Floyd Mayweather says he's fighting just one more time, fulfilling his record contract with CBS Sports and Showtime, and making it six fights in three years, which many of us were skeptical he'd actually achieve when he signed the deal in early 2013.
The next fight is set for September, tentatively. Mayweather (48-0, 26 KO) is coming off of the biggest win of his storied career, beating Manny Pacquiao convincingly this past Saturday night. But the fight left a lot of people a little underwhelmed, to say the last, and there's a problem for Mayweather's next fight, too: nobody really jumps out as the fighter Floyd needs to face.
Why? Well, because Floyd Mayweather has beaten everyone who might make sense. He put away Pacquiao, his five-year press rival. He's already beaten Juan Manuel Marquez, who is the only other fighter whose resumé is close to their level in the appropriate weight classes. He's beaten Miguel Cotto. He's beaten Canelo Alvarez, the young fighter assumed to be inheriting the dollar throne once Floyd and Manny do step down for good.
Then there are the boxing politics. More likely than not, Floyd will be facing someone from within Al Haymon's stable. And there's really no chance he'll be fighting anyone signed to HBO, either, since HBO and Showtime will probably not be talking to each other for another 10-15 years, or whenever the next fight they have to make will be.
So who does that leave? Here's the list of candidates we'll go with:
- Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KO): Would probably be the clear frontrunner if not for the fact that he won't fight in September due to Ramadan. There is a chance that Mayweather could push a fight back until November/December to accommodate Khan, but that would be entirely Mayweather's call, and it doesn't seem likely. Amir's last chance to face Floyd might have died when the Pacquiao fight was made.
- Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KO): Young, hungry fighter, undefeated and has good power, plus a nice overall skill set. A good talker who has done his bit to put the matchup into the minds of boxing fans over the last year.
- Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KO): Holds the only title that Mayweather doesn't claim at welterweight, but that probably doesn't matter much at all since Mayweather says he plans to give up all of his titles before his last fight.
- Danny Garcia (30-0, 17 KO): Even though he's lost a little luster over his last three fights (two of which could be argued as gift victories), he is the undefeated champion at 140 pounds, and he's ready to go to 147. Plus, like, Angel Garcia and Floyd Mayweather Sr verbal battles? Come on.
- Lucas Matthysse (37-3, 34 KO): A fan favorite, an action fighter, and someone who has said he wanted the winner. What might kill this idea: Matthysse is with Golden Boy Promotions, and actually spurned Al Haymon to sign an extension with them earlier this year. Lucas might not be on Haymon's short list of people he wants to help make money.
Those are the guys we'll go with for the poll choices, but here are some other people who are professional boxers.
- Genandy Golovkin (32-0, 29 KO): I mean, you know, it'd be interesting. And ballsy. So...
- Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KO): This crazy old man floated the idea of a catchweight fight with Mayweather in 2014, but, like, no.
- Chris Algieri (20-1, 8 KO): If he were to beat Khan on May 29, letting him out the cage against Mayweather is fathomable, I guess. I mean, Robert Guerrero fought Mayweather a couple years ago, why not?
- Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KO): What better way to repay someone for his service in setting Mayweather up with opponents in 2011 and 2013?
- Anthony Mundine (47-6, 26 KO): It's now or never, Floyd. Can you truly consider your legacy secure without fighting "The Man"? And maybe that "perforated eardrum" thing is only a diversion. Perhaps Floyd's team has already reached out.
- Victor Ortiz (30-5-2, 23 KO): Yeah, he hasn't beaten anyone decent in four years. So what? Do you NOT want to see if he'll start a riot with a flagrant headbutt or dropkick?
WHO R U PICKING?