Who Would Floyd Mayweather Fight Next If Money Wasn't Part of the Equation?
There are usually two groups of people when it comes to Floyd Mayweather—those who feel that he ducks anyone resembling a decent challenge and those who feel that it doesn't matter who he fights because he's going to win regardless of opponent.
Mayweather is the best fighter in the world, but he's also boxing's biggest pay-per-view star. This distinction affords him the leverage that most fighters can only dream of. He's going to get paid regardless of whether he fights Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao or anyone else in the neighborhood of 147 pounds.
But if we take the revenue out of the mix, who would Mayweather take on next? While it's extremely difficult to get into the enigmatic Mayweather's head, we can look at his last few fights to give us a better idea of where he would look next.
The biggest critics of Mayweather argue that since he arrived at welterweight in 2005, he's taken on fighters who are either smaller guys coming up in weight or once-great fighters who had lost a step by the time Mayweather got around to fighting them.
Indeed, Shane Mosley was far past his prime when he and Mayweather fought; ditto Oscar De La Hoya. Ricky Hatton was clearly better at 140 than at 147 when he fought Mayweather, and Mayweather didn't even bother to make the catch weight imposed before his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
But Miguel Cotto was a legitimate threat at 154, and Victor Ortiz may have been coming up in weight, but clearly, he's no junior welterweight. Robert Guerrero was just taken to school by Mayweather, but it certainly wasn't because he was a smaller fighter. He was just not good enough.
So who would be next? Many people have argued that it would be Amir Khan. While Khan carries name recognition, few people, especially the hardcore, would give him the slightest chance of beating Mayweather. He just gets hit far too often, and he takes clean punches about as well as Kanye West takes criticism.
It's this writer's opinion that if Mayweather had his way, his next fight would be against Ring Magazine junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
Garcia is undefeated at 26-0. He just defeated longtime welterweight Zab Judah, and he decapitated Khan last year. He would be a fairly easy sell to boxing fans; he's a very good fighter with a tough style to beat, and he's a world champion.
In the last couple of years, the intrigue of a Mayweather fight has come from the belief that Mayweather will grow old overnight, and one of these younger foes will finally catch him. A Garcia fight would be no different. He's 25 years old and hungry to be the best.
Mayweather probably saw Garcia's last fight, where he won impressively over a desperate Judah. He also saw several kinks in Garcia's armor that he'd be able to take advantage of.
The buildup to a Garcia fight would certainly be interesting. It's a virtual certainty that Garcia's father would insult the entire Mayweather family along with several deceased relatives. Mayweather was unusually zen-like during the press conferences for his fight with Guerrero, but at some point, the vitriol from the elder Garcia would probably get under his skin.
The selling points of the fight would be in place, the promotion would be a fun one, and most importantly, "Money" would likely win easily.
Will Floyd fight Canelo at 154?
This is no knock on Mayweather; he's built an empire by selling the illusion of danger. The guy should teach classes on it. He's simply too good right now for Garcia—or anybody else for that matter; why move up in weight to fight a much bigger fighter in Alvarez when he can stay where he is for less risk?
As fans, we always want the best to fight the best, so the frustration that many feel with Mayweather is understandable. But the next time we start a sentence with "Floyd should fight Fighter A instead of Fighter B," we should probably ask ourselves, would it matter?
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