Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Visit South Africa Hoping to Spark Interest in Boxing

Mick AkersAnalyst IJanuary 14, 2014

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14:  Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. watches on during the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 14, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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As the world waits on pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr. to announce his next opponent for his May 3 bout, the undefeated champ will be on an excursion to South Africa, hoping to spark interest in the sport of boxing in the area.

South African Sports Ministry spokesman, Paena Galane, told The Associated Press (via FoxSports.com) Mayweather’s six day trip will begin Wednesday and will see Mayweather visiting Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and East London, which is considered the hub of boxing in the area.

Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) is the sports brightest star, and having him serve as the representative to regenerate interest in the sweet science is a logical thing to do for the South African government.

The trip will benefit the region as boxing has been used around the world to help curb youth violence by getting children in the ring learning discipline and technique the sport of boxing has to offer.

Mayweather’s visit could help mold the next boxing prodigy as South Africa had a fair amount of success in the Olympics (winning 19 medals between 1908 and 1960) before being banned from competition due to the country’s apartheid policy from 1962 until the 1992 Barcelona games. The last time South Africa had an Olympic boxing medalist was in the 1960 Rome games when heavyweight Daniel Bekker won a silver medal and featherweight William Meyer won a bronze.

South Africa has also had its share of success in the professional ranks too, as the country has seen its fighters win 124 world titles since 1927, according to SuperSport.com.

The trip can help distract the attention surrounding questions of who Mayweather’s next foe will be for his May 3 bout to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. for at least the next week. As the case in the lead up to every Mayweather bout, speculation to just who the 45-0 fighter will face next is the hottest topic in boxing.

At this point of the “who will fight Mayweather next” saga, the leading candidate to give his go at handing Mayweather his first loss is British star Amir Khan, despite the media and fans giving their disapproval for the proposed bout.

Khan (28-2, 20 KOs) is seen as easy work by most, as the 27-year-old Khan has a questionable chin and went 2-2, including a TKO loss to Danny Garcia, in June 2012.

No matter what the case, any good publicity for Mayweather is good, as he has been in the media for mostly negative instances over the past several years which have tarnished his legacy in the eyes of many fans.