Well, here we go again, yes, Floyd Mayweather 46-0 (26) is trickling out occasional tweets, controlling the media in regards to who his next fight will be against this coming September 13th.
Mayweather is without out a doubt the Kim Kardashian of professional boxing, only with slightly more substance.
You better believe boxing fans will be checking his twitter account daily with anticipation hoping to find out who that opponent will be when he next enters the ring in early fall of this year. In reality there's only two opponents fighting between welterweight and middleweight that are worth paying for to see Mayweather fight, WBO welterweight title holder Manny Pacquiao 56-5-2 (38) and WBA middleweight title holder Gennady Golovkin 29-0 (26).
However, before going down that path, let’s stay in the real world since we know Pacquiao isn't going to be the opponent for another year and a half and Golovkin will never be the opponent, at least not without a monumental gimmick or catch-weight attached to the deal.
With Pacquiao and Golovkin out of the way, that leaves three fighters in the running who fans wouldn't gripe about paying to watch oppose Floyd this coming September. The obvious choice would have to be Marcos Maidana 35-4 (31). Sure, Maidana pushed Mayweather harder than he's been pushed in a fight since Jose Luis Castillo beat him in the ring during their first fight, in my opinion. Mayweather won the bout officially via unanimous decision, back in 2002. Maidana definitely deserves a rematch with Mayweather, something all boxing fans agree on. But if you're honest and not blinded by your dislike for Mayweather or wishful thinking, Floyd would handle Maidana easier the second time around than he did when they fought earlier this month.
For starters, I don't believe Maidana could duplicate his remarkable performance from their first fight in a rematch. And I doubt Floyd would allow Marcos to enter the ring again weighing 165 pounds. In addition to that, history has shown, as recently as Stiverne-Arreola II, that when the boxer or better technician beats the swarmer/fighter the first time, the rematch is usually a repeat of the first fight, nine out of 10 times. There's nothing Maidana could do differently fighting Mayweather again other than bringing a little more of what didn't quite get the job done the last time. Whereas Floyd could adjust and take it to Maidana more at center ring and beat him to the punch and disrupt his aggression like he began doing during the second half of their bout.
Yes, Maidana has more than earned the big payday that a rematch with Mayweather would bring him, but as far as drama or thinking that there's a morsel of a chance that the result would be different, not in this lifetime.
So who does that leave? I believe if Mayweather doesn't fight a rematch with Maidana in his next bout, I think he'll look to meet the winner of June 7th's WBC middleweight title bout between title holder Sergio Marinez 51-2-2 (38) and challenger Miguel Cotto 38-4 (31). And I think if it's Martinez who comes out on top the odds increase exponentially because we've already seen Mayweather tangle with Cotto. Two years ago Miguel gave Floyd a real tough fight but the outcome was never really in question. If Cotto somehow got a piece of the middleweight title he'd be one of the smallest title holders in the history of the division. In addition to that, Mayweather defeated Cotto for the junior middleweight title, so beating him again for the middleweight title wouldn't be viewed as something so spectacular.
However, if Martinez wins, that sets up Mayweather-Martinez perfectly and gives Floyd the ideal opponent to attempt and possibly capture his sixth title in a different weight class. Martinez is 39, his body has shown signs of breaking down and betraying him and Sergio has longed to be part of a super-fight, the kind that only fighting Mayweather could bring him.
We all know that Mayweather won't fight Martinez in a legitimate middleweight title bout. Of course he'll force Sergio to come down in weight to 155 so the bout can be for the WBC middleweight title. And with Martinez starving for the big fight and the money that comes with it, he'll agree to Mayweather's terms. Oh maybe he'll try and play hardball and force Mayweather to agree to 156, but it doesn't matter. Anything under 160 kills the authenticity of the bout but Floyd knows the fans are easy to manipulate and by fight night they'll be making excuses for him and saying how four pounds is no big deal. But it is a big deal and will weaken Martinez and nullify his only advantage.
Sadly there are fans and writers who can't grasp what fighters go through to shed those last few pounds and how draining Martinez or any other fighter down really is a big deal. And that's why fighting Martinez makes all the dollars and cents in the world for both Floyd and Sergio. No doubt Sergio will agree to the catch-weight and view fighting Mayweather as his chance to score the signature win of his slightly over-looked career. He'll say all the right things and that losing the extra four pounds is not a problem, but the truth is the money that comes with fighting Mayweather is really doing the talking.
In a Mayweather vs. Martinez clash with Sergio's title on the line, both fighters get an opportunity to gain something important to them. Floyd gets a chance to gain his sixth title in a different division, against an older fighter who is on the decline but one whose name still carries clout. Martinez isn't huge for a middleweight and stylistically he'd have to fight as the aggressor versus Mayweather and we know that's not his game. And since Martinez hasn't been part of a marquee matchup his entire career, he'll be very complicit during the negotiations, which is right up Floyd's alley. As for Martinez, fighting Mayweather will bring him a small fortune and if he won he'd be known for the rest of his life as the fighter who took down Floyd Mayweather and handed him his first and probably only career defeat.
Yes, Mayweather will be watching Martinez-Cotto closely early next month. He'll be rooting for Martinez to pull it out for the reasons mentioned above. In his perfect world, Martinez will have a tough fight with Cotto but come out on top. If that's how it turns out, Martinez will be the frontrunner to be Mayweather's next opponent, with Maidana and Cotto in the running behind him. It's money in the bank that Mayweather doesn't tweet anything concrete about who his next opponent will be until after the Martinez-Cotto clash on June 7th. So don't waste too much time with anything Mayweather says or tweets until the business between Martinez and Cotto is resolved.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com