James Slater wonders if Mayweather was joking or really will take 'safe' opponent for a farewell fight
WITH Saturday’s dominant win over Adrien Broner under his belt, former IBF welterweight ruler Shawn Porter is understandably calling out Floyd Mayweather Jnr. Porter – who was too strong for Broner (despite having to weigh-in three-pounds below the welterweight limit as per Broner’s demands) appeared to have things largely his own way until the 12th and final round when Broner put him down with a lead left hook to the head – scored a unanimous decision and now wants to face Mayweather in September.
“Money,” who will be having his 49th and very possibly final fight at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 12, has yet to officially announce his challenger. Amir Khan remains hopeful he will get his dream fight, while other big names such as Gennady Golovkin and Keith Thurman have been calling out Mayweather for some time. And now, in the opinion of some, Shawn Porter deserves to be considered for September 12. But Mayweather, in speaking with his website of choice, FightHype, had a surprise in store when he was asked on camera who he will likely fight in September.
Mayweather insisted before the Porter-Broner fight how he would fight either Karim Mayfield or Andre Berto in his 49th bout. Reporters, writers and fans were largely of the opinion that Mayweather was joking. And, when Floyd again named Mayfield and Berto as the two candidates for his next fight, laughter broke out from the gathered media in attendance. Yet Mayweather never cracked a smile and he sounded deadly serious, perhaps worryingly so.
“No, I just don’t feel like it’s gonna happen,” Floyd said when asked if he’ll fight Porter in September. “He can fight on my undercard in September. Either Karim Mayfield or Andre Berto, that’s who Floyd Mayweather will be facing in September. I mean, every fighter, you know … one of those guys could upset Floyd Mayweather, you never know. It’s the Mayweather sweepstakes, who’s gonna hit the lottery. It all depends on how I feel.”
It’s almost a certainty fight fans everywhere will be hugely disappointed if the pound-for-pound king does indeed face either Mayfield, 19-2-1 and loser of two of his last three, or former WBC and IBF welterweight champion Berto, 30-3(23) next. Mayfield has never fought anyone approaching Mayweather’s level and he has done noting to earn a shot at the 38-year-old master. Berto may have been an elite fighter a few years ago – and he has returned to winning ways following a series of losses and injuries – but you would be hard pressed to find anyone willing to give Berto anything more than a huge outside chance against Mayweather.
Was Floyd merely joking as many media people felt/feel? Or, after his commanding win over Manny Pacquiao, does Mayweather feel he deserves to go out against a ‘safe’ foe in what could well be his ring swansong in September?