"What if" Floyd Mayweather came back to fight Gennady Golovkin?
By Hector Franco
Once again Floyd Mayweather Jr. has made boxing headlines. This time for making a statement on one of boxing’s current biggest stars. Last week it was Danny Garcia in regards to the Canelo-Khan bout. Now Floyd has mentioned current IBF and WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Mayweather in a video via fighthype.com in an interview over in the UK with Johnny Nelson was asked what fighter today could tempt him to make a comeback
Mayweather along with many of his supporters has maintained that he is simply too small to move up to middleweight. If Mayweather did in fact, take the chance and face Golovkin for the middleweight title it would end a lot of criticism that many fans and pundits have about the competition faced in his career. Any fighter’s resume can be picked apart. Mayweather’s seems to be on the top of the list of most fans to do so on a weekly basis. Fights with Joel Casamayor and Acelino Freitas didn't happen at 130 pounds. A Stevie Johnston fight never occurred at lightweight. Kostya Tszyu although already past his prime never happened at 140 pounds. Fights with Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams and a bout with Manny Pacquiao in 2010 never came to fruition. The reasons as to why these fights didn't take place will be debated amongst fans. It must be said that it is difficult for any fighter to face all the top fighters in his era.
Starting off with a fighter that is constantly used as a fantasy opponent for Mayweather. Roberto Duran (103-16, 70 KOs) is considered by many to be the best lightweight champion in boxing’s history. Duran is also a 4-weight division champion. He won titles at lightweight, welterweight, super welterweight and middleweight. Duran got his first crack at the middleweight title against middleweight great, Marvin Hagler. Duran fought Marvin Hagler in 1983 at 32 years old. It was a close fight where Hagler pulled out the victory by winning a majority of the championship rounds. Duran got another chance at the middleweight title in 1989 against Iran Barkley at 37 years old. Duran put on a great performance in what was considered the fight of the year in 1989. Roberto Duran defeated Iran Barkley via decision to win the middleweight championship.
At just 27 years old after already making history by winning and holding the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight world titles, Henry Armstrong (151-20-9, 101 KOs) challenged Ceferino Garcia for the middleweight championship. The bout ended in a controversial draw that many feel Armstrong won. Henry Armstrong is largely considered in the top three of most boxing historians’ all-time list of the greatest fighters.
Cuba's Jose Napoles (81-7, 54 KOs) made 10 defenses of his welterweight title before he went up to face the middleweight champion, Carlos Monzon. Monzon is recognized as one of the greatest middleweight champions in the history of the sport. Monzon held the record for most middleweight title defenses (14) until Bernard Hopkins broke the record in the 2000’s. Napoles was 33 years old when he faced Monzon for the middleweight title. Napoles lost to Monzon by 7th round stoppage, but it didn’t affect his stature in boxing history as he is recognized as one of the greatest welterweights in the sports history.
Another Cuban fighter, the great Kid Gavilan (108-30-5, 28 KOs) challenged Bobo Olson for the middleweight title. Gavilan was 28 years old at the time he challenged Olson in 1954. Gavilan lost a majority decision to Olson. Gavilan is best known for being a welterweight champion and inventing what's known as the "Bolo punch". Gavilan also made his career debut below 130 pounds.
These four fighters all fought in a different era in boxing. Mayweather calling himself 'TBE', The Best Ever has opened himself up to comparisons with fighters from other eras.
Mayweather may be the underdog against Golovkin, but he has much more world class experience. Mayweather is leaps and bounds above the likes of Daniel Geale and David Lemieux. Mayweather in the ring is one of the most intelligent fighters the sport has seen.He has been on the big stage numerous times and has always come out on top. On the other side, Golovkin would be the biggest fighter in size Mayweather has fought. Golovkin would also be the biggest puncher Mayweather has fought bar none. Along with his power, Golovkin is a skilled fighter who can cut off the ring to go along with one of the best jabs in boxing. Golovkin's amateur credentials of amassing a 345-5 record speaks for itself. Many Fan's would favor Golovkin by knockout or Mayweather by decision. Either way, it could be a 50-50 match up.
As of now a matchup between Mayweather and Golovkin is mere fantasy. If the bout were to ever take place Mayweather would be in a position that if he lost it wouldn’t have a big negative effect on his legacy. A knockout loss would likely break the internet with meme's and replay videos of the knockout. Although no longer undefeated the fact that he stepped up to face Golovkin at 38 years of age would be impressive. If Mayweather defeated Golovkin, however, then calling him 'TBE' could turn a slogan into a closer reality.
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