Five potential comeback opponents for Floyd Mayweather’s 50th fight
Lee Gormley | August 28, 2016
Five potential comeback opponents for Mayweather
Since comfortably outpointing Andre Berto in September last year before announcing his supposed retirement, Floyd Mayweather has been the subject of increased speculation regarding a return to the ring .
Hard Work & Dedication. How far are you willing to push yourself to get to the top and stay at the top? https://t.co/O3eueyDFem
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) August 25, 2016
‘Money’ Mayweather finally collided with Manny Pacquiao last summer too in what ultimately ended in a one-sided success for the undefeated fighter and, after such dominant final outings, many wondered why he was quitting with such a high level still being maintained.
Although, the five-division world champion has been dropping plenty of hints of a comeback bout later this year of further down the line, and even admitted he had previously held talks with Showtime about a potential 50th bout.
“Everyone is asking me, ‘Is Floyd Mayweather coming back?’” said Mayweather. “Right now, I’m happy being on [the promotional] side, but I’ve been talking with CBS and Showtime, and you just never know. But right now, I’m just happy on this side.
“As of right now, some crazy numbers have been thrown my way — upwards, of course, of nine figures. But I’m truly blessed beyond belief, and I really don’t know what we’re going to do. But right now, I’m really happy being on this side helping fighters.
“If I come back, of course it would have to be a nine-figure payday, and probably a championship fight and nine-figure payday.”
So, having retired last year as the sport’s pound-for-pound number one after equalling Rocky Marciano’s long-standing record of 49-0, here are five potential opponents for Mayweather’s 50th ring outing…
A clash with current welterweight champion Garcia makes the most sense of any possible return contest for the retired 12-time world titlist, with the Philadelphia fighter possessing plenty of incentives for such a meeting.
Mayweather previously admitted Garcia would be a tempting future opponent for a returning bout, with the 28-year-old also being so far undefeated in his career, holds the WBC welterweight strap and is already a big name that could help generate encouraging pay-per-view numbers.
“Danny Garcia, another name. Undefeated prospect — undefeated champion in two different weight classes. Very exciting fighter. You just never know,” Mayweather said.
‘Swift’ Garcia is also managed by Al Haymon, a good friend of Mayweather, and both fighters are a similar size to make such a clash happen. WBA champion Keith Thurman, was also tipped for as a future foe, but the unbeaten 27-year-old’s substantial rehydration size may put ‘Money’ off.
Fans were sent into a digital frenzy previously when reports emerged of a potential blockbuster showdown between Mayweather and UFC featherweight champion McGregor, while the boxing and MMA purists were quick to write off such a meeting.
In a bout which Mayweather would be a massive odds-on 1/25 favourite to reign supreme in, with UFC’s biggest star a 9/1 shot, it could bring a huge audience from both sets of fans of the two sports and generate an obscene PPV following.
Despite the dream crossover match-up seemingly being unlikely to ever become a reality, Floyd Mayweather Snr recently boosted hopes of the showdown occurring at some point, claiming his son was keen to get negotiations sorted.
“He had told me the other day that he was going to take another fight,” said the 63-year-old. “He says [it’s against] some kind of MMA fighter.
“We don’t care about that man, we’d beat the hell out of that man. My son can whoop him. He’s dead. He’s a dead man.
“That’s what everyone has been saying. I’ll tell you this, if it’s not MMA fighting, Conor is going to get the hell beat out of him. I know lil’ Floyd ain’t going for being an MMA fighter, so that means that Conor is going to get the hell beat out of him still.
“I really don’t know exactly when, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to come around pretty soon. Won’t be that long.”
Dublin-born McGregor has become the face of the UFC after storming onto the scene, and gained redemption over recent conqueror Nate Diaz during an all our war at UFC 202, though an encounter with Mayweather would undoubtedly attract more of a global audience anyway.
It was dubbed ‘the Fight of the Century’ last summer when Pacquiao and Mayweather finally ended years of build-up to collide in Las Vegas, but the comfortable nature of victory for the latter left fans feeling massively underwhelmed.
‘Pacman’ has since called time on his illustrious career after dispatching Timothy Bradley in their third career meeting, but recently announced he will be returning to face Jessie Vargas in November, potentially targeting a Mayweather rematch next year.
Although, there’s no doubt that both fighters coming out of retirement for another meeting would still be an attractive possibility that boxing fans, no matter how much they denied it, would definitely tune in for.
A meeting between Broner and Mayweather has plenty of interesting sub-plots which would make it an exciting prospect, with the latter being a former mentor and close friend of ‘the Problem’.
Four-weight world champion Broner was recently the centre of controversy when serving time for his supposed involvement in an armed robbery, and even called out his former ally after stopping Mayweather Promotions fighter Ashley Theophane.
The unbeaten former pound-for-pound king laughed off Broner’s challenge, but the 26-year-old earlier added fuel to their ongoing feud, stating: “I don’t need him. To be honest, he needs me to stay relevant.”
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez
After ferociously stopping Amir Khan, Mexican superstar Canelo will soon face another Briton Liam Smith for his WBO light-middleweight.
The red-headed middleweight champion has become boxing’s shining light in the absence of Mayweather on the scene, and a second encounter would potentially rival the record-breaking numbers set by ‘May-Pac’, which brought an upward of £4m PPV buys.
The sport’s current biggest draw Canelo would likely insist on another catchweight though and, with Mayweather having already handily earned a unanimous decision win in their first meeting in 2013, why would the undefeated great step back into the ring with a much bigger fighter?
Whoever, wherever and whenever Mayweather chooses for a potential comeback 50th outing, it would surely be a huge event, with the reaction to his current absence proving he still has a lasting grasp and influence on the sport he starred in for almost two decades.