Danny Garcia vs Keith Thurman: Winner gets Floyd Mayweather?
To be or not to be; that seems to be the question on many a mind within the boxing community concerning former pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Although the 39 year old fighter turned promoter appears to be content with his decision to remain retired, reports of a recent sparring session at the renowned Mayweather Boxing Club have stoked fight fan curiosity of a potential comeback in 2017. And despite sounding somewhat resolute when discussing the option of a return to the ring, Mayweather has conveniently dropped small hints of a possible comeback during several recent interviews.
"I'm loving retirement," Floyd stated to TMZ on September 28, 2016. "But for a couple more bucks, you just don't know."
It's suggestions like the aforementioned quote that keeps Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza hopeful of an eventual 50th bout.
While Espinoza is a realist, and understands the kind of monetary figure it would take to lure Floyd out of retirement, the ShoSports Vice President and General Manager is choosing not to "give up" on a Mayweather comeback in 2017.
“Floyd’s been as consistent as he’s ever been," Espinoza recently stated to the LA Times. "He says he enjoys retirement and promoting and won’t engage with us, even in a joking way, about coming back. So I’m not sure how to get the ball rolling in regard to getting him back in the ring, but I’m not going to give up."
Unfortunately, most of the realistic opponents discussed for a historic 50th bout currently have contractual obligations with network rival HBO or alternative sports league, UFC.
While names like Gennady Golovkin, Conor McGregor and a potential return bout with Canelo Alvarez have been thrown in the proverbial hat, none of the aforementioned names have a current working relationship with CBS/Showtime.
And most of the Welterweights featured on the Showtime Sports platform currently wouldn't generate enough money to realistically pull Mayweather out of retirement.
Perhaps the "Mayweather quandary" was the primary motivation behind making the recently announced "Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia" a reality? Depending on the promotion and the fighters' respective performances, the March 4 event could provide a much needed boost to the brand of either Garcia or Thurman.
And with the promotional prowess of event coordinator Richard Schaefer, the winner of the highly anticipated unification bout could create enough of a buzz to become a realistic adversary for Mayweather's 50th bout.
While Manny Pacquiao has been very forthcoming with his goal to get Floyd back in the ring next year, most die hard fans seem to prefer a fresh match-up for the self-proclaimed TBE. When reviewing the current landscape of the sport, it's doubtful the once lucrative pairing would be able generate enough "demand" to produce Money May's desired nine figure payday.
Will the winner of Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia eventually become Floyd Mayweather's 50th opponent?