Who should be Mayweather’s next opponent?
By Rameez Haider: With Floyd Mayweather Jr. due to fight in May, all roads seem to be leading to Amir Khan. There are not many people in the world who would agree that Khan warrants this fight, especially considering he has not even actually fought at welterweight.But this fight will make sense in terms of the revenue as some will want to watch Mayweather display his boxing skills again, some will watch to hope Mayweather loses and the British public will watch in the hope that Khan can be the man to inflict Mayweather’s 1st loss, which might I add I can’t see happening at all.
But taking the politics, the revenues, the promotional rivalries etc away, who has actually earned the right to fight Mayweather?
The 1st name that people seem to mention is Manny Pacquiao. Naturally after all the talk of the two fighting, the grumbling from the public will not go away, but people need to look at the facts. This fight should have happened a long time ago and whether people say one was avoiding the other etc, people need to see that both parties were to blame for this. This is a fight that I would have loved to have seen and one I do believe Mayweather would have won. But this is about now, and the fact is Pacquiao lost to Bradley, lost badly to Marquez and has got a victory against an opponent who was made to fit in Rios and who acted like a punch bag in Macau. If you look at these facts an argument can be made that he is less deserving than Khan for the Mayweather fight, Khan has won his last 2 fights and all be it they were poor opponents and he struggled in his last fight, the fact is he won them. In my opinion at this moment in time neither is deserving of the accolade, though I think a Pacquiao vs. Khan fight would be fairly interesting and would give the winner more credibility in facing Mayweather.
The next name people have mentioned is Gennady Golovkin, though this is a fight I don’t see getting made down to the fact the names Golovkin has beaten are not of a high enough standard, though I do think it would be an excellent fight and one which could be very interesting. I hope to see Golovkin move up to challenge Andre Ward which I think would be an exceptional match up. People will argue that Mayweather would not take this fight as it is a risk, but people said that over and over again about Canelo and we all saw the outcome there. People have also mentioned Lara in the equation but I feel he needs at least 3 more fights against top quality opposition to get into a position to face Mayweather. However I do think Lara vs. Canelo would make for an excellent fight but one which will be too risky for Canelo considering how he fared against a skilled boxer in Mayweather and Lara does carry some similarities to Mayweather.
The boxer who I feel deserve the chance to try and unlock the Mayweather code would be Timothy Bradley. In his last 3 fights he has defeated Pacquiao, whether controversial or not the fact is he won, he then showed true heart to beat the now champion Ruslan Provodnikov in an epic fight and then went on to beat Marquez in great style. In doing so Bradley beat 3 champions and this is the kind of performance that warrants a shot at Mayweather. Whether Bradley would be a big enough attraction at the box office is irrelevant, the fact is he is the one who has the best C.V. at this moment in time. Matthysse
Another fighter who should also be in contention is Danny Garcia, all be it he has fought at light welterweight, the way in which he has beaten all comers in Khan, Morales, Matthysse etc should put him into contention as a potential contender for Mayweather’s next opponent. But I think some interesting match-ups would be Garcia vs. Shawn Porter and Maidana vs. Thurman, with the winners facing each other. This would leave one stand alone candidate with the credentials at welterweight to go on to face Mayweather.
Unfortunately boxing is now a business and the fights that make business sense are the ones which will end up being the ones which are made and this is why fighters like Khan and Pacquiao, who in my opinion at this moment in time should not be in contention will keep getting mentioned and the fighters who have earned the right to be in contention will simply not be in the reckoning to crack the Mayweather code.