The world’s pound for pound number one ranked fighter, Floyd Mayweather, has announced that he will be returning to the ring on September 13th. The 37-year-old Mayweather is coming off of the most physically taxing fight of his career, a controversial majority decision victory over Marcos Maidana. In beating Maidana, Mayweather successfully unified the WBA and WBC world championships at welterweight. However, Mayweather’s triumph was not embraced by everybody. Although Mayweather had taken part in a fight that thrilled the audience, he was not successful in separating himself from Maidana as clearly being the better fighter. For the first time since 2002, when Mayweather fought Jose Luis Castillo, fans left the arena disputing wether or not Mayweather still deserved his undefeated record.
With all of that being said, you would figure it would be a no-brainer of a choice. Marcos Maidana will be the selected opponent for September 13. It is the fight that the public wants, and the fight Mayweather needs. The public wants Mayweather-Maidana 2 in hopes of seeing another thriller where Mayweather is severely tested or beaten. Mayweather needs to fight Maidana again for the same reason he fought Jose Luis Castillo in a rematch. To completely remove any doubt from the public’s mind.
Here is the problem: Maidana may not get his rightfully deserved rematch. Instead, Mayweather has announced that he will choose from a list of five world-class opponents. The five names in the Mayweather-sweepstakes this time: Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and oh yeah, that Marcos Maidana guy.
Fortunately, Amir Khan will in all likelihood drop out of the running for Mayweather, due to religious reasons. While Khan is a talented fighter coming off of a very strong performance just two weeks ago, he just has not proven himself enough in recent years to warrant a showdown with Mayweather.
Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman are two very good, undefeated up and coming fighters. Thurman in particular looks to be an outstanding prospect. However, neither Porter nor Thurman have ever fought anybody half as good as Floyd Mayweather. Porter just fought in his first world title fight less than six months ago, and Thurman has yet to have faced a world champion. Expecting Porter or Thurman to compete with Floyd Mayweather at this stage of their careers would be the same as expecting a rookie in the NBA to outplay Lebron James in the finals.
That leaves Danny Garcia and Marcos Maidana. Danny Garcia has become a fairly well-known commodity, he is indeed the reigning, universally recognized champion of the world at a 140 pounds. Just about everybody would give Garcia little to no chance of beating Mayweather. The same people gave Maidana those odds as well heading into May. Garcia is the only other fighter on this list outside of Maidana that would truly be credible. Any time the undefeated, unified champion of one division wants to move up in weight to face that division’s champion, you have a legitimate fight. Still, he should have to wait in line behind Maidana.
The problem for Mayweather is, even if he schools Danny Garcia or one of the other mentioned opponents, the public will shout Maidana’s name. Does Mayweather really want to endure all of the backlash that would come in him not giving Maidana a second shot? If Mayweather selects another opponent, the media will not be asking him questions about his opponent. They will be asking “Why did you choose not to fight Marcos Maidana?” No answer will be sufficient enough to appease the public. Marcos Maidana will replace Manny Pacquiao as Floyd Mayweather’s boogeyman. Mayweather needs to show the moxie, and be the great fighter that he is and tell Marcos Maidana “You want me again? You got it, September 13th.” Will see in the coming weeks what the sport’s best fighter decides.