On September 13th, Floyd “Money” Mayweather will step foot into the squared circle at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, for the very last time.
About an hour later – after he comfortably defeats Andre Berto by unanimous decision – boxing fans, be it diehard or casual, will be looking ahead to the future of the sport; and it’s a future that promises to be exciting.
Whenever Mayweather fights, the boxing world becomes transfixed on the most lucrative character in the history of the sport. It is not only boxing fans who become engrossed with him, many members of the showbiz world also voice their interest in Mayweather’s exploits as well; he is the sport’s biggest and most transcending star.
Filling the void
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But now it is time to move on. Kudos to Mayweather for ruling the sport for so long, for making as much money as he has, and for remaining undefeated throughout his career.
The future, though, is bright. Boxing no longer needs Mayweather. There is a clutch of talented, hungry fighters who are ready to become household names worldwide; who are ready to break box office records; who are ready to become the “pound for pound” king.
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In the coming months, many of the next breed of potential pound for pound kings will be in action. Here is a look at a few of the mouth-watering contests that fight fans around the world have to look forward to in the near future:
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. David Lemieux (October 17th)
- For IBF, WBA (Super), IBO & interim WBC Middleweight titles.
October 17th is the date that the grand old Madison Square Garden will host the eagerly anticipated middleweight unification clash between Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux.
Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) has produced 20 straight KO victories and is seen by many observers as the most exciting fighter on the planet. David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs), however, is an opponent who should not be overlooked by any means.
The current IBF Middleweight Champion has won each of his last nine fights, including a one-sided victory over former interim WBO and WBA champion Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam. The two fighters have chalked up 61 KO victories between them in 67 professional bouts, something tells me that October 17th might produce KO number 62.
Terence Crawford vs. Dierry Jean (October 24th)
- For WBO Light Welterweight title.
Current WBO Light Welterweight Champion, Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs), is a slick operator who has a plethora of skills. He is famed for his counterpunching, boxing skills and the ability to switch between both orthodox and southpaw stances.
Crawford currently holds the WBO Light Welterweight title and his latest opponent, Dierry Jean, will prove to be a stern test.
Jean (29-1, 20 KOs) suffered his only professional loss last year against Lamont Peterson, the tricky former IBF Light Welterweight Champion. I expect Crawford to come through in strong fashion, and have a feeling that it won’t be long before he is headlining major events against some of the world’s top fighters at Light Welterweight, or maybe even Welterweight.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto (November 21st)
- For WBC and The Ring Middleweight titles.
The most eagerly anticipated bout since Mayweather-Pacquiao? I think so. And with some justification, may I add.
Alvarez vs. Cotto has all the ingredients of a classic: Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, 32 KOs vs. 33 KOs, one future Hall of Famer against another.
In June 2014, Miguel Cotto (44-4, 33 KOs) retired Sergio Martinez to claim the WBC Middleweight title, and in doing so, become the first Puerto Rican in history to hold world titles in four different weight classes (Light Welterweight, Welterweight, Light Middleweight and Middleweight).
Cotto is already a certified great, but he looks to be getting stronger and stronger. In his last outing, he KO’d the tough Australian, Daniel Geale, in just four rounds to retain his middleweight crown.
Canelo (46-1-1, 32 KOs), on the other hand, also looked extremely impressive in his last outing when he scored a brutal third round KO victory over big hitting James Kirkland. At 25, Alvarez has already amassed 47 professional fights, a figure many veterans never reach in their entire career.
The young Mexican shows no signs of slowing down though and if he continues his rise we may one day be talking about one of the greatest Mexican warriors in history.