Floyd Mayweather Has No Worthy Challenger Left to Face

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 14:  (R-L) Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws a left at Canelo Alvarez during their WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 14, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather decimated Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last Saturday night to keep his undefeated streak untouched. He sauntered to an easy victory that left his dominance unquestioned against the sport's fastest-rising star.

Now what?

Who out there can give Mayweather a run for his money? If Alvarez can't hold a candle to the champ, what boxer can?

Contrary to judge C.J. Ross' belief, Mayweather dominated Canelo in front of a packed MGM Grand Garden Arena audience. According to CompuBox, Mayweather connected on 46 percent of his total punches to Alvarez's 22, landing more strikes in each round.

Against a powerful opponent who won 30 of his previous 42 bouts via knockout, Mayweather hit 20 more power punches. The pound-for-pound king successfully defended that title in Las Vegas, and the 23-year-old faced with the tall task of becoming the sport's newest superstar proved ill prepared to handle the daunting challenge.

Amir Khan has emerged as a possibility to face Mayweather next, but the 26-year-old has lost two of his past four fights to Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson. That track record doesn't speak well for him ending Mayweather's dynasty.

Then how about Garcia? He's undefeated at 27-0 with 16 knockouts, preluding Mayweather's win with a victory of his own over Lucas Matthysse. ESPN Dan Rafael thinks he makes the best choice.

Garcia has defied the odds before, upsetting Khan by knockout in 2012 and surprising Matthysse. So Garcia has shown he can rise to the occasion. Maybe, just maybe, he could do it again against Mayweather. I said maybe.

Even Garcia's supporter is not very convinced that he could shock the world against Mayweather. He is the most logical choice to box Mayweather next, but that would produce the same narrative of a hungry, young up-and-comer looking to take down the king, only to prove out of his element against a man against whom nobody can compare.

Of course, there are always murmurs about Manny Pacquiao. Fans have demanded this dream fight for years, but it has never came to fruition due to each boxer's excessive demands. 

Unfortunately, that ship has sailed. Even if the two parties set aside their differences and finally agree to square off, it would be too little too late at this juncture of Pacquiao's career.

While Mayweather has not shown any negative signs of aging at 36, Pacquiao is deteriorating in his latter years. He has lost his past two matches, most recently suffering a sixth-round knockout against Juan Manuel Marquez.

The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would shatter any viewing records garnered last week, and for a while skeptics would lay off Money for finally rising to the challenge. Then he would turn the dream match into another runaway victory, disappointing everyone who expected the match of the millennium.

And then what?

Nobody can stay on top of the food chain forever. Eventually the next big thing will come along as Mayweather fades into the background. Maybe Alvarez or Garcia surpasses Mayweather in a few years with some more fine tuning. Maybe the next superstar is still in hiding.

As of now, nobody is close to taking down Mayweather.