Boxing’s undisputed, undefeated, pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather stepped into the ring for the very last time this past Saturday (September 12, 2015) in Las Vegas, at least that’s what he says.
Mayweather took on a relative unknown in Andre Berto, securing his 49th professional win by way of unanimous decision, and announcing that he would be hanging up his gloves for good soon thereafter.
Although “Money” is highly criticized for his rather boring style, many are saying that boxing has died upon his retirement, or that an unfillable void has been created. Mayweather is undoubtedly boxing’s biggest draw, and when he says that when fans think boxing they think Mayweather, he may be right, but that doesn’t mean that this is the end of the road for the sweet science.
We may never see a more prolific star than “Money”, but when looked at closely, boxing seems to have a bright future ahead, and a bright immediate future at that. In the coming months, fans will be treated to some absolutely huge fights, and for the most part, it revolves around two fights, and four fighters.
First up, we have heavy handed knockout artist and reigning WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin taking on IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux in a bout that will unify the WBA, IBF, and interim WBC titles.
“GGG” has quickly become one of the most feared men in boxing, as he is 33-0 with a whopping 30 knockouts. Having not gone the distance since 2008, the Kazakh slugger offers the bone crushing excitement that Mayweather critics long for.
Golovkin is coming off of a brutal, breathtaking sixth-round knockout victory over Willie Monroe Jr. last May, and when it comes to action, “GGG” is your man.
Although Lemieux may not have the biggest name value, or be the biggest star, he is definitely a skilled fighter, possessing a 34-2 record with 31 knockouts of his own. With the middleweight division lacking suitable opponents for Golovkin, and many just not wanting to fight “GGG”, the Canadian Lemieux could surprise some and provide a solid test for the WBA champ.
The two men are set to headline an HBO pay-per-view on October 17, 2015 from Madison Square Garden, and I expect fireworks to go off in the big apple.
Next up, we have arguably the biggest fight in boxing right now between veteran middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, and rising star, and former junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Cotto’s title will be on the line in a catch weight bout at 155-pounds.
Despite having been in the fight game for quite some time, Cotto at age 34 has seemed to just recently hit his stride training under the legendary Freddie Roach. Since dropping back to back losses to Mayweather, and Austin Trout, the Puerto Rican has rattled off three-straight finishes over the likes of Delvin Rodriguez, Sergio Martinez, and most recently Daniel Geale.
Alvarez on the other hand could be the future of boxing, despite having a wealth of experience at such a young age. With an outstanding record of 45-1-1, “Canelo”, since suffering his first career loss to Mayweather in 2013, has also compiled three-straight victories over Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, and most recently a brutal knockout over James Kirkland.
With the Mexican vs. Puerto Rican rivalry involved, this bout could be a considered a super fight, and it will undoubtedly be a huge event. The two men will do battle on November 21, 2015 live on pay-per-view from Las Vegas.
On top of these two fights, it’s likely that the winners of each bout will end up squaring off as well which would form another highly-anticipated matchup.
Despite these fights being the most intriguing of the near future, these are not the only exciting fights, and fighters that will keep boxing alive.
The welterweight division in which Mayweather’s leaving still has some big names, and potential stars in Kell Brook, Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter to name a few.
American champions Terrence Crawford, and Andre Ward have bright futures, and heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has the potential to reignite one of boxing’s greatest divisions as well.
At the end of the day, whether you love him or hate him, what Mayweather has done for the sport of boxing will never be forgotten. However, boxing has lived on for hundreds of years, and I don’t see it going anywhere any time soon.
My suggestion for all boxing fans would be to sit back, relax, and try your best to enjoy what lies ahead because there are some truly special fights coming.