Floyd Mayweather comeback: How much ring rust would Money May show?
Although the sport of boxing is slowly but surely moving on without Floyd Mayweather, one can't help but wonder if Floyd will be content seeing someone like Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin bask the sport's limelight while becoming the pastime's primary ambassador.
Or will the unofficial coronation of a new "King of the Ring" spark the competitive fire within boxing's $800 million dollar man?
Because the one-year inactive, pound for pound fighter is set to turn 40 in February of next year, can fight fans safely assume the window of opportunity to make a successful comeback has officially closed on Floyd Mayweather Jr? Will the defensive master be a mere shell of himself should he decide to return while entering his fifth decade on the planet?
An unlikely source doesn't believe age or inactivity will be a heavy detriment to the ring magician if he returns to the sport in 2017.
"I think he still will be an elite fighter," Abel Sanchez, trainer for Gennady Golovkin, recently stated to On The Ropes Radio. "I think Mayweather comes back and is still king.
Unlike other future Hall of fame warriors who are actually younger than Floyd, Miguel Cotto (35) and Manny Pacquiao (37), Sanchez argues that Money May hasn't been involved in many wars of attrition that historically seem to age great fighters in dramatic and sudden fashion. Although Floyd Mayweather has experienced his share of "wear and tear" from his 20 years as a professional, the experienced fight trainer states there's a reason why time has seemingly been kind to Floyd.
"Floyd Mayweather hasn’t had the kinds of fights that are going to make him grow old overnight," claims Sanchez. "You have to have difficult fights in your career for your body to all of the sudden not want to cooperate. Mayweather hasn’t had that...he’s had the luxury of fighting his style and not making it difficult on himself."
Because of Floyd's unique athletic gifts, any fight fan can easily count on one hand and have fingers to spare when trying to think of the few opponents throughout Floyd's historic career who have actually enjoyed any degree of success against the best defensive fighter of this era.
"Mayweather hasn’t fought anyone, except for Maidana, that really pressed him to change and do things that are out of the ordinary for him, as evident in the Pacquiao fight. He was able to handle Manny because Floyd is Floyd. I think he’s still the number one fighter in the world if he comes back.'
While many Floyd Mayweather detractors believe Pacquiao's controversial shoulder injury was the primary reason for the seemingly decisive loss to the self proclaimed "TBE", another three decade fight trainer feels the alleged ailment had very little to do with the lopsided points defeat.
"You can't box Floyd from mid to long range and hope to hit him," claims expert trainer and respected talent scout James Gogue.
"He has the best reflexes in the sport. He'll see the punch coming from a mile away and make you miss. He'll either use the roll/counter technique and make you pay, or he'll simply use his footwork and move out of harm's way."
"To have any kind of success against Floyd Mayweather, a fighter has to be able to cut off his reaction time.
That's the only chance you have to hit him with a clean punch. If you try to throw anything from range, you won't be successful. He'll make you miss and possibly make you look stupid."
It seems that only fighters who can proficiently cut off the ring, close the distance and fight effectively in the pocket seem to bother the fighter with the best reflexes in boxing. Aggressive minded warriors like Jose Luis Castillo, Miguel Cotto and most recently Marcos "El Chino" Maidana had sporadic moments of success during their respective rounds with Floyd Mayweather. But ultimately a fighter has to be able to sustain an effective attack for at least seven rounds to win a decision against the first-ballot, future Hall of Famer.
So far, no fighter throughout Floyd's twenty year career has been able to keep up such a torrid pace while landing clean effective punches against the defensive enigma. Will we see Floyd get tested in 2017? And who could give him his toughest test at 147 pounds currently?
Hopefully fight fans get to find out next year.