Money where art thou??
Greetings and salutations boxing fans! How is everyone holding up? I am highly aware that this great sport is entering that point in the year where the high profile promotions are going to be coming at us week in and week out. I was watching the HBO telecast of Mosley/Mayorga, HBO spent about 10 min previewing their upcoming cards and while the fights look good on paper there is something missing. Actually there is a person missing. He is about 5 foot 8, has radar like reflexes, and is worth about 130 million dollars. His Name is Floyd Mayweather. The reason the sport has lost some of its sizzle is the simple fact that the best Pugilist in the sport is not competing. I had the luxury of viewing a presser for the Oscar/Manny Press tour stop in NYC. The fight while being good for boxing seems like it is lacking. There is no dividing force, no polarizing figure, no bad guy, no reason other then the combat to tune in. I think again that Oscar/Manny Fight is great for boxing but the stale vibe that it is giving off screams that it is time for something. It is time for Floyd Mayweather to either choose another opponent or for one to present themselves. The intrigue that goes into a Mayweather promotion has no peer in the sport going back to the late eighties when Mike Tyson was cleaning up the Heavyweight division. Floyd has decided to take sometime off and with his merit he has that right,however,if he wants to be remembered as one of the greatest fighters that ever lived he has to take on at least one more top tier fighter possibly two. I have done some thinking on Mayweather’s inevitable return to the ring and I have outlined 4 potential opponents. Someone who wants to be in the ring with Floyd must be a Crem de la Crem Prizefighter. Even if they have faded a little bit they must have a super above average resume and MUST stand a fighting chance. As we go about this list try and remember that all of these guys are one impressive victory away from a super fight with Floyd BUT they need that one victory to put themselves in position. The last thing you need in order to challenge Mr. Pound for pound is earning potential. Floyd these days swims in his money like that duck from the cartoon and to make him leave that pool of money there had better be more money waiting at that destination. Here are four possible paths for Floyd Joy Sinclair in no particular order
1. Ricky Hatton: Current Ring Magazine Linear Super lightweight world champion
I have been very critical of Richard Hatton in the last year. His performance in his last fight was very shaky. He was hurt several times and could not seem to get out of the way of anything. Even with his bounce back victory there is a 500 pound elephant in the room when it comes to Manchester’s finest. He looks shot, it seems like already at the tender age of 29 that Hatton’s career is currently in its preliminary descent. He has been pushing for a rematch with Mr. Floyd for about a year now and I have to ask why. Floyd could really hurt Hatton this time around BUT, with the way that Ricky can bring in the money and the fact that the pound far outweighs the Dollar, I can see Floyd taking a fight in England for two reasons. One the currency over there could really line his pockets AND it’s a low risk fight because the sun is setting on Richard Hatton’s overrated career. Hatton must pass his title defense Nov 22nd but this fight could happen in the spring of 2009
2.Sugar Shane Mosley:Current Top 5 welterweight contender
Sugar’s sensational knockout was great for boxing. He took a lackluster HBO card and made the best of it. When he knocked out Ricardo the crowd of 5,000 sounded like a crowd of 20,000. He has great speed, ring generalship,and the ability to pick it up down the stretch. This is by far one of the most dangerous fights for Floyd. Not only because Shane has the tools to beat him, but because Shane has the extreme motivation to do so. Sugar is in search of a career defining victory and Golden Boy promotions is already pushing for this fight but it is hard to believe they can offer the 20 million that it will take to get Floyd in the ring. To bad
3.Oscar Del Hoya:current 2nd ranked Junior middle weight in the world
Oscar has been beating the Floyd Drum since he lost to him early last year. I can see why Floyd didn’t not want to fight Oscar in the end. While it would be a great payday Oscar’s awful performance against Steve Forbes makes a 2ndfight with Oscar a big risk for Floyd. Not because Floyd could lose but because if he wins people will point to Oscar being done as a fighter. In a way the only way that Floyd could win is to not fight him. The problem with that notion is that Oscar will be able to put 30 million in Floyd’s pocket. I hear Floyd bought a jet, even in this economy. With extravagant spending like that I can see Floyd fighting Oscar to maintain his dutchess like lifestyle.
4.Manny Pacquio: Current Lightweight Champion
This to me is the only fight that Floyd should be fighting. Manny presents the most unique of challenges if he were to confront Floyd. Manny has fought at very low weights and will not even venture into welterweight territory until this December. The point is he will employ a type of speed not seen by Floyd since his days as a lightweight. Manny(who should beat Oscar) also has extreme earning potential and when he beats Oscar his popularity will tap into the American mainstream. Manny is a very good guy,however,with every win he registers I see a change in his demeanor. I don’t know if he is reading his own press clippings or if he knows he is the best active fighter in the world. Whatever the personal reform he now has an edge to him that makes this fight one that could change boxing. I don’t know if Manny is the man that could take down Floyd, But, I do know that if he gets by this test December 6th he will emerge as the most viable candidate to get a crack at greatness
All of these fighters have a case to be the next fighter to try and do the impossible. I don’t agree with the fact that two of these guys are in line for a shot, however, Money talks and Floyd as we all know loves his booty. I can only hope that Floyd fights soon because boxing is not the same. I also wish to comment on the announcers over at HBO. I such respect and admiration for Larry Merchant and Max Kellerman. However their behavior in wake of Floyd retirement is nothing short of disgusting. When Zab “Super” Judah fought Joshua Clottey August 4thon “Boxing After Dark” Max Kellerman went on this 5 min tangent about how fake of a champion Floyd is. It was like he resented Floyd for being successful. Instead of focusing on the fighters who still need to make their mark he sat there on his new HBO pulpit and bashed a man that has never said a bad word about him. On HBO’S latest Telecast last weekend Larry Merchant(who I love otherwise) took a jab at Floyd during the fight that was very unprofessional,almost hateful. It seems he has a problem with Floyd that is personal beyond reason. The scary part about this is Floyd was recently quoted by his hometown newspaper on this very subject. Floyd believes that the commentators are racist towards African American fighters, and when they go off the reservation in the way they have been it begs the question, is Floyd right? I came very close to writing a piece on this subject but racism in this country makes me sick, even talking about it, so I decided not too but I think due attention must be paid to both Floyd’s words and the conduct of Larry merchant and Max Kellerman. Take care boxing fans and see you next week