After a majority decision victory against Marcos Maidana on Saturday night in Las Vegas, the boxing world has already shifted its focus to Floyd Mayweather’s next bout and the best possible options for the world-renowned fighter.
Mayweather proved against Maidana that he still has the ability to use his defensive skill set to produce offense with his devastating counterpunching, and there are several marquee options for the fighter and his team as they look ahead to what’s next.
Here are the best possible options for Mayweather following Saturday’s main event against Maidana.
There is no bigger fight in the sport of boxing than a potential showdown between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
After two devastating losses for Pacquiao, he avenged them with two decisive victories in a row against Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley. Now, fans of the sport want to see these two all-time greats, who are widely considered the best of this generation, go head-to-head.
People have been clamoring for this fight for over five years, and Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, went on an amazing rant in early April, via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, regarding Mayweather and the potential dream fight:
Arum says Mayweather-Maidana is "encouraging the public to spend money on absolute crap."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 13, 2014
Arum continuing to lecture media about criticizing Mayweather-Maidana. Says it's the media's obligation to call it a crappy fight.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 13, 2014
Arum: "The only people who can make Floyd fight Manny is the public…by boycotting the fight on May 3rd." This is an epic Arum rant.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 13, 2014
Arum says he is ready "anytime" to negotiate a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 13, 2014
Arum says instead of Maidana, Mayweather should say he is fighting a tuneup fight and sign to fight @MannyPacquiao in the fall.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 13, 2014
If this fight were to come to fruition, it wouldn’t be the same spectacle it would have been five years ago. Both men are older, and the elite speed that they both still have has slowed a bit. Father Time has caught up with both men to some extent, and the bout would reflect that.
There is no doubt that the superfight would draw in huge pay-per-view numbers, but the in-ring battle wouldn’t live up to expectations. With Pacquiao lacking the elite power he once had and Mayweather unwilling to take any risks, this would be yet another decision.
Fans would want a definitive answer about which fighter is better after waiting so long, something they would be unlikely to get. Still, not many would complain if this bout finally took place.
After starting his career 26-1, everything was going Amir Khan’s way until he lost a split decision to Lamont Peterson in December 2011. He was subsequently TKO’d by Danny Garcia in his next fight, which took place in July 2012. His hopes of being a top fighter in the division were put on hold as a result of those defeats, but he is officially back.
With victories over Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz in his last two fights coming into Saturday, and considering the way he performed against Luis Collazo, it is clear that he is on the right track and worthy of a fight against Mayweather.
Mayweather and Khan have already built up quite a bit of drama on Twitter:
... each other on my show and you win (which you won’t)... I'll fight you. pic.twitter.com/7sZIKYWq1D— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) March 3, 2014
FM is full of shit. Just like ' my next opponent ' Poll.— Amir Khan (@AmirKingKhan) March 3, 2014
This fight builds itself.
The problem for Khan is that he is too wild and sporadic. Mayweather thrives on his opponents’ mistakes and will punish the challenger if he isn’t deadly accurate. Khan’s inability to defend well enough to avoid big shots will ultimately give Mayweather the chance to land a devastating counterpunch and end the fight early.
For fans who want to see Mayweather knock someone out again, Khan is the best option.
There were many who doubted the power of Maidana coming into Saturday’s fight, but he proved that he is one of the best in the division and gave Mayweather a tough fight.
Whom would you like to see Floyd Mayweather fight next?
Few fighters get another shot at Mayweather, but Maidana has earned it.
It will be hard to sell a PPV headlined by a Mayweather vs. Maidana main event after fans just saw it, but from a pure in-ring perspective, the rematch would be one of the most entertaining fights of the year as viewers anticipate how each fighter will adapt to the other.
*Stats via BoxRec.com.