Boxing Matchmakers Column: Floyd Mayweather vs Danny Garcia?
By Jeremy O’Connell
Floyd Mayweather flaunted his legendary skills at the weekend with a near shutout schooling of the unbeaten Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, in the biggest fight of the past 6 and a half years. It was one of his career-best performances, and virtually sews up year-end ‘Fighter of the Year’ honours. With the win, Mayweather joined Manny Pacquiao as the only man to win lineal championships at 4 different weights.
Despite his frustrating night against Mayweather, Canelo remains one of boxing’s biggest stars (by the time the numbers are tallied, he may end up as the B-side of the 2nd biggest selling PPV in history), and at just 23, the future is very bright. A likely comeback fight for him would be against titlist Carlos Molina, who won his title at the weekend in a terrible fight against Ishe Smith.
On the undercard, Danny Garcia proved his doubters wrong by outboxing feared puncher Lucas Matthysse, capturing a lineal championship of his own and arguably catapulting himself into the pound for pound top ten. More importantly, he’s probably earned himself a shot at Mayweather, and the resultant payday (and, of course, sure-fire end to his unbeaten record). Many doubted Garcia could take Matthysse’s power, and some even felt Matthysse was the more polished boxer of the two, but just as against Amir Khan, Garcia rose to the occasion and showed why he’s one of the most mentally strong fighters in the sport.
At this point, Mayweather-Garcia would seem the most logical matchup for next May, although perhaps the winner of the likely December fight between Devon Alexander and Amir Khan could be in contention. Whoever it is, Mayweather shows no signs of slowing down and remains an unsolvable puzzle defensively, also armed with frightening accuracy and blurring hand-speed.
After dominating his number one challenger, who else is out there to trouble Mayweather? Maybe Erislandy Lara or Austin Trout, two big, southpaw junior middleweights, could give him at least something to think about, but they don’t draw flies so won’t get the opportunity. Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao (if he leaves Top Rank), and Adrien Broner (when his father-son relationship with Mayweather inevitable implodes in a childish feud) could also figure in Mayweather’s future.
What are the odds of Mayweather fighting for a middleweight title at a catchweight in the next couple of years, perhaps against Golden Boy-promoted titlist Peter Quillin or fading lineal kingpin Sergio Martinez? Could anyone really bet against him in those matchups, despite what would be large size discrepancies?
Whatever Mayweather’s future holds, let’s enjoy him while he lasts – truly great masters of their craft are few and far between.
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