Originally, when I was going to write this article it was going to be a “why Mayweather vs Pacquiao won’t happen” post but then Amir Khan went out and dominated Devon Alexander and called out Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in one fell swoop. Then it started to become a “who is next for Fighter A” post. We will dive thoroughly in to the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao “negotiations” and look at other big name fighters and what is on tap for them.
This past weekend brought out quite a few big names in boxing including the aforementioned Amir Khan. In addition, Erislandy Lara, Timothy Bradley, and Victor Ortiz all fought over the weekend. Lara and Ortiz both easily won while Bradley was robbed of what seemed to be a certain victory and ultimately wound up with a draw. Let’s take a look at the rumors that are swirling in the boxing world.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Showtime in particular had a big weekend hosting two fight nights. Friday night, after a bit of a bizarre week for him, Floyd Mayweather granted an interview to Showtime in between fights. Predictably, the topic of conversation was any talk of a fight that would most certainly go down as the largest drawing fight ever, with Manny Pacquiao.
In true Mayweather style, he played like Pacquiao was desperate and that he would be doing him a favor by granting him a fight. True, as Floyd pointed out, Manny didn’t have great numbers Pay-Per-View wise against Chris Algieri, but let’s be real, Algieri was a relative unknown fighter who got his shot because he defeated who was believed to be Pacquiao’s next opponent in Ruslan Provodnikov. This paved the way for Algieri to cash in and for his troubles the fight “only” drew 300,000 pay-per-view orders, but that is still in the neighborhood of $18 million to $21million just on pay-per-view earnings, not anything to sneeze at.
Floyd makes the claim that Manny is not worth the same amount as he was before he lost to Juan Manuel Marquez and lost controversially to Timothy Bradley. True, Pacquiao has 2 additional losses on his record but let’s not pretend that Manny can’t beat either one of these fighters. This was the first time that Pacquiao lost in four fights to Marquez and wasted no time in avenging the surprising outcome of the Bradley fight. By this reasoning, Floyd feels he can offer Pacquiao a lower contract. The reality is this won’t be the largest pay-per-view fight ever without two legendary names in the sport.
There appears to have already been a little bit of back and forth between the two fighters. Pacquiao had already responded to the interview from Friday and says the fight is not about the money rather the fight is about making boxing fans happy. Manny even went as far as calling Mayweather fights sleep inducing. One piece that has already been thrown out is that Floyd wants a mandatory rematch should the fight be a loss. Predictably, the Pacquiao camp says that won’t be a problem.
Mayweather claims to already have a fight date in mind, May 2, which is in line with the “Cinco de Mayweather” fights of recent years. One problem, Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez are rumored to be fighting that weekend. It’s unlikely you would see two major pay-per-view fights on the same weekend. In the end, it sounds like both fighters find too many reasons not to fight each other and we can’t see why this time would be any different.
Khan is fresh off a win over Devon Alexander where Khan looked like he has his career back on track and ready again to challenge for a title. As with any fighter that thinks they are worth anything and have largely proven it in the ring, Khan wants his turn with Floyd Mayweather.
In the past Mayweather has indicated that he only wants to fight champions which would explain why boxers like Victor Ortiz received their chance with The Money Team. The problem is, Amir Khan currently does not have a title to win. In the past Mayweather hasn’t had any trouble with someone that fights the way that Khan does and we don’t see any reason why this would change now. However, Khan sees his progression as, Mayweather, Pacquiao, and Kell Brook. Which, should he beat those first two guys he can really fight whoever he wants, seeing as how nobody has beat the first name on the list that’s quite the tall order.
Mayweather will have you believe that his first and main focus is on making a fight with Pacquiao. It’s unclear at this point who his fall back options are but it is possible that Khan has talked enough that he is at least on Mayweather’s radar. Should Mayweather and Pacquiao happen, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to see Khan and Brook square up in London in what would be a highly anticipated match for two local fighters.
The last time we saw Crawford, which was only a couple of weeks ago, was looking impressive yet again at 135 pounds. Not surprisingly, it was announced after the fight the that he had no business left at that weight class and would be moving up to junior welterweight at 140 pounds.
When there are fighters that are moving up to 140 or 147 pounds two fighters always come up when they want a challenge, let’s pretend for a minute, though, that Mayweather and Pacquiao is going to happen. What is on the table for Crawford, some intriguing options appear to be at stake here. Jesse Vargas is a fellow undefeated fighter that would also like a shot at Pacquiao, the winner of this fight likely would be next in line to fight Manny and would likely be a very entertaining bout.
Sometimes, though, when moving up in class, it’s best to take on a fighter that won’t vault you to superstar status but will tell you if you belong or not. The fighter to do that could be Khabib Allakhverdiev. He last lost a unanimous decision to Vargas in April and wass scheduled to fight Julio De Jesus on December 11 but with the lack of information on the fight it may not have happened.
Some other good names have been mentioned including Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse. It is probably in the best interest of Crawford to ease in to the division versus jumping right in after a Danny Garcia. One thing is for certain, though, there is not a lack of exciting options in the class. It appears that once Mayweather and Pacquiao decide what they plan on doing, the rest will fall in to place for some of these other fighters.
We will continue to update this post as rumors for other names come up and as bouts are decided for the above names.