(Cool main image by HECZAR DESIGNS)
Is May 2014 the right time?
Fight Maidana next; He's hot
Floyd should fight Maidana while the Argentine is hot and capitalize off the latter's tremendous momentum. It's a fight any hardcore fan of boxing would love and would be an intriguing match-up stylistically.
For the exception of one Filipino superstar, Floyd Mayweather, for the most part, has been wise about selecting quality opponents who have had enough proverbial juice to help sell an event.
Although fans criticize Floyd for "hand-picking" opponents, they were hot at the time, like Maidana is today.
No one wanted to see Mayweather vs Marquez/ Ortiz / Cotto/ Canelo?
The PPV numbers tell a different story.
Unlike Amir Khan today, those fighters generated tremendous buzz and Mayweather and Golden Boy reaped the benefits.
Today, Maidana has far more momentum than Khan.
Fight Maidana next; Storyline
While hardcore fans may salivate over the prospect of Mayweather vs Maidana, the casual fan may need a little extra incentive to drop coin on such an event should it happen in May.
Storylines sell and Floyd and Golden Boy should capitalize on the revenge factor as it relates to the Mayweather-Broner big brother-little brother relationship while Maidana's victory is still fresh in everyone's minds.
Mayweather vs Maidana offers several themes that, if marketed well, would capture the imagination of casual boxing fans as well the interest on non-fans, making it a highly lucrative event.
- "Big brother seeks to avenge the loss of little brother" .... and/or
- "Mayweather to show little brother 'This is how it's done' "
Unlike Mayweather vs Maidana, Mayweather vs Khan lacks an enticing storyline.
As a matter of fact, they've always been friendly towards each other.
Simply put, Mayweather vs Khan offers no tension or drama.
Fight Maidana next; Restore lost credibility
Floyd is not fighting Manny Pacquiao next yet Mayweather vs Pacquiao is the bout most fans have been waiting for since 2009. Since Manny is Floyd's most lucrative opponent, many are convinced 'Money May' is, in fact, scared.
Marcos certainly proved his mettle against Broner and has some convinced he can topple Floyd Mayweather. But even if he can't dethrone the superstar, many are still curious about what a Mayweather vs Maidana bout would look like.
Last May, Floyd faced a young, hungry champion and boxing's newest star. Perhaps the least Floyd can do, given he's not fighting Manny, is face boxing's 'new' newest star, Marcos Maidana.
While Khan is a threat with his speed, range and movement, he's lost two of his last four fights and a lot of luster along the way.
Should Floyd defeat the Argentine in May, 'Money May' will be given kudos by fight fans for conquering another younger, high quality opponent.
Conversely, a win over Amir Khan does nothing for Floyd's career.
No, fight Maidana later
Floyd Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in sports for a reason.
"If it doesn't make dollars, it won't make sense," Mayweather has famously stated.
With his mind-blowing six-fight deal with Showtime, Mayweather is under a lot of pressure to generate tremendous revenue.
Moreover, at this level a fighter's deservability to face the sport's biggest star is far less consequential than his profitability.
Mayweather vs Guerrero was disappointing because, despite being hot, Robert had a very small fan base and the fight failed to generate interest beyond boxing's hardcore contingent.
This is, perhaps, the only area Khan has leverage over Maidana. Amir Khan has a large fanbase. And no, you probably won't find them in boxing forums or commenting on articles but they exist.
Some will argue Mayweather should wait until Maidana's name gets bigger and fight him when the Argentine brings a little more to the table financially. After all, a PPV's success is determined more by the level of interest of casual fans as they far outnumber hardcore junkies.
Who should be next?
If you're a fan, you probably want to see Floyd fight Manny Pacquiao, Marcos Maidana, Danny Garcia or Gennady Golovkin next.
But if you're a Showtime or Golden Boy exec, you're following the money. Obviously Pacquiao would generate the most revenue but who is second?
Last year, the second most lucrative opponent was Canelo Alvarez. Who is it today?
Is it Marcos Maidana?
Can his momentum and the storyline carry over into the mainstream and make Mayweather vs Maidana a box office smash a la Mayweather vs Canelo/Cotto/Ortiz?
Or is it Danny Garcia or Amir Khan?
Next to Pacquiao, which opponent would generate the most revenue?
The answer to that question is who Floyd will likely fight May 3, 2014.
(Why won't Mayweather fight Pacquiao to begin with? That's a whole other article and, perhaps, only Floyd has the answer)