Mayweather could struggle to sell Sept 12
By Gav Duthie: Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather will have to put on his best sales attire to convince the public to fork out their hard earned cash on Sept 12 if he is to fight Karim Mayfield or Andre Berto.
Nothing Floyd does is by accident and I think he is floating out ideas to see if anyone bites. In the last week he has mentioned Mayfield as well as discussed the resurgence of Berto. He has also suggested to top welterweights Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman that they face Errol Spence Jnr on his undercard which they have both refused. Floyd knows he needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat if he fights a lowly contender like Mayfield to get good pay-per-view numbers and I think he has his work cut out for him.
Floyd owes us little
As early as Floyd’s first interview after the Manny Pacquiao victory it was clear to me he wasn’t going to fight a top calibre opponent next. He talked about packing his undercard with big fights, music acts and fighting a ‘solid contender’. In my opinion Floyd was entitled to pick his opponent but I was thinking perhaps a Ruslan Provodnikov, Brandon Rios or Lucas Matthysse not Mayfield or Berto. If Floyd wants to fight Karim Mayfield then so be it but if he expects us to pay for it then he’s in trouble. If he thinks he can make $30 million from a fight like that then he is going to need to rely on other fights to sell the card.
Mayweather might find it difficult to entice the likes of Shawn Porter to fight Errol Spence Jnr on an undercard. Porter rightly feels he is a headline fighter now and should be entitled to fight Mayweather himself. He is certainly more qualified than the ones Floyd’s talking about. Fighters like Porter and Keith Thurman feel that there time on undercards is over so Al Haymon will need to get involved if this is to happen. If I was Shawn Porter I wouldn’t be fighting just to make money for Floyd Mayweather. 2.4 million people tuned into Shawn Porter – Adrien Broner so if Floyd is relying on these guys to boost numbers then they are entitled to a bigger slice of the pie surely. It is rumored that Mayweather client Badou Jack will defend his WBC Super Middleweight title against George Groves and Floyd will need more championships fights to entice the fans.
Trust after Pacquiao
Most writers and readers on boxingnews24 are boxing purists and hardcore fans so our trust in the sport will never waver. I can’t speak for the casual fan though but my feeling is the sport lost interest after the anti-climax of the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight. Many casual fans will be turned off Mayweather as a result and even some semi interested boxing fans won’t have heard of Karim Mayfield. This fight will have little interest outside the sphere of hardcore fans and they won’t be happy about it either.
A viable opponent
Karim Mayfield has probably been Googled more times over the weekend than in the rest of his entire career. If you gave me 50 guesses to come out with Floyd’s next opponent I still wouldn’t have thought of Mayfield. He has lost 2/3 against B-level opposition Thomas Dulorme and Emmanuel Taylor. Boxrec has him ranked #29 at light welterweight and #10 American fighter in the division. Andre Berto is a different story. Personally I would accept this fight. It wouldn’t excite me But I would accept it. Berto like Broner was tipped as the next big thing. In 2011 before Berto fought Victor Ortiz he would have actually been at the top of the list to fight Floyd. After his win over Josesito Lopez recently he was given the #1 ranking by the WBA. There are certainly others more deserving but it would be better than Mayfield.
I think Mayweather might still fight Amir Khan, Kell Brook or Shawn Porter but he is waiting to see the backlash of him naming opponents of such a low calibre. He may be teasing us all but the longer he leaves it the likes of Brook will fight Rios and other big names will pick other fights. Mayweather has never had good undercards, the show is usually always about him so it will be hard for this to change now.