Floyd Mayweather is four days removed from his last fight, so he’s not exactly in a rush to pick out his next opponent. Lucky for him, he doesn’t have to. As the media has for years now, it will dissect any and every available option, weed out the guys that make no sense, offer some logical suggestions, and then let the undefeated champ make the final decision.
After fighting twice in one year for the first time since 2007, Mayweather left everyone with a very clear image of what works and what doesn’t. He was signed by Showtime to the most lucrative boxing deal in the history of the sport because he’s the biggest draw in combat sports. Not just in boxing – in all of combat sports.
Unfortunately, as good as he is at stirring up controversy over nothing, even he can’t work magic. As we saw with the Robert Guerrero fight, if you don’t place a credible foe opposite him, no matter what sort of marketing machine you employ to promote the bout, fans won’t shell out $65 apiece.
So what does that mean for the future? It means that, for all intents and purposes, Mayweather’s next opponent will be determined by name recognition – not skills.
Danny Garcia has been mentioned over the past few days as the most logical next challenger for Mayweather, but his tiny fan base makes him a last resort, not a first choice. And with the Guerrero debacle fresh in his mind, it’s unlikely that Mayweather will go that route if there are any better options available.
Fortunately for him, there are better options available.
Manny Pacquiao, Devon Alexander and Amir Khan are all scheduled to fight over the next two months. That means, barring some serious injury, the winners would be available for a Cinco de Mayo showdown against the undefeated champion.
The ideal match-up would be Mayweather versus Pacquiao, for several reasons. One, because obviously that fight sells itself. Two, whereas Alexander and Khan are still young, Pacquiao has (at most) two fights left in him. And three, because between Mayweather-Pacquiao and Mayweather’s end-of-2014 fight, a more interesting challenger may spring up on the scene sort of the way Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez did.
If Pacquiao loses to Brandon Rios or can’t come to terms with Mayweather, then the winner of Alexander-Khan will suffice.