And so it begins…Well, it actually began on the early morning of May 4, at the MGM Grand, in the media room, not long after that exiting snafu led to people getting trampled.
What's next for Floyd?
Floyd is The Man, the lead dog in the game, and he corrals a certain quantity of news coverage. Sometimes its with TMZ sort of stories…sometimes it's with more legit, less salacious material, such as who he's going to fight next.
Right now, we have some non-TMZ type news to digest, namely that Floyd's next fight will occur on Sept. 13.
Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza told TSS that “Money,” who some thought looked like he'd slipped a half notch against the wild-swinging banger Maidana, will box Sept. 13 against foe TBD.
So, it looks like we're going to go into theorizing mode for the next, oh, three plus months. I won't pretend to be pleased with that, friends. Why, you might wonder…Well, that's because I don't know that focusing excessively on such a matter is in the best interest of the sport as a whole. Me writing this piece, and marshaling my energy and time, means that another story falls through the cracks, another deserved pugilist might not get a bit of ink that he or she deserves. If we go so star centric, and go all in on Floyd all the time, with a soupcon (that's my Jon Stewart reference did ya get it? lol) of Pacquiao, then we are too much indulging in hit craving. We are too much giving in to a give the people what they want, even if it's a diet of Big Macs and Diet Cokes…when the people are best served, know it or not, with a heavier input of fruits and veggies.
Anyway, here's your two patties, special sauce, etc….Espinoza told me that only the date has been cemented, which means we will all perseverate on opponent choice in excess for the next couple months.
Me, I like the idea of Maidana; I believe the man earned the right to a rematch. How about Espinoza? “We're in the very preliminary stages of discussion,” he said. “Is Maidana in the lead? I wouldn't say from Floyd's perspective. Personally, I think a rematch with Maidana would be very interesting, considering how entertaining and competitive the first fight was. But Floyd likes to do the unexpected.”
We can scratch the Pakistani-Brit Amir Khan off the list for the Sept. 13 waltz. “Khan has been very consistent that he doesn't want to interfere with Ramadan,” Espinoza said. “We've discussed all the top guys at 147, you look at a top ten list and there isn't a name that hasn't been discussed.”
I threw my own “unexpected” TBD at Espinoza. I think if Floyd were to fight WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin, a charismatic and not untalented hitter, that would be perceived as a compelling scrap, and Floyd would still be favored. “It would be entertaining,” allowed Espinoza.
The site, Espinoza said, hasn't been chosen, though of course the MGM is Floyd's homebase now. “He's very comfortable there, he has a special relationship with them, I'd say they are always in the lead…but there's no shortage of suitors.”
As for my theory that talking about Floyd's next for ten months out of the year sucks some of the oxygen suited for other talents out of the room, Espinoza said the concept isn't idiotic in the least. But, he said, he thinks Mayweather has brought a megawatt spotlight to the whole sport, and by virtue of that, he's lifted all the boats. “The way Floyd has elevated the entire platform, everyone's benefitted,” he said.
There was some breaking news on Tuesday, namely that Manny Pacquiao chose to re-sign with Top Rank, and Bob Arum, a person Mayweather has intermittently shown disdain for. I asked Espinoza for his take on the development. A contract extension was not a slam dunk, perhaps, in the eyes of some who thought Manny might follow the advice of some in his circle, and ask Arum for some time away, so the Manny-Money fight could more easily be made, without a baggage issue. (Arum promoted Mayweather, and they parted in bitter fashion almost ten years ago.) “That re-signing doesn't impact me, but if Pacquiao thought it was the best business decision, I applaud him,” the boxing boss said.
But should fans hoping for that fight cry an extra measure of tears into their beer tonight, because the hopes for that mega-match got flushed? “I don't know what the future holds,” Espinoza said. “I know Floyd consistently has wanted a Pacquiao fight, and has tried to make it, and a variety of obstacles have come up along the way. He hasn't been shy at times about his feelings for Top Rank, so yes, that could be an obstacle, unless a reconciliation is achieved.”
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