At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was expected to give Floyd Mayweather his toughest fight in years. That didn’t turn out to be the case, as Mayweather easily improved his career record to 45-0.
Mayweather won a majority decision, with judge CJ Ross causing some controversy by scoring the fight a draw. The numbers, though, indicate the undefeated boxer’s dominance over the 12 rounds. He landed 232 punches to Alvarez’s 117, including more than three times as many jabs.
With Alvarez out of the picture it’s time for Mayweather to find his next opponent. His contract with Showtime has him scheduled for four more fights in the next two years, and Mayweather says he’s ready to step inside the ring again in May.
Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza has compiled a list of potential challengers for Mayweather’s next fight. According to the L.A. Times, three boxers are in the lead to face Mayweather in eight months.
The No.1 contender to fight the Mayweather may be the winner of the bout that took place immediately before the light middleweight champion defeated Alvarez. Danny Garcia had his way with Lucas Matthysse, who had knocked out 89 percent of his opponents, to retain the junior welterweight championship. He knocked down the hard-hitting Matthysse in the 11th round before winning a unanimous decision.
As a junior welterweight, he would move up a weight class to meet Mayweather in a potential bout. Garcia thinks it’s his time to get a shot at the champ.
"I beat the best fighters at 140 pounds,” Garcia said. “What else do you want me to do?"
The other two men that Mayweather and Espinoza are targeting will be decided by two welterweight fights that are scheduled for December. On Dec.7, Amir Khan will face Devon Alexander, and Marcos Maidana will take on Adrien Broner the following week. The winners of those bouts will put themselves in the running to oppose Mayweather.
With Mayweather’s next opponent undecided, the thought of him finally fighting Manny Pacquiao still remains. Pac-Man will meet Brandon Rios on Nov.23 and has expressed his desire to settle his feud with the world’s top boxer. Mayweather reiterated his assertion that he doesn’t plan on facing Pacquiao, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change.
"I don't consider anything un-doable,” said Espinoza, in regards to Pacquiao. “If Floyd ultimately has any interest in it, I have no problem putting all of our efforts into making that fight. We would do that as long as we're not chasing our tail."
No matter who gets the next chance to deliver Mayweather his first loss, Saturday proved just how difficult it would be for anyone to defeat him. Alvarez was unbeaten in 43 tries, and didn’t come close to getting the win.
The odds-makers gave Alvarez a much better chance to defeat Mayweather than any of his recent opponents. Mayweather entered Saturday as a minus-270 favorite. In each of his past three previous fights, Mayweather did not start the day of the bout as less than a minus-625 favorite.