"What if" Floyd Mayweather came back to fight Gennady Golovkin?
Published: February 22, 2016
Once again Floyd Mayweather Jr. has made boxing headlines. This time for making a statement on one of boxing’s current most prominent 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 U.K. with Johnny Nelson was asked what fighter today could tempt him to make a comeback to go for a 50-0 record. Mayweather first responded that he would need nine figures to step back in the ring. From the crowd, Mayweather heard Golovkin’s name. Mayweather stated that Golovkin would be “easy work” if they were to meet in the ring. Mayweather in the past has made similar statements towards Golovkin. Floyd has stated that Golovkin is a “straight up and down fighter with no special effects.” Whether he could prove this to be true is another story.
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 much of the criticism that many fans and pundits have about the competition faced in his career. Any fighter’s resume can be picked apart. Mayweather’s resume 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 did not happen at 130 pounds. A Stevie Johnston fight never occurred at lightweight. Kostya Tszyu although already past his prime never occurred 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 did not take place will be debated amongst fans. It must be said that it is difficult for any fighter to face all the top opponents in his era.
A bout with Golovkin would be against a fighter who is in his prime and rated as one of the best in the world pound for pound. It would be a fight that no one could criticize. Mayweather for the first time since facing off against Diego Corrales would be the underdog. Most importantly a fight with Golovkin would put Mayweather in the same company of some of the greatest fighters in boxing history. Mayweather, however, wouldn’t be the first fighter to start his career at 130 pounds and lower and face off against the middleweight champion.
Starting off with a fighter that is continuously 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 a four-weight division champion. He won titles at lightweight (135), welterweight (147), super welterweight (154) and middleweight (160). Duran got his first crack at the middleweight title against middleweight great, Marvin Hagler. Duran fought Hagler in 1983 at 32 years of age. 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 an excellent performance in what was considered the fight of the year in 1989. Duran defeated Barkley via decision to win the middleweight championship.
At just 27 years old after already making history by winning and holding the featherweight (126), 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 considered by most boxing historians to be one of the top three pugilists in boxing history.
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 seventh-round stoppage, but it did not affect his stature in boxing history. He is recognized as one of the greatest welterweights in the division's 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 fans would favor Golovkin by knockout or Mayweather by decision. Either way, it could be a 50-50 matchup.
As of now a matchup between Mayweather and Golovkin is mere fantasy. If the bout were ever to take place, Mayweather would be in a position that if he lost it would not have a significant adverse effect on his legacy. A knockout loss would likely break the internet with memes 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 calling him 'TBE' could turn a slogan into a closer reality.
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