy as it stands today. 

Here are the numbers: 327 rounds boxed, 44 wins, zero losses and 26 knockouts. Not one blemish to date.

Mayweather recently signed a six-fight deal with Showtime worth more than $200 million. The first fight in this package was completed when Mayweather defeated Robert Guerrero on Saturday night.

One fight down, five to go.

The question remains: Who will Mayweather go toe-to-toe with in those five fights?

Well, we can start by looking at the next opponent, which could be Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is working on setting up a fight between Mayweather and Alvarez.

Alvarez is on the rise at 22 years old, and it is impossible to call the still undefeated Mayweather anything close to the opposite.

"Money" Mayweather doesn't have to take the bait, however, and get forced into a fight he doesn't want to compete in.

He has been boxing professionally since 1996 and has yet to lose. His name is recognizable worldwide, and money isn't an issue for him.

In the end, it will come down to Mayweather's stubbornness. This stubbornness doesn't bring with it a negative connotation, however. Maybe a better word to use here is pride. Mayweather has pride in his determination and confidence. It would be unlikely for Mayweather to turn down a fight, regardless of the opponent.

If it is Alvarez, then so be it, but it doesn't necessarily have to be him. At 36, Mayweather doesn't recover the way he used to as a young athlete. The last thing that the boxing world would want to see is Mayweather rushing back into the ring and leaving being unable to fight again.

As Rafael points out, a potential problem with seeing this fight through is the weight-class issue. Mayweather is the welterweight champ at 147 pounds, and Alvarez has expressed his displeasure with fighting under 154 pounds.

Mayweather should sit back and think about his decision to fight Alvarez or anyone else for that matter. He should be able to choose the time, place, weight class and opponent.

After all, he's earned it.

While he has to execute these five fights within a time frame, he should plan them intelligently and methodically, starting with the first.

Mayweather is the best boxer in the world today. Depending on his pride and drive, these next five fights could change "today" to "of all time."

Pride is a beautiful thing.