Boxing

Floyd Mayweather needs one fight to become the greatest ever

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Mayweather was too good for Alvarez. (©GettyImages)
Mayweather was too good for Alvarez. (©GettyImages).

Floyd Mayweather is truly a phenomenon of the boxing world.

His style and ability offers an excuse for his intolerable arrogance, his showmanship and fight-selling hype are equalled by none and above all else, he can no longer be lauded as a man who ducks fights.

In Saul Alvarez (now 42-1-1) Mayweather wasn't simply picking up an easy pay day. Of course the mind-boggling purse would have seemed alluring to anyone, but for a man of Mayweather's reputation and stature, Canelo was a risk that he could have quite easily opted out of.

The solid fact is that Money is at such a level of prestige that he can pick and choose his opponents at will, because there is not a single ambitious professional pugilist in the world who wouldn't get into a ring with him if given half the chance.

Alvarez was advertised as the one true remaining threat to Mayweather's perfect record, and lauded as a fighter who could cause serious problems due to his size, power and young age.

If Mayweather was looking for an easy end to an awe-inspiring career this was one fighter he would have actively looked to steer well clear off.

What transpired was that Mayweather took the fight, and did what he has been doing his entire life; completely nullifying any threat his opponent posed and seeing out the fight by way of ensuring Canelo danced to the tune of his flute all night long.

So where next for Mayweather? His record for the last decade boasts wins over a string of fighters who were either world champions at the time, or who would go on to capture belts in the future.

Rematches against the likes of Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez and maybe even Saul Alvarez aren't given the same level of appeal as their initial fights purely because of the manner in which Mayweather despatched his opponents on the first time of asking.

Arguably only Jose Luis Castillo and Oscar De La Hoya have come close to toppling the pound-for-pound king, and even then those fights took place in 2002 (he fought Castillo twice) and 2007, and both Castillo and De La Hoya are now retired.

It's an unfortunate state of affairs that there now remains only one man in the world who anyone would give a punters chance of upsetting the overwhelming odds. It's not the upcoming Danny Garcia and it's certainly not the loud-mouthed Amir Khan, so whom?

Most of you of course already know the answer to that question.

The man who provides one half of one of the most sought after fights in the sports' history; Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, despite having lost his last two bouts to Timothy Bradley and Marquez respectively, can launch himself right into contention with a win over Brandon Rios and this time, Mayweather may just be confident enough to make it happen. And make no mistake, the ball will very much be in Mayweather's court.

No longer do the pair solely share the raised plinth in boxing's plateau of untouchable superstars, and as such there may not be the intense clashing of egos that there were in the past. 

One aspect that could weigh in heavily is Mayweather's love of money, which he seemingly can't get enough of. A fight with someone like Khan would provide Mayweather with a hefty purse, no doubt any fight would because it's Mayweather, but a cash-opportunity on par with what was up for grabs against Alvarez can only be trumped by one duel.

Pacquiao, a former eight-division world champion in his own right, was considered by some to the only man better than Mayweather up until his incredibly controversial loss to Bradley.

However whilst he remains in the sport there will always be those who beg the question what if?

Mayweather has dealt comfortably with literally every single champion who has been either been placed in front of him or hand-picked by his team, and yet in the darkest corners of the sport there are those who still ponder whether Pacquiao's legendary speed can cause him troubles he's never faced before.

Forget Rocky Marciano's 49-0 record, Mayweather could easily beat up another five welterweights in order to secure his place in history that way. For me Mayweather must take a fight with Pacquiao to eliminate any doubt that he is one of, if not the best boxer to have ever lived.

At the moment he is undoubtedly up there with the very best the sport has ever produced, and as he's beaten every great boxer available bar one, there's not much of an argument that can counter that. However a fight and a win over Pacquiao would raise him to even higher levels of stardom.

Mayweather could be immortalised with a win over his greatest enemy and rival, and for this reason it will be an injustice if the bout never materialises. 

Topics:
Floyd Mayweather
Boxing
Manny Pacquiao
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