Monday, 26 May 2014 14:30

Floyd Mayweather's next fight: Who will win the 'Money May' Sweepstakes?

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Pound-for-pound King Floyd Mayweather Jr is set to make his return to the ring on September 13th.
While the date is set, who he will fight next is still up in the air.

(Image courtesy of Showtime)

With Manny Pacquaio signing an extension with Top Rank, the hopes of a mega fight between him and Mayweather may be officially 'down the drain.'

Another opponent some fans would like to see Mayweather face is Amir Khan. However, due to Ramadan, there’s no way Khan would be ready for such a fight in September.

Even though Pacquaio and Khan are not realistic options for September 2013, there are several intriguing possibilities.

In the next few weeks, Mayweather is likely to decide which of the fighters below he'll share the biggest and richest stage in boxing with.

1. Marcos Maidana (35-4,31 KOs)

Why? His stock has never been higher after giving Mayweather arguably the toughest fight of his career. For that reason, he is the odds on favorite in the Floyd Mayweather Sweepstakes. Some feel if Maidana can apply the same pressure in the second half of the fight as he did the first, he has a chance of winning the rematch.

A rematch may also garner more PPV buys than their first fight.

Why not? In their fight on May 3rd, Maidana fouled Mayweather repeatedly by hitting him behind the head, hitting him low and even tried to knee Mayweather. As superb as Mayweather’s shoulder roll is, it can’t protect him from these fouls. Given the foul-fest of their first affair, it's easy to see why he wouldn't fight Maidana again.

2. Keith Thurman (23-0,21 KOs)

Why? Thurman continues to improve with each and every fight. More importantly, he has tremendous punching power which would be a serious threat to Mayweather. Another added bonus is that Thurman is also undefeated which would lead to the usual 'Someone’s 0 Has got to Go' theme.

Why not? Thurman is not very well-known to the casual boxing fan and hasn’t beaten a marquee fighter as yet. As a result, Mayweather vs Thurman may yield subpar PPV numbers. Based on the opposition he’s faced, Thurman doesn’t warrant a fight with Mayweather. The two most impressive names on Thurman’s resume are Julio Diaz and Jesus Soto Karass and they each have nine losses.

3. Shawn Porter (24-0-1, 15KOs)

Why? Porter is the IBF welterweight champion which would make a fight between him and Mayweather a welterweight unification bout. He has also gained more recognition following his victories over former champions Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi.

Why not? Porter is scheduled to face mandatory challenger Kell Brook in July. A fight in September would be too quick of a turnaround unless he decides to not fight Brook and vacate his title to fight Mayweather. But it seems as if Porter has no intentions of vacating his title. Also, just as in the case with Thurman, Porter is not yet a well-known name to causal fans.

4. Winner of Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez

Why? There aren't too many legacy-enhancing fights for Mayweather left. If he fights the winner of Cotto vs. Martinez, it would give him the chance to win a lineal middleweight title and achieve a title in six different weight classes. Mayweather has been in the ring with fighters who have had a significant weight advantage on fight night, such as Maidana and Victor Ortiz, so this would not be unfamiliar territory for him.

He could also enforce a rehydration clause that stipulates a fighter cannot rehydrate over 165lbs for fight night without severe monetary penalties. If Cotto defeats Martinez, a rematch with Mayweather is very possible due to Miguel's popularity and the high revenue generated from their 2012 bout and the fact Cotto wants to fight Mayweather again.

Why not? The network conflict could prevent this fight from ever happening. Sergio Martinez has primarily fought on HBO throughout his career and, aside for two fights in 2012, Cotto has also primarily fought on the same network. If a fight with Mayweather were to happen, the fight would have to be on Showtime.

Who will Floyd Mayweather fight next? We'll know in a few weeks.
Jason Leach

I was born in Queens NY, but currently reside in Hackensack NJ. Became a diehard boxing fan in the 1980’s watching Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson.

I’ve enjoyed watching and talking about sports for as long as I can remember. In late 2012 I began to pursue a sports writing career with the Harlem Times. Within a few months I was covering events such as the Big East Tournament and the Adrien Broner vs. Paulie Malignaggi fight at the Barclays Center.

Love boxing because of the Sweet Science, the history of great champions, and knowing at any moment a fight can be over with one punch.