Last Saturday's big-ticket bout between Floyd Mayweather and challenger Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was supposed to present Money with one of his toughest challenges to date.
But alas, Mayweather once again proved to the boxing world that he is simply peerless, as the pound-for-pound champion orchestrated yet another dominant performance against one of the most impressive fighters in the sport today.
At this point, the question, as has been the case for quite some time, is: Who can possibly challenge the 36-year-old for his crown?
In Alvarez, Mayweather faced another undefeated fighter, and one who had a number of victories over quality opponents, but even Canelo, who according to the Associated Press had a solid 15 pounds on Money by the time Saturday night rolled around (h/t ESPN), didn't seem to provide an overwhelming amount of resistance for the five-division champion.
Now, with four more bouts remaining on the six-fight deal Mayweather inked with Showtime/CBS in February, Money's camp will again search for another challenger, preferably one who is capable of drumming up a similar amount of interest as did his last two fights against Canelo and Robert Guerrero.
One option for Mayweather would be to agree to a rematch against the heavy-hitting Alvarez, because despite Money's convincing triumph (unless you ask C.J. Ross), Canelo is a marquee opponent who could potentially learn from his first clash with Money.
That being said, it became obvious early on that regardless of the 23-year-old Mexican's clear advantage as far as power is concerned, Money's stingy defense, quick jabs and general in-ring intellect were more than enough to compensate.
So, if not Alvarez, which other fighters would appear to make sense for Money's next contest?
Well, for starters, the man who won the bout immediately before the Money-Canelo tilt has quickly emerged as a name that merits consideration.
That's because Danny Garcia, who holds the WBC and WBA light welterweight titles, put on an impressive performance against Lucas Matthysse in Las Vegas on Saturday, and as CBS' Joseph Santoliquito suggests, he's now in an ideal position to get the call to face Money next. Though the 25-year-old has nothing to prove at his current weight partially due to his dominance, Garcia has other important factors working in his favor:
Here’s a major reason why the fight could happen: Both Garcia and Mayweather fight under Golden Boy Promotions. To be specific, Mayweather does fight under his own promotional banner, he still works in conjunction with Golden Boy.
Mayweather beat Alvarez in a junior middleweight bout, which came at a catchweight of 152 pounds. Mayweather is actually a welterweight, which is 147 pounds. Garcia has found it more difficult as he’s getting older to make 140.
With Garcia apparently interested in moving up, this is a bout that has more than a fair chance of going down, especially if Money's content at staying in his current class.
And, in terms of marketability, Garcia's status as a fellow undefeated fighter is another important consideration, because as Mayweather closes in on his final handful of matches, each one has to be against an opponent that, at least on paper, poses a formidable challenge.
While Alvarez relies on power to defeat his foes, Garcia's aggressive style and persistent attack could hypothetically give Money more problems and would certainly present spectators with a different brand of boxing than the Canelo bout.
Obviously, there are others in the mix to receive an invitation, as it's been thought that Sergio Martinez would be an ideal next opponent for Mayweather. But as Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix points out, having Money move up a weight class wouldn't solve anything, nor would it any likelier provide him with a more challenging fight:
Yes, some corners will scream for Mayweather to fight Gennady Golovkin or Sergio Martinez, but those fights aren’t happening and, frankly, there is no need for them. Because how big do you want Mayweather’s opponents to be?
Against Alvarez, Money already proved he can outsmart and overmatch a much larger opponent by using his quickness and defense to neutralize any reasonable size advantage, so Martinez has to be considered an outside shot at being tabbed as his next challenger.
For now, Garcia's the favorite, and while that could change, it seems logical that he'd give Mayweather the closest thing to a run for his money.
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