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Mayweather says Pacquiao will be best fighter in world after he retires

Andre Berto Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny PacquiaoBy Chris Williams: Unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KOs) is already naming his successor for who will step into his spot as the world’s best fighter once he retires from boxing after this Saturday’s clash with Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mayweather, 38, thinks that former eight division Manny Pacquiao will slide in to become best fighter in the sport once he’s gone. It took Mayweather about a minute to come up with the opinion that Pacquiao will be the guy that will be taking over after he retires.

I think Mayweather is giving Pacquiao too much credit. If Mayweather means who will be the top money maker after he leaves, then you can say that Pacquiao will still be head of the likes of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Miguel Cotto in that department, because he’s a bigger pay-per-view fighter than those fighters. But if Mayweather is talking about the top fighter in terms of youth and talent, then you can’t say it’s Pacquiao.

Pacquiao would likely fall apart if he had to face someone like Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana or Shawn Porter. I can’t see the Filipino star beating any of those guys.

“I don’t know, really. We can’t really say. We’re just going to have to wait to see…probably Manny Pacquiao,” Mayweather said to the media when asked who will take over as the No.1 fighter in the world when he retires after the Berto fight. “We can’t just take that away from him. We just can’t take that away from him because he lost to me. I will say Manny Pacquiao.”

I don’t think Pacquiao has enough left to the No.1 fighter in boxing. Yes, he’ll still have a huge following for his remaining one or two fights before he likely retires at the end of 2016, but I don’t think he’s better than the new crop of welterweights that have emerged. I don’t think Pacquiao is better than some of the top fighters in the other weight classes either. Pacquiao is just a fighter who is living off of yesterday’s accomplishments. We saw Pacquiao leave his prime behind years ago when he was stopped in the 6th round by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.

I’d say Pacquiao is probably the 4th or 5th best welterweight in the division right now. I’d rank him behind Thurman, Porter, Khan, Maidana and Errol Spence Jr.

When asked if Errol Spence Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs) could wind up as the No.1 welterweight to take over for him, Mayweather said “Eventually. He’s [Spence] one of the top guys, who will make a lot of noise in the sport, but it takes more than being able to fight. We got a heavyweight out there who has a lot of knockouts, and he still has a household name, so it takes a lot,” Mayweather said.

Spence is facing Chris Van Heerden (23-1-1, 12 KOs) this Friday night in a 10 round bout on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike from the Ricoh Coliseum, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Spence-Van Heerden fight is on the Adonis Stevenson vs. Tommy Karpency card. This will be Spence’s chance to show that he’s the guy that can take over the welterweight division once Mayweather retires from boxing.

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