With Floyd Mayweather’s September 12th date looming less than two months away, the announcement of his next opponent should be imminent. This will be the final fight of his contract with Showtime and CBS, and presumed to be the final fight of his illustrious career. Over the last month or so several fighters have been rumored to be Mayweather’s last opponent, ranging from a mega-rematch with Manny Pacquaio, a high profile match with British star Amir Khan, a mega-super fight against Gennady Golovkin, fights against contenders Porter and Thurman, and even lesser bouts against Andre Berto, or Karim Mayfield.
The Pacquiao rematch at first seemed likely, but upon hearing Pacquiao’s, perhaps dubious excuse of an injured shoulder, Mayweather quickly squashed the idea after becoming irritated with Pacquiao’s comments. Even if Mayweather was open to the match, Pacquiao’s surgery would require ample rehab time, pushing a rematch passed the point of Mayweather’s retirement date. If it were to ever happen, Mayweather would have to decide not to retire and continue onward after September 12th. If Pacquaio were ever to get another crack at Mayweather, you would figure he would need until the following September to be fully ready. The chances of it happening is highly unlikely. It were to happen, I think Mayweather would win another tactical decision.
Golovkin’s name was tossed around the rumor mill a little bit, but it appears it was never fully considered by Mayweather’s business team. Perhaps the rumor was started by the fans that would most likely enjoy a Mayweather defeat, as it’s pretty obvious Golovkin would have the best chance at pulling it off from those on this list, due to his size and strength advantage. It was talked about that they could meet at 154, as Golovkin said he would be willing to drop that far for the payday. Some boxing insiders even have thought Mayweather would have good chances if Golovkin was a little weakened from the weight cut. Some part of me believed Mayweather might fool us all by taking the fight, saying “This is why I’ve fought cautiously and preserved myself my whole career, so in my final fight I can take on the impossible challenge and finally shut all the naysayers up.” However, then I woke up (lol) and realized this the least likely choice on the list for Mayweather to accept. His whole career was about calculated risk, and Golovkin’s risk may outshine the reward in this case. I think the chances of it happening are borderline impossible. If it were somehow to happen, I think Golovkin’s size and strength would be too much, even at a catch weight. It would be like the first Castillo fight, a skilled pressure fighter, only Golovkin is way bigger and stronger. Maybe if he got him starved down to 150, maybe then.
Amir Khan has been a name in the Mayweather sweepstakes for a very long time. Despite Mayweather’s head games with Khan, throwing around the names of his stable mates Berto and Mayfield, Khan still is a viable economic choice for Mayweather. It could be that if Mayweather fought Pacquaio in the fifth fight of his contract, he would be allowed to get a virtual “gimme” in the sixth and final fight of the contract. In that case, maybe the hot rumors about Berto and free CBS are true. However, until that is announced as official, and perhaps it could by the time of this posting, Khan is still perhaps the most viable economic choice Mayweather could make at this point. The chances of it happening would be moderate in my opinion, at least until the Berto rumors are more substantiated. If it were to happen, you still would have to favor Mayweather to win, although there is some substance to the style match-up. It would be interesting to see if Khan can stay disciplined to employ it, as he looked much less disciplined in his last fight versus Algieri.
Kell Brook unfortunately has not really had his name in the mix at all. I only add it because it should be included in the mix. Brook is the number one contender to the Welterweight lineal throne, and a fighter who is ran from by another Mayweather sweepstakes fighter in Amir Khan. Khan has stated even if he doesn’t land the Mayweather fight he still doesn’t want any of Brook. I have never heard Brook’s name come out of Mayweather’s mouth either. The chances of it happening are very slim, but if it did, I think it would be very interesting. I think Brook would have the best chances of any Welterweight to unseat Mayweather. That said, it is hard to pick against Mayweather, but watching Brook’s victory over strong contender Porter, it makes you wonder just how it might play out.
Shawn Porter is hoping his drubbing of Mayweather’s “little brother” Adrien Broner may land him the Mayweather lottery ticket. Porter is a very strong top tier contender in his own right, having only suffered defeat once to Brook. I think the chances of it happening are slim to moderate given the Broner story line that might try to be sold. If it were to happen, I think Mayweather wins pretty comfortably because his style and lateral movement meshes well with Porter’s style. Porter loops his punches a little too much and I think his straighter punchers would carry the say to a unanimous decision victory.
Keith Thurman is young, hungry, willing, exciting, and has just enough vulnerability that he could make a suitable opponent for Mayweather. While he has holes in his game, there are plenty of things he is doing well in to make up for it. While he may be vulnerable to damage to the head or body, he can also dish it back certainly. With his extreme confidence and contemptuous enthusiasm, I think it is his mental game that may spook Floyd from trying Thurman out. While I am sure he feels he can defeat Thurman, I’m not sure he wants to go through the effort it would take to do so. I think the chances of it happening are low, but who knows, stranger things have happened. Thurman has a star personality, and that might be enough to help sell the fight big. Floyd is “Money” Mayweather for a reason. If it were to happen, yet again I think Mayweather would emerge the victor, but it would perhaps end up being the most exciting bout of his career.
Andre Berto after recent rumor circulation may be the front runner to win the Mayweather lottery. If it is true that Mayweather is allowed a “gimme” for his last fight to be shown on free CBS network TV, you can’t make much of a better choice of opponent for Mayweather. Berto is well known, a three time world champion, and best of all, made to order for Mayweather. I think the chances of it happening are good. If it were to happen I think Mayweather will look as good as he has in years and stop Berto late. Berto just is a step lower than what Mayweather has been used to fighting as of late.
Karim Mayfield was also mention by Mayweather as a possible opponent in a video where he also mention Berto as a possible opponent. At first many boxing people thought it was a joke and Mayweather was just saying their names tongue in cheek, as a way of getting at proposed opponent Amir Kahn. Of course Mayfield responds with heck yeah please fight me to Floyd. It is however Berto who is more well-known and better credentialed of those two. The chances of this fight happening are slim. If it were to happen, Floyd would absolutely school Mayfield most likely, unless he can land his homerun right hand.
As the moment of the announcement nears, here were a few candidates to think about, given their likely chances, and how a potential fight might play out. I think the most obvious candidate is Berto given recent rumors, followed by Khan and Thurman in the likelihood of winning the Mayweather lottery. You never really know though until it is announced, because Mayweather likes to keep the suspense up and then drop a surprise at the last minute, we shall see in the coming week or so, maybe sooner.