Who will be the next megastar?
By Angel Flowers: Every boxer in the game today would rather be the next Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, or Canelo Alvarez instead of celebrated fighters like Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, or Julio Cesar Chavez.
The reason behind this comes down to money, not skill. Each of the last three is in the Boxing Hall of Fame and are remembered as being tough fighters who at one time in their careers were considered the best.
The first three I named made far more money, and all three will also be admitted into the boxing Hall of Fame.
The working of the boxing game has changed, and many good fighters want to make the money; they want the mega-money that comes from being a megastar. The problem is that not many are willing to do what it takes once they have a little fame.
There is no doubt that there are some talented fighters who are competing at the highest level. Errol Spence, Gennadiy Golovkin, and Teofimo Lopez, to name a few.
But being a talented boxer is not enough to become a Mega Star; you have to fight and beat not only other talented boxers you have to go up in weight class for every weight class except heavyweight and fight who is there, not the fight that would make the most money.
The problem with most talented boxers is that they refuse to fight the best once they have a little fame. The road to mega-stardom has instructions; so far, only three fighters still competing have followed the directions.
The first is Manny Pacquiao. Manny started as a light flyweight and went all the way up to light middleweight and fought men larger than himself.
He has fought tough fights the entire first half of his career, going head up with big names like Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonia Barrera, and Erik Morales.
All three were very tough fights against very talented boxers before he was given his shot to fight Oscar De La Hoya. Manny didn’t over and over again call out megastars; he built himself into one with tough fights until he got his big break.
Manny defeated an old De La Hoya and used his newfound stardom to continue facing big names like Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Tim Bradley, and Shane Mosely.
This solidified Manny as a megastar, and his bank account reflects it. It was then that he was able to fight boxing’s other Mega Star in Floyd Mayweather and make over $120 Million. Now Pacquiao calls his own shots, just like Boxing’s other two megastars, Anthony Joshua and Saul Alvarez.
Saul Alvarez is no doubt the money fighter. He built his career from the ground up and started out as a junior welterweight and went all the way up to light heavyweight, and took on dangerous fights that many would warn against while he was young.
He fought a dangerous Austin Trout along with Erislandy Lara and finally Gennadiy Golovin, twice.
I am sure many critics will point out that Alvarez got a little home cooking on the scorecards, but it does not take away from his willingness to fight tough fighters for little or the same money he would get from fighting nobodies.
Alvarez has continued to prove himself and does not have another megastar he could reasonably fight in a big match. This leads us to the other two mega stars in boxing today.
Both Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have repeatedly taken on the tough fights. Both fought Vladimir Klitschko and have taken really tough fights since.
Fury went after and knocked out Deontay Wilder, the man with the most devastating punch in boxing. After being knocked seemingly unconscious in the first fight, Fury got off the canvas and secured a draw.
In the next fight, Fury went out there and knocked him out and now wants Joshua. Joshua has fought tough fighters that not many people signed up against.
The problem with talented boxers around now is that none of them want to do what needs to be done. There are a few people that can become megastars; the problem is that they don’t want to take the next step.
Teofimo Lopez is in a position to become a megastar without fighting another megastar. He has plenty of talented boxers around his weight class that he can take on to prove himself as the best. Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, and Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lopez has already beaten Lomachenko and has refused a rematch. If he were a megastar, then he would be correct. Still, he isn’t. Manny rematched Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, and Marco Antonio Barrera when he was a champion but not yet a megastar to prove he wasn’t scared.
Canelo did the same thing against Gennadiy Golovkin. By Lomachenko refusing the match, the only thing that would save face was if he moves up to 140 and grabs a championship.
If not, then he absolutely has to fight one of the people in his weight class. Staying in the weight class means that he has to take on two dangerous fights, Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson.
I am not saying that they are the best, just the most dangerous. Both are extremely talented, and both would not bring any sizable bump in pay.
If Teofimo challenges them and wins, then I could see him in a big-money fight with Gervonta Davis and/or Ryan Garcia that would make him a megastar. Just looking at what he has said since the Lomachenko fight, I do not ever expect him to be a megastar by fighting the tough fights.
Errol Spence is someone else that could be a megastar. He has the record and has come up from lower weight classes. Spence just has one glaring hole on his record; he hasn’t fought Terence Crawford.
If Spence stops talking money and faces and beats a fighter like Crawford, I can see him going up in weight to face someone like Demetrius Andrade for his middleweight championship and then on to a mega star-making fight with either Saul Alvarez or Golovkin.
Based on his comments about Crawford, Spence wants none of him for reasons this writer can’t comprehend. The money he could make afterward would be astronomical. Instead, Spence has stated a willingness to fight Saul Alvarez; I doubt that fight ever gets made because Spence has nothing Alvarez wants.
Anyone of the Light heavyweight champions can be a megastar; all both have to do is stop worrying about fighting the much smaller Saul Alvarez and fight each other.
Dimitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev should take on each other and then decide what to do. Both could go down in weight and secure a championship or go up to cruiserweight or WBC’s new Bridgerweight class and grab a title.
This is the only way either man gets a shot at Canelo. Neither has put in the time, and both could walk down the street in New York and would not be recognized by anyone.
The Light Heavyweight Division has a problem similar to the middleweight division when it comes to being a megastar, no one wants to take on dangerous fights, and all just think they should be next to fight Saul Alvarez.
There are some great fights in the middleweight division; there is no reason Golovkin hasn’t fought Jermall Charlo other than the fact that he doesn’t want to take a fight that tough.
Charlo himself should just do what Alvarez did if he wants the big money. Go up to super middleweight, go up to light heavyweight, winning titles in both, and then he would definitely get the fight with Alvarez.
I see Charlo doing the same thing Golovkin has done for his career, refusing to face anyone who could possibly beat him and holding out and hoping a megastar would face him.
That is the reason Golovkin wanted none of retired Andre Ward, why he never went up to win a title at light-middleweight and never faced a middleweight champion that could beat him like Charlo, Billy Jo Saunders, or Andrade.
In closing, there are great fights to be had. There are easy ways to secure a fight with a megastar as well; you just have to be worth it. Errol Spence, Golovkin, Beterbiev, Bivol, Andrade, and Charlo are just some of the few who is chasing a fight with Alvarez.
If all those people fought each other, I am sure the winner would get Alvarez. As is, each would rather cry about how they should be next and how Alvarez must be scared of them.
They are all scared to face each other. In boxing’s golden division at heavyweight, there are also many talented boxers who all want to face Joshua, do not be swayed by their ranking.
If Oleksander Usyk were given a chance to face Dillian White for the WBO title or face Joshua with no title on the line, Usyk would go for Joshua.
Usyk, Wilder, White, and Ruiz, and many others want the big money fight. However, they should just face each other until there is only one standing. From there, they could face Joshua; I doubt any of those boxers will do that, though.
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- Devin Haney: I don’t need you, Teofimo Lopez
- PRO/CON: López, Davis, García, and Haney Will Make Lightweight Boxing’s Glamour Division in 2021, Jones Bros. Debate