Opinion: If Mayweather is cold on Pacquiao, Khan, Cotto II his best options
Another exceptional performance from Floyd Mayweather at the weekend means that there are just two fights left for the pound for pound king until he hangs up his gloves in 2015.
On Saturday night, the 37-year-old took care of a hapless and frustrated Marcos Maidana to score what was a largely one-sided points victory, leaving just a couple of slots left for Mayweather to face Manny Pacquiao finally.
Surprisingly, Mayweather and his father, Floyd Sr., have not been so forthcoming about the possibility of a May super-fight with the Filipino great, which has left many fans downhearted in the aftermath of what was an impressive win.
Opportunities to face Pacquiao have come and gone more than once in recent times for one reason or another, and even when confronted by Jim Gray in the ring about getting the fight done, Mayweather wouldn’t give a straight response. Mayweather was more concerned with Pacquiao’s abilities to come through Chris Algieri in November than is actually stating that he wants to open negotiations, which may well have been final clarification that the fight will never happen.
So what’s the next best alternative? Is it Amir Khan? Apparently not to Floyd Mayweather, who alluded to a potential fight at Wembley in the UK, but ultimately seemed dismissive of the clash and would always be likely to want to stay at home in Las Vegas.
Other than Pacquiao and Khan, there are few options left for Mayweather as IBF titleholder Kell Brook is out of action and would never be ready to face the world’s best by May after a recent machete incident in Tenerife.
That leaves few fighters that get the blood pumping.
A rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez is a no-go as the Mexican failed to put up a fight the first time around, whilst Tim Bradley lost convincingly to Pacquiao in the summer and has not even announced a return to action yet.
Keith Thurman probably stands out as the more exciting encounter of a bad bunch as both are unbeaten, plus the American slugger has that one-punch ability to change a fight at any time. Whether ‘One Time’ could even land that blow is up for considerable debate, though, and question marks would be raised if the bout could sell.
For me, the only fight out there right now for Mayweather is a move up in weight to challenge Miguel Cotto for his WBC middleweight title. Granted that Mayweather can hardly break the 150lbs barrier, but a catchweight of 155lbs would be ideal and give ‘Money’ a chance to seal a sixth-weight world championship.
There may not be a better chance to claim the 160lb crown than against somebody Mayweather had already defeated, added to the fact that the fight was an entertaining and competitive affair when it first took place in 2012.
Other than Mayweather v Cotto II, Pacquiao, or Khan, it’s tough to see how it can be justified to charge the public $75 for a less-than-attractive pay-per-view offering. Panic is a big factor in selling Mayweather’s fights right now as there are plenty around the world who have never seen him fight live and want to enjoy the greatest fighter of his generation while he is still competing.
Let’s hope that Floyd doesn’t rest on his laurels, though, and goes out with a bang in his final year.