Floyd Mayweather Jr. has two to three years of boxing left in him. He is only 35 years old and there is obviously a chance that the undefeated champ will fight until 40 like Juan Manuel Marquez, but that is very unlikely. He was noticeably less impressive in the Miguel Cotto fight, and while he still walked away from that match with a clear-cut victory, it wasn’t by as wide of a margin as folks have come to expect.
Given how important Mayweather’s undefeated streak and reputation are to him, it’s safe to say that he will quit the sport as soon as he feels like he is susceptible to defeat. Hence the estimate of two to three years.
Taking into account the glacial pace at which Mayweather likes to set his fights, two to three years means two to three fights. It is hard to imagine that, after four consecutive years of only fighting once per year, he would suddenly ramp that up.
If we accept the general premise that Mayweather has two to three fights left in him, the obvious question is: who will he square off against?
Well, to start: Robert Guerrero. Even though that bout has taken ridiculously long to put together, that is the smart play. Mayweather wants to fight in May. He won’t fight Timothy Bradley on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo – regardless of the speculation currently floating around the internet. That leaves Guerrero or Canelo Alvarez. The latter is too dangerous of an opponent for Mayweather right now, and he is well aware of it. Guerrero is the right guy for this year.
After that: Canelo. Ideally Mayweather would probably love to fit another match between Guerrero and Alvarez just in case he ends up losing, but that likely won’t happen. The bout against Alvarez, when it finally happens in 2014, will be Mayweather’s most highly anticipated in a very long time.
Finally: Manny Pacquiao. At age 38, Mayweather will either be trying to come back strong after a loss to Canelo or he will want to go out on top. Pacquiao has declined dramatically over the past two years and would likely be no match for Mayweather at that point. The names would sell this one – not the skill level on display.