In beating Marcos Maidana to win his 46th professional fight, Floyd Mayweather Jr unified the WBA and WBC World Welterweight divisions and he remains on course to stay unbeaten in 50 boxing contests. Maidana proved a difficult opponent with his early aggression, which troubled Mayweather at times, but the majority verdict may have slightly flattered the Argentinian as the American was ultimately able to demonstrate the boxing skills for which he is renowned.
Maidana had been a controversial selection for this fight especially as Briton Amir Khan had beaten him in 2010 and had then had been ignored by Mayweather as a legitimate contender for his next fight. The champion now appears to treat the boxing game as a business with the objective of earning a vast fortune with carefully selected opponents rather than trying to prove his is the best pound for pound boxer in the World. While Maidana had been WBA champion, his record of 3 defeats in 38 previous fights was not the most convincing ahead of this bout.
Although Mayweather has defeated the likes of Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya in previous fights, Maidana’s opening salvos in Las Vegas unsettled the champion and proved that he can be vulnerable under pressure. It provoked the question of whether Mayweather would have been so successful in recent years had boxing legends Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns all been fighting at the current time.
A bout against Amir Khan would appear the next logical step for Mayweather given that the Briton easily outpointed the dangerous Luis Collazo on the undercard in his first contest as a welterweight. After an absence of 13 months from the ring during which time he was married, Khan showed a refreshing quick style of boxing which floored his opponent on three occasions and which has surely earned him the opportunity to challenge Mayweather.
The next schedule bout for Mayweather is in September against an as yet unnamed target but that date may preclude Khan from being his next opponent as his muslim beliefs entail that he will be fasting during the Ramadan month of July. As Mayweather is not the busiest of boxers these days, having fought only three times since May 2012, Kkan may not realise his dream of sharing the ring with the unbeaten champion until next year.
Meanwhile, Mayweather will prepare for another opponent and that may be Adrien Broner who outpointed Carlos Molina on the same undercard. Broner was beaten by Maidana in December but may tick all the boxes as a suitable challenger likely to extend the unbeaten sequence of the champion.
Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley may be the more obvious and legitimate opponents for Mayweather to face, but boxing politics combined with his determination to remain unbeaten and business-like attitude to boxing may ensure that such bouts remain off the agenda.