If Floyd Mayweather’s greatness is beyond question – in the opinion of most, anyway – his willingness to keep on fighting purely for the money knows no limits. As all fans know, the word is “Money” will once again live up to his nickname by facing the equally ancient (in boxing terms) Manny Pacquiao in a rematch that, though absolutely no fan has called for, might go ahead and make a stinking great pile of cash as it does so.
But if Mayweather really does want to fight again, and give the fans what they want to see (this saying being one of his favourites, Mayweather even coming out with this in an attempt at justifying his August 2017 hybrid/curiosity fight with Conor McGregor), he should fight another guy he has previously beaten: Canelo Alvarez. It was five years ago when a still-blinding Mayweather routed a still-green Canelo, but would he be able to do so again?
Canelo, arguably at his absolute peak right now, as world middleweight king, has matured plenty and learned a lot since (and during) the loss to Floyd. Mayweather’s greatness is secure, yes, but if he were to go for the ultimate – the middleweight crown, an amazing sixth weight class he would conquer should he do it – Mayweather would indeed be in a class all of his own. And that TBE nickname, well, it would be easier to agree with it.
Mayweather beat Canelo at a catch-weight of 152 pounds in 2013, but could he beat the Mexican star at a full 160 at his current age? If the rematch were to take place (and of course it’s a long, long, long, next to zero chance of happening, shot) would we see Canelo get the revenge he has said he still thinks about being able to get? It would be a huge, huge fight if it did happen – and a real fight. The kind the greats from yesteryear used to give us: Sugar Ray Robinson, at age 37 and beyond, for example, fighting some of his greatest, and toughest fights.
Instead we are going to get a cynical money fight, one that will attract a good deal of attention but for all the wrong reasons. Mayweather has often been called a “cherry picker” and a “safety first” fighter. If he took this late-career gamble – and as great as he is and says he is, Floyd would know he could indeed beat Canelo again, surely – Mayweather would forever wipe away these claims.
Mayweather, it could be argued, owes his fans and the sport a risky fight, as in a risky fight undertaken by himself, for all the gazillion dollar paydays he has pocketed. Mayweather against Canelo at middleweight would very possibly be an even fight, an even match-up: age Vs. youth, skill Vs. skill, boxer Vs. boxer/puncher.
Again, would Mayweather beat Canelo again or would the 28 year old top the 41 year old? Let’s dare Floyd to really, really prove his greatness by taking this fight – not that waste of time for everyone concerned rematch with Manny. Hey, Manny is talking about fighting the peak fighting machine that is Vasyl Lomachenko, and may do so, or face the equally in his prime Terence Crawford, if the Mayweather return does not actually happen. Why can’t Floyd face a young guy at the tail end of his career?
Mayweather has said the rematch with Pac Man will be “easy work.” Instead, let’s see him put in some hard work and dedication in a swansong that would befit a true great.