In case you missed Part One of The Money Sweepstakes article from last week go ahead and take a look below. You won’t be disappointed and quite frankly you need to catch up. I mean, you can’t just start watching Game of Thrones in Season 4, right? So go ahead and get familiar with The Money Sweepstake Part 1 before you proceed any further.
After the past weekend’s fiasco in Las Vegas, tensions were high in the boxing and hip hop communities as The Money Team was allegedly involved in a heated altercation with rapper T.I. and his crew outside of FatBurger restaurant on the Strip. Apparently, T.I. was upset that The Fight Voice talking heads didn’t have him a spot on The Money Sweepstakes. Settle down T.I. Just settle down.
In Part 2 we dive into the next wave of fighters that we have identified as The Technicians. This list of rising stars includes potential opponents who are true technical specialists that may present some challenges if Floyd chooses to face either of them over the final two fights of his contract.
Erislandy Lara (Welterweight)
Erislandy Lara, a Cuban boxer who is considered one of the most technically-sound fighters in the game, is known by the boxing media and diehard fight fans as the one man nobody wants to step into the ring with. After beating Edwin Vasquez in 2009, Lara went on to win 9 straight fights before fighting to a draw against Carlos Molina in 2011. The impressive run was something true boxing fans recognized and soon enough Lara began to get bigger fights. His first significant fight after the draw against Molina was against Paul Williams. Unfortunately for Lara he was handed a loss as the judges scored the fight in favor of Williams, which was not a popular decision among the media and fans alike. Lara’s technical skills are significantly better than the opponents Mayweather has faced recently and begs the questions as to whether or not this would be a dangerous fight for Floyd. My only concern with Lara is that he hasn’t faced enough good competition that would prepare him for a fighter like Floyd. Lara’s abundant amateur career and solid professional record is respectable, but I need to see him beat Alvarez in July before I could see an opportunity with Floyd.
Danny Garcia (Junior Welterweight)
One of Golden Boy’s and Al Haymon’s prized possessions right now is Philadelphia puncher and fan favorite Danny Garcia who appears primed for a showdown with a significant foe. Garcia is a student of the game and a very technically sound fighter, who at times receives criticism from fans for his steady approach to his fights. He doesn’t search for knockouts, but rather he lets the fights come to him by sticking to his game plan. This is important when you are in the ring with Floyd as one of Mayweather’s best traits is his ability to take his opponents outside of their comfort zones. While it is no secret that Garcia gets hit, as was demonstrated in his last fight against Mauricio Herrera, I find this fight intriguing in that Garica has the right mindset, technical skills and power to give Floyd a good fight.
Amir Khan (Welterweight)
If there is one fighter who can match Floyd’s speed in the ring; it is Amir Khan. The British fighter has had an up-and-down career that includes significant wins, disappointing losses and questionable fights that leave his fans defending him while simultaneously scratching their heads. Khan can be a frustrating fighter at times who can be brilliant in one fight and average in the next. He starts slow, fights safe and depends on his ability to steal rounds in order to seal a decision. The Amir Khan fights that have the most action are the ones where he is being knocked to the canvas. Khan’s ability to imitate a baby deer as it exits its mother’s womb falling to its face and repeatedly trying to stand on buckling knees is an amazing thing to watch. So how does this help or hurt Floyd’s decision? I don’t think it helps or hurts his decision. This is a win-win for Floyd in my opinion. If Floyd wants a boring fight that could be dangerous if left in the hands of the judges than he should sign up with Khan right now. Lucky for us however, this fight seems all but dead for September 2014 as Amir Khan will be observing a religious holiday that requires extreme fasting.
Canelo Alvarez (Welterweight)
Alfredo Angulo is not Floyd Mayweather. Erislandy Lara isn’t either. Lara is more Floyd than Angulo is, but he is still far away from being a pound-for-pound champion. The final man in the mix of The Money Sweepstakes will battle Lara this July – Canelo Alvarez. He also battered Alfredo Angulo around the ring earlier this year and appeared to be a rejuvenated fighter after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. Canelo Alvarez had his shot at The Money Sweepstake. He thought that he had the blueprint. In the eyes of his fans, some media members and his mentor Oscar De La Hoya it was obvious that Canelo was ready to take over the throne and hand Mayweather his first loss. Things didn’t work out as planned and Floyd continued his reign of terror through the division by handing the young Mexican star his first loss of his career. But something has been different with Canelo Alvarez. For some reason he suddenly lost some fans. When he stepped into the ring with Angulo, who is a fan favorite fighter for his relentless style, it was obvious that the ‘next Oscar’ wasn’t receiving the respect he thought he had. Canelo embraced the hate in his post-fight interview and against the advice of his team he took a fight with the dangerous Cuban, Erislandy Lara, who coincidently handed Alfredo Angulo a brutal loss just one year ago. Is Canelo ready and deserving of a rematch with Floyd? I think he is ready and if he is able to dismantle Lara this July than he can make an even stronger case for himself. However, I am not sure that he deserves the rematch at this time. Add in the fact that the turnaround from fighting in July and September is not realistic and you can pretty much call this one impossible. But I would be interested to see how things play out and just maybe Canelo gets his shot one last time – in Floyd’s final fight.
Best Matchup for Floyd: Amir Khan, Canelo Alvarez
Worst Matchup for Floyd: Danny Garica
Most Likely Fight to be Made: Danny Garcia
Be sure to check back next week as we tackle “The Wildcards!” You don’t want to miss this one folks.