Floyd Mayweather appears to have made up his mind about who his next opponent will be.
The Sweet Science’s Michael Woods passed along comments made by Mayweather at the BET Awards on Sunday night, where boxing’s top earner finally let his intentions be known.
“September 13th, back to business, Marcos Maidana-Floyd Mayweather part two, and then in May, I’ll have a big surprise for you, everybody tune in,” Mayweather said.
The bout is an immediate rematch.
Mayweather defeated Maidana by majority decision on May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Judges Burt Clements (117-111) and Dave Moretti (116-112) both scored the bout for Mayweather, while Michael Pernick had the fight even (114-114).
But is it the right move for Mayweather at this stage of his career?
Mayweather, 37, appears to be on the tail end of an illustrious ring life that has remained unblemished. Mayweather is undefeated through 46 professional fights and considered the best boxer in the world.
Woods believes Mayweather is making the right move:
I agree with the Maidana choice, if that comes to fruition. Maidana deserves the scrap, I think, being that he did better against Floyd than anyone since Jose Luis Castillo. Can he do better in the rematch? I'm doubtful...but what do I and everyone else saying that really know, being that most of us thought he'd win maybe a round in the first tangle. And also, maybe Floyd's legs are getting gray, and in fact, a physical decline is accelerating, and the Argentine can finish the job in September.
Noted boxing artist Amanda Kelly shared similar sentiments. Kelly believes Maidana’s intangibles can make Mayweather even more uncomfortable the second time around than the first:
I'm excited to see how Floyd deals with Maidana's lack of respect and brutality this time.— Amanda Kelley (@kelley_AK) July 1, 2014
Not everyone is so sure.
Perhaps best representing the ho-hum attitude of some in the boxing world about the announcement was boxing writer Eric Raskin.
Raskin doesn’t seem to care for the fight and doesn't believe Maidana has much of a chance:
Mayweather-Maidana II, huh? Not the best option. Not the worst option. Makes sense if you only watched the first half of their first fight.— Eric Raskin (@EricRaskin) July 1, 2014
The bout is not yet officially signed, sealed and delivered. Maidana indicated via Twitter that talks between both camps were still ongoing:
At the time of this writing, Mayweather had not announced the bout via any of his social media accounts.
Let’s face it, though: Is there really anyone else out there for Mayweather to fight?
A close look at Mayweather’s limited options reveal Maidana was just about the only logical choice for September. After all, Mayweather refuses to do business with Bob Arum and Top Rank. That immediately strikes guys like Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley from the list of candidates.
Moreover, it would seem a rematch with Miguel Cotto for the Puerto Rican’s recently won middleweight championship might be hard to make, too. While not signed exclusively to the company, Cotto uses Top Rank to promote his fights, and Mayweather probably wouldn’t want to venture all the way up to 160 pounds anyway.
Where Cotto is the type of fighter to seek great risks, Mayweather is not.
Good fights seem to loom for relative up-and-comers Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman, assuming the two highly touted welterweights keep on winning. But neither has yet established himself as Mayweather-worthy just yet.
And then there’s Amir Khan. Oh sure, he has fast enough hands and a big enough name. But Khan just hasn’t seemed to grasp yet that almost no one wants to see him fight Mayweather. Guys who get knocked out cold by the likes of Breidis Prescott don’t warrant a date with the best fighter on the planet.
Lineal junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia might present an interesting option for Mayweather. But Garcia seems more intent on staying active than landing big fights against the world’s best. Garcia scraped by Mauricio Herrera last time out and is now scheduled to tussle with the unheralded Rod Salka in what appears to be a buildup card to an eventual showdown with Lamont Peterson.
So what was Mayweather supposed to do?
A rematch with Maidana was the right career move for Mayweather because it’s the only fight that makes any sort of sense.
The first bout was compelling enough to warrant a rematch. Maidana has a crowd-pleasing style, and Mayweather should have enough skill to ward the Argentinean off again in another raucously entertaining fight.
Kelsey McCarson contributes to Bleacher Report, The Sweet Science and Boxing Channel.