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Atlas: I want to see Mayweather fight Golovkin

David Lemieux Floyd Mayweather Jr Gennady Golovkin Teddy AtlasBy Dan Ambrose: ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas thinks Floyd Mayweather Jr. is going to temporarily retire after his next fight in September. Atlas sees it as the same type of retirement that we previously saw from Mayweather in 2007, when he stepped away from the sport for two years after his win over Ricky Hatton and didn’t return to the ring until 2009. Atlas thinks that there’s no way that Mayweather will stay out of the game permanently after his fight on September 12th of this year.

When Mayweather does come back, he thinks he should face WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) if he’s still unbeaten. Believe it or not, Atlas thinks Mayweather will out-box Golovkin when he returns from his mini-retirement.

“I think he’s going to go away [after September] like he did once before in his career, wait for the air to warm up a little bit, for people to get interested again to build some kind of fight to come back to and then he’ll come back.” Atlas told

There will definitely be a huge amount of interest in a Mayweather comeback if he waits a year or so. If he waits longer than that, then he might lose fans, and a lot of his own skills. It’s probably a really bad idea for Mayweather to stay out of the ring for more than a year and then come back to try and beat Golovkin. If Mayweather is going to face Golovkin, then he needs to do it now before he retires rather than waiting a year or two before he faces him.

Golovkin would be fighting all that time and staying sharp. When Mayweather returned from his retirement, he’d be facing a very dangerous Golovkin, who would still have all his skills intact. Even if Golovkin gets beaten by someone like Andre Ward, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, David Lemieux or Miguel Cotto, he’d still be very dangerous for a fighter like Mayweather to be facing aftere he makes a comeback in a couple of years from now.

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“[I want to see him fight] Golovkin, if Golovkin is still undefeated at that time. Why? Because i think he’s got the speed and the smarts to probably outsmart him, if he’s as great as everyone thinks he is.”

Even with Mayweather’s speed right now, it would be a very tough fight for him to face Golovkin, because he would be getting hit with a lot harder shots than he’s been hit with before. Mayweather has fought Canelo, Cotto, Manny Pacquiao and Marcos Maidana in the last three years, but none of them had the same kind of one-punch power that Golovkin has going for him.

It would be potentially devastating for Mayweather to be getting hit by the kinds of shots that Golovkin would be nailing him with the entire fight. Having great speed is a real asset for Mayweather, but he’s still very hittable, especially when he backs up to the ropes for any length of time. He can’t resist fighting like that even though his father/trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. tells him not to. It might only take one slipup on Mayweather’s part against Golovkin for him to be knocked out by the hard hitting Kazakhstan fighter. But Mayweather would be giving Golovkin countless opportunities to score a KO over him by continually backing up against the ropes and trying to fight him from that vantage point.

“The [Tommy] Hearns, the Sugar Ray Leonards, the Pernell Whitakers, they all did that,” said Atlas. “They moved up to heavier weights and they won with dangerous guys. So if he wants that hat [with the ‘The Best Ever’ moniker] to be more than just initials and a money maker for him and he wants it to stand for more than that, then do that [fight Golovkin]. Then he’d get my vote!”

Mayweather moved up to junior middleweight and beat an inexperienced and flat-footed Canelo in 2013, but doing that with Golovkin would be a much different story. Mayweather wouldn’t have to move up to middleweight to fight Golovkin because he already said he’d spot Mayweather a six pound handicap by him coming down from 160 to fight him at 154. Mayweather wouldn’t have to worry about Golovkin coming into the fight with a huge 15-20 pound weight advantage over him.

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Canelo weighs more than Golovkin does despite the fact that 24-year-old fighter insists on fighting junior middleweights at catch-weights of 155lbs. Golovkin would be ready to fight Mayweather at 154, and you couldn’t say that Mayweather is being any more brave than he was when he fought Canelo, because Golovkin weighs less than Canelo. But the real question is would Mayweather be able to take Golovkin’s hard power shots for an entire fight? I don’t know that he would. Mayweather has a lot of bad habits that he’s been able to get away with in the last few years of his career, and I think Golovkin would take advantage of those bad habits to knock him out as soon as he backs up to the ropes and tries to play his rope-a-dope strategy.

Golovkin has a fight coming up two months from now against IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) on October 17th on HBO pay-per-view. That fight will help identify where Golovkin is will be heading in the years to come. If he can’t get past Lemieux, then there will be no point in Mayweather fighting Golovkin, because he’ll have Lemieux problems that he’ll need to take care of.

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