Last night (Sept. 14, 2013), Las Vegas hosted the boxing match of the year as #1 pound for pound boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather used his speed and precision to dominate Mexican star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Mayweather outboxed ‘Canelo’ the entire match, as the Mexican star appeared to grow more and more frustrated with each swing and miss of his gloved hands. It was a highly technical fight that appeared compelling to those watching despite the lack of knockdowns or attempts to finish the fight. One thing is for certain, we will see these two meet again. Despite Mayweather’s dominance and ability to frustrate the young star, ‘Canelo’ was never seriously hurt in the fight. Mayweather has 5 fights left on his mega-deal with Showtime and he cleared $30 million and $40 million dollars for the first two bouts of that contract. Those record setting numbers mean that Mayweather must be partnered with opponents that bring something to the table. Alvarez is going to have to win a few fights to build back up, but Mayweather’s inability to take him out leaves a rematch wide open as a possibility. So, what is next for Mayweather? Well, with over $40 million dollars coming in the door, ‘Money’ gets to count money and wait for his next opponent. After the Robert Guerrero fight in May which kicked off the contract that Mayweather says will be his last before retiring, ‘Money’ did not wait around for an opponent, signing for the lucrative fight with Alvarez almost immediately. Now, Mayweather does not have a clear cut next opponent on the slate, and it will likely be at least November before he announces a follow up match. Manny Pacquiao fights Brandon Rios in November, and whether fans boxing insiders are tired of hearing about it, a Pacquiao win would leave Manny and Mayweather as logical opponents and two of the top 4 draws in the sport (Canelo is top 4 and you have to include Klitschko). ‘Canelo’ should sign for a fight right away, preferably for a title that Mayweather has never held. He will still have no shortage of followers, and at 23 years old his future remains bright. After enduring twelve rounds against Mayweather, Canelo left more frustrated than hurt, more upset than embarrassed. It was also his biggest payday to date, and his entourage and infrastructure are already those of a crossover superstar, so you can be sure that Alvarez would sign for a rematch immediately. In the long run it is better to wait for Alvarez. Looking at boxing’s landscape, there is no logical next opponent who has built up enough of a following to interest Mayweather. Could Gennady Golovkin, come down in weight? It would be a truly fascinating fight, but Mayweather won’t accept Golovkin as an opponent because the undefeated KO artist really does not have a following. Without that, Mayweather is a no go. Pacquiao is in a fight against Brandon Rios similar to the Mayweather-Guerrero fight in that he is facing a young, aggressive opponent whose style is a good fit. Pacquiao is expected to get by Rios, and he would emerge as probably the biggest payday available for Mayweather. All Alvarez would have to do in a rematch is close the gap between him and Mayweather, and you are probably looking at a trilogy between these two. Mayweather showed no signs of aging yet in the ring this weekend, but as time rolls on and he does begin to wane a bit, Alvarez looks like the man who will be there to take the torch. Mayweather has five fights left on his contract, and it is a good bet that two of them will be with ‘Canelo.’
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