Plotting Floyd Mayweather's Blockbuster Exit Strategy If September Is His Finale

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2015

Will Mayweather walk away in September?
Will Mayweather walk away in September?John Locher/Associated Press

Let’s assume Floyd Mayweather, age 38, will indeed hang up his gloves in September after fighting in the sixth and final fight of the record multi-bout megadeal he signed with Showtime back in 2013.

After all, according to Daily Mail’s Jeff Powell, Mayweather is considering exactly that.

“I’m pretty much done with all this,” Mayweather told Powell. “It’s not fun like it was back then. It’s business now. I don’t really enjoy it any longer. [I’ll fight a] final one at the MGM Grand in September.”

Shouldn’t we be gracious to Mayweather and help the self-proclaimed best boxer ever plot a blockbuster exit strategy for his self-imposed September finale? It seems the very least we could do.

Mayweather faces Pacquiao May 2.
Mayweather faces Pacquiao May 2.John Locher/Associated Press

Mayweather, of course, would want to make as much cash as possible in his final fight. After all, one does not leave money on the table if one knows the door to the room wherein the table lies is about to be closed and locked forever.

Mayweather is a successful man. He could very well continue that success at whatever he chooses to do next. But there is close to a 0 percent chance his earning potential increases with retirement from the sport that made him rich.

So “Money” Mayweather should sign up for the most lucrative fight possible.

But that hinges on something yet to be determined on May 2 when he faces Manny Pacquiao. Should Mayweather lose the long-awaited-for showdown, the odds of a rematch between the two best fighters of the era are absurdly high.

Will we see a Mayweather-Pacquiao 2?
Will we see a Mayweather-Pacquiao 2?Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

After all, if Mayweather’s record is blemished for the first time in his professional career by Pacquiao, wouldn’t the previously undefeated superstar have earned the right to avenge it by the sheer longevity of his excellence alone?

There would be no bigger fight than Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 for either man, and a win by Pacquiao over Mayweather would only serve to embolden him and his handlers, especially considering the win would likely give the Pacquiao side ammunition they need to increase the size of their split of the purse.

But Mayweather is a favorite over Pacquiao on May 2, so for argument’s sake let’s assume he comes away the winner. Having vanquished the one fighter of his era who had a legitimate argument for being the better pugilist, who would Mayweather turn to next?

Only two names make any sense both to his pocketbook and his historical legacy.

Mayweather-Cotto ?
Mayweather-Cotto ?Eric Jamison/Associated Press

A win over Pacquiao would make Mayweather simultaneously the lineal champion in two weight classes: Welterweight and junior middleweight. He would have vanquished all reasonable foes at 147 as well as the top ranked fighter at 154, Canelo Alvarez.

It would only make sense then, for the undefeated Mayweather to sincerely test his limits and fight at middleweight.

The only two options that make any sort of sense at 160 are lineal champion Miguel Cotto, who Mayweather previously defeated in 2012 at 154 pounds, and alphabet titleholder Gennady Golovkin.

While Cotto would offer Mayweather the chance to grab a historic fifth lineal division crown, Golovkin would give Mayweather the chance to do something really remarkable in that Golovkin is by and large considered the scariest fighter in all of boxing.

Let’s put it this way: Cotto is the true champion at 160, but Golovkin is the best fighter there. It’s why Cotto will go nowhere near Golovkin and why Mayweather choosing the latter, taking the hard road to a middleweight title belt, might ultimately lend him more credit among even the types of historians who earmark lineal title wins as top mark.

Golovkin is the most destructive force at middleweight.
Golovkin is the most destructive force at middleweight.Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Either way though, Mayweather fighting for a middleweight title would garner him a tremendous amount of money and respect among the fight community. It’s the right move if he beats Pacquiao on May 2 and has one more big fight to make.

And since we're offering Mayweather a blockbuster exit strategy, let's boil it all down to this: If Mayweather loses to Pacquiao on May 2, let's have Mayweather-Pacquiao 2.

If he defeats Pacquiao, let's hope for Mayweather-Golovkin.

It doesn't get any more blockbuster than that. 

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