Tim Smith

Search is on for Mayweather’s next opponent

LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather, Jr. had a brief conversation with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez before Mayweather made his way to the microphone to answer questions from the media at the press conference following their match at the MGM Grand Garden arena on Saturday night.

Mayweather wanted to re-assure Alvarez that despite getting completely schooled over 12 rounds by the pound-for-pound best in boxing the future is indeed bright for the 23-year-old Mexican icon.

“Someday he’ll go in the Hall of Fame and I’ll go in the Hall of Fame,” Mayweather said.

Time will tell on Alvarez entering the Hall of Fame, but Mayweather is going in on roller skates. The question is whether he will make with an unblemished record.

Given the dearth of credible opponents capable of defeating Mayweather in the ring there are only a few factors that can conspire against him – physical deterioration brought on by age and the subjective nature of judging.

Mayweather, 36, showed no signs of slowing down or loss of reflexes against Alvarez. He did say he dislocated his left elbow in the seventh round.

And though he put on a superb boxing display, Judge C.J. Ross scored the match 114-114, a draw. Where other ringside observers, including her fellow judges, saw Alvarez winning no more than four rounds (which was a tremendous stretch), Ross witnessed Alvarez winning six (four of the last five).

After the match there were calls for Ross to be dismissed from ever judging another bout.

“That scorecard was a disgrace,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “How that judge could be appointed after her decision in the Bradley-Pacquiao fight, I can’t answer that.”

Ross and Duane Ford caused a firestorm when they had Bradley beating Pacquiao by a score of 115-113 on their scorecards.

Mayweather has been around long enough to understand the subjective nature of judging in boxing. He didn’t want to stir any controversy about Ross after the match.

“The best commission in the world is the Nevada Commission. I will leave it in their hands,” Mayweather said as to whether Ross should be removed from judging matches. “The person, I think it’s a woman, could be older.”

Perhaps not as loudly as it is for Ross, but the clock is also ticking for Mayweather. He has four fights remaining on his deal with Showtime. How many of those fights will be the mega events that he was involved in on Saturday night is questionable.

Mayweather and Golden Boy were able to create a significant buzz around Alvarez and drive the promotion to potential record-breaking levels because they could sell him as a legitimate threat to defeat Mayweather. After easily beating Alvarez, the best and brightest of the young stars, Mayweather’s options for another major event approaching that of Mayweather-Alvarez are slim.

Danny Garcia, the WBC, WBA and RING Magazine 140-pound champion, scored an impressive victory over Lucas Matthysse on the undercard, stepping to the head of the class.

Even Mayweather’s old nemesis, Manny Pacquiao, was mentioned as a possible future opponent. Pacquiao will fight Brandon Rios on Nov. 23. It is highly unlikely that Mayweather will face Pacquiao as long as the Filipino star is being promoted by Bob Arum of Top Rank. Mayweather has said in the past that if Pacquiao were free of Arum, they could make a deal in five minutes.

But Mayweather was in no mood to speculate on his next opponent after the fight on Saturday night. The only thing he committed to is fighting in May and September for the next two years to fulfill his contract with Showtime.

That means four boxers will win the Mayweather lottery. Forty four other men, including Alvarez, can tell them that the privilege is only as rewarding as your purse. Mayweather, who earned a guaranteed $41.5 million for his work against Alvarez, will be a tough sell as a solo act.

 

 

Photos / Naoki Fukuda

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