When Floyd Mayweather Jr. signed a six-fights-in-30-months deal with Showtime in February, few believed he would justify his payday (at least $200 million). It has been more than a decade since he fought that frequently, and expectations were that the boxer known as Money would shortchange fans by fighting overmatched opponents once (and occasionally twice) per year. But less than a month after a lopsided decision over Robert Guerrero, Mayweather announced last week he would face Saul Alvarez on Sept. 14. Assuming Mayweather, 36, stays healthy (and remains unbeaten), his potential path to a comfy retirement could become more compelling.
The unified junior middleweight champ, the 22-year-old resident of Guadalajara, Mexico, has been likened to a young Oscar De La Hoya, and he's wildly popular. Amid reports of low pay-per-view numbers for the Mayweather- Guerrero fight, Alvarez—who drew 38,000 fans to his last bout in San Antonio and attracted more than a million TV viewers in each of his last three—guarantees more than a million buys.
Last month Matthysse dropped junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson three times en route to a third-round knockout. On Sept. 7, Matthysse will face 140-pound kingpin Danny Garcia. Another high profile KO would increase Matthysse's profile just enough to make him a viable Mayweather opponent.
Mayweather has expressed interest in fighting in the U.K., where Khan would be the perfect opponent. Back-to-back losses to Peterson and Garcia have taken some of the shine off Khan, but a move up to welterweight could restore it quickly. Khan is penciled in to face titleholder Devon Alexander in December, and a win followed by an impressive defense in early '14 would set up a Mayweather showdown.
With a shoulder-roll defense and outlandish personality, Broner is a Mayweather clone. At 23, Broner needs seasoning—he will make his welterweight debut on June 22, when he challenges titleholder Paulie Malignaggi—but with so many strong opponents available between 140 and 147 pounds, Broner could develop into a superstar quickly.
Why not? There is no reason to believe that in two years Alvarez won't be a bigger, more polished star than he is today. There are plenty of post-Mayweather opponents for Alvarez—Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz, Ishe Smith, among others—and if he rolls through all of them, a rematch with Mayweather on Mexican Independence Day weekend would be a fitting coda to Mayweather's career.
DAVID BECKER/UPI/LANDOV (MAYWEATHER)
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (ALVAREZ)
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (MATTHYSSE)
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (KHAN)
ANDREW COULDRIDGE/ACTION IMAGES/ZUMAPRESS.COM (BRONER)