By Adam Canavan @Adam_Canavan
Right now Floyd Mayweather Jr. is in the hotbed of boxing talent in the 140-154lb weight range. So, after a dominant display against welterweight contender Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero (117-111 on all three of the Judge's scorecards), the world is well and truly his oyster.
So who who will Boxing's P4P king face next? Well firstly there are a few that can be ruled out straight away: Sergio Martinez is not a option after the injuries he sustained after a tough fight with British Middleweight Martin Murray will keep him out of the ring for the rest of the year, Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez will be fighting each other in the same month as Mayweather's next fight, possibly even the same day, and Manny Pacquiao is otherwise occupied with Brandon Rios in November, which means the biggest possible fight of this generation, once again, can not and will not happen. But now lets look at the possible opponents for Floyd.
The winner of Marcos Maidana vs Josesito Lopez:
If this fight follows the script it should be an all action fight and if it is and gets a significant amount of hype around it afterwards then the winner may well find himself in a prime position to fight mayweather. After watching this fight casual fans of boxing may be won over and would like to see Mayweather vs the winner as it would be a classic Boxer vs Puncher matchup, however anyone who knows boxing reasonably well will know that either of these fighters would be grossly mismatched in a fight with Mayweather. Maidana has notable wins over Victor Ortiz, Erik Morales and Jesus Soto Karass. However These fighters are not your typical slick boxers or elite level fighters at the time and the fighters that are remotely close to those types that Maidana has faced, he has lost: a split decision loss to Andrily Kotelnik, he lost to Amir Khan in a fantastic fight and he was Outclassed against Devon Alexander. As for Josesito Lopez, his key wins are Mike Dallas Jr and a shock stoppage win against a much larger Victor Ortiz where he broke Ortiz's jaw in two places. This win propelled him into the biggest fight of his career against Saul Alvarez; he was massively Outsized and succumbed to a 5th round TKO loss. I think these fights are unlikely for Mayweather to take at this stage with much more lucrative fights available. I feel both Maidana and Lopez are far too limited for the fight with Mayweather.
Outcome: Mayweather UD Maidana
Mayweather TKO8 Lopez
Call me mad but a newly Comebacking (if the reports are true) Antonio Margarito may well be considered for the fight. This may be considered as unfinished business as Mayweather once turned down a then career high payday to fight the Tijuana Tornado, electing to fight Baldomir instead where many accused him of ducking Margarito. As stupid as this fight would be you just never know what will happen in boxing, personally I'd rather see Margarito stay out of the ring but money talks and he allegedly needs money. His eye injury that he received courtesy of Manny Pacquiao is a real career killer and if he fights someone with the precision of Mayweather I fear the worst for Margarito, and the worst is that he could end up blind. With all this said I highly doubt this fight would be made but it just crossed my mind. Again, just to clarify, this fight will NOT be made, It was just interesting to consider.
Outcome: Floyd Mayweather UD
We most recently saw this slick southpaw giving, the hoplessly outmatched Brit, Lee Purdy a one handed boxing lesson on the undercard of Lucas Matthysse vs Lamont Peterson. His notable wins are Marcos Maidana, Randall Bailey, Andrily Kotelnik and Lucas Matthysse, however the latter two are soured by the fact that he shouldn't have got the nod in those two fights. Alexander seemed the most likely option to fight mayweather recently as he is a world champion with a credible resume, but does the recent hand injury mean that he is no longer an option for September? Time will Tell. As for the fight itself, Alexander has speed,and a lot of it. He is very tricky and knows a lot of the tricks of the trade, add his southpaw stance into this and it only gets worse. I think Alexander would give Mayweather a tougher fight than Most people do. There is an idea that Mayweather Struggles with southpaw fighters, he proved this to be incorrect against Guerrero. On the other hand, Alexander is nothing like Guerrero. Alexander has the speed to get punches through to mayweather and the skill, but hold on, timing beats speed right? Yes and no, it depends on the other qualities the opponent brings to the fight, and Alexander brings a lot more than just speed. Even with all that said I do find it hard to foresee Devon winning this fight, he's good but Mayweather would figure him out quick.
Outcome Mayweather UD
Luis Calos Abregu
The last time you would've seen this Argentine banger was on the undercard of the Martinez-Murray mega show in Buenos Aires in April in a good fight against Antonin Declarie, earning a Unanimous Decision over 10 rounds. He had a good win the fight before that also against, the then undefeated, Thomas Dulorme. However, the highest profile boxer he fought, Tim Bradley, beat him by a landslide on all three judges cards (118-110, 117-111, 116-112). Abregu is miles below Mayweather in terms of levels but don't be surprised if this is the fight that is made as Abregu has worked his way into the No.1 contender spot for Mayweather's WBC welterweight title, I think Abregu is a dark horse in the race to fight boxing's Money Man, although if he does get the fight I don't feel he brings anything to trouble Floyd.
Outcome: Mayweather UD
This is one name that just can't leave Mayweather alone. Amir Khan is coming off of a, quite frankly, unimpressive display against the way past-prime Julio Diaz, where Diaz caused Khan huge troubles with counters: this does not bode well for Khan if he is to get in the ring with a master counter punched like Floyd. That said, the Khan of late hasn't been half the fighter we know he can be, like when we saw him put in impressive displays against Kotelnik, Malignaggi, Maidana and Judah. It's worth noting that all those victories were under Freddie Roach and whilst he has only had two fights under Virgil Hunter, he seems to have regressed and whats worse is that he's not looking as good against much lesser opponents in Molina and Diaz. Now if Khan can recapture his old form then he can certainly cause Mayweather a lot if troubles with the In and out with blisteringly fast combinations style. Whilst Mayweather's reflexes stood up to Robert Guerrero's speed, Khan is on a whole other level, on his day he is probably the fastest puncher in the sport and whether a possibly ageing Mayweather can deal with that speed is an important thing to consider. On the other hand, if this fight happens this will be Khans first fight at the 147 Limit and it's a big leap from struggling with Julio Diaz and fighting the best boxer on the planet and taking punches from a bigger man (despite Mayweather's non punchers record at 147). Without Roach in his corner I think Khan's chances are non-existent. Right now this fight is looking most likely to be made out of all options. If it isn't, expect to see Khan fight Alexander
Outcome: Mayweather KO7
Lucas Matthysse is a machine, make no mistake about it. He bulldoses everyone he fights. He most recently took out a top level fighter at 140lbs in three rounds, Lamont Peterson. Many thought Peterson would take him the distance and many thought Peterson would outbox and beat Matthysse. He also has key (and dominant for that matter) victories over Humberto Soto, Ajose Olusegun and Mike Dallas Jr and two losses (that most people feel should be wins) against Devon Alexander and Zab Judah. Matthysse is not just a come forward slugger with a big punch, he has excellent skills: he judges distance extremely well, his reactions are top notch and his ability to cut of the ring is second to none. I do think that this fight is highly unlikely to be made though and Lucas Matthysse vs Danny Garcia will happen instead (hopefully in september). This will establish whos's the champ at 140 and set up a fight with Floyd in 2014. Right now I'd say Matthysse isn't really ready right now for Floyd and only has a punchers chance (and with Lucas that is a big chance), but in a years time I really do feel it's a fight Matthysse can win. Or maybe that's just me fanboying over The Machine.
Outcome: Mayweather UD... for now
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez
This is the fight of all fights to be made for Floyd that doesn't involve the name Manny Pacquiao. Rising Superstar vs Established P4P best in the sport, big guy vs little guy, Mexico vs USA. It has it all the ingredients of a box office hit worldwide. Canelo's only real victory of note, in my opinion, was a great win in a close fight against Austin Trout. Although this (Alvarez vs Mayweather) is another fight almost everyone wants to see, it seems like another fight Floyd is reluctant to make. A ridiculous demand for the fight to be made at 147 from Mayweather may see this fight not happen in the near future. I personally don't see why this fight shouldn't happen at 154 or a catchweight of 150lbs. Floyd may claim the fight night weight of Canelo (usually around 170lbs) as the reason why he won't fight above 147 but i see it this way; this is the exact sort of situation that all time greats need to overcome and prove how great they are, this would be a legacy defining fight, I mean Martinez fought Chavez Jr and the class showed over the weight. I hear Richard Schaeffer is working hard to try and negotiate the fight and I hope he gets it made, but I think it's unlikely. It's a shame as I think Mayweather would be too quick for canelo and has better stamina but, and I may get a lot of stick for saying this, if this fight doesn't get made purely because of the weight then I will view it as no less than a duck.
Outcome: Mayweather UD
In conclusion I would narrow it down to three options: Devon Alexander, Luis Carlos Abregu and Amir Khan. That may be narrowed down to two options depending on the condition of Alexander's hand. So if I was you I would bet on Khan, with Abregu having an outside chance (although it would be a hard one to sell). Though, like most people, the pick of the bunch and the fight I want to see is Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Saul Alvarez, but not at 147, and I hope I'm wrong and they reach a deal. But in my mind, no matter who he fights next I can't see Floyd 'Money' Mayweather Jr. being beaten... yet.