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News

By Isaac Robinson

Last Updated: 02/05/16 12:15pm

  

Floyd Mayweather has opened up possibility of a comeback

Floyd Mayweather has opened up possibility of a comeback

Floyd Mayweather has opened up the possibility of returning to boxing for a history-making 50th bout, so who’s he likely to fight?
‘Money’ attended Badou Jack’s world title defence against Lucian Bute in Washington and, when questioned by the media, finally admitted he was considering a bid to become the first fighter to hang up his gloves with a flawless half-century of fights to his name.

Here’s a look back at Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Jr clashing

He told Showtime: “If I came back, of course, it would have to be a nine-figure payday and probably a championship fight.”
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The 39-year-old’s revelation will kick off a scramble to oppose him in what would be one of the sport’s most lucrative super-fights, so let’s assess the chances of some of those leading the charge to play a part if Mayweather opts to lace them up once more.
Adrien Broner (32-2-KO24)

WBA world super-lightweight champion
 Floyd Mayweather and Adrien Broner are former friends

Floyd Mayweather and Adrien Broner are former friends

The soap opera between the two has always carried a hint of business. Did the pair really fall out or are their social media outbursts designed only to maximise the financial yield of a collision?
It was around the time of Mayweather’s ‘final’ bout against Andre Berto in September 2015 that relations with Broner were deteriorating.

Floyd Mayweather Jr shows off his latest flamboyant purchases.

There’s also the element of revenge, as Broner beat Money Team member Ashley Theophane to the WBA world super-lightweight title via ninth-round stoppage on April 1. Like a mother wolf protecting her cubs, will Mayweather step in to punish Theophane’s conqueror?
Most would claim it a mismatch inside the ring. If Mayweather returns to take on Broner at welterweight, he’ll meet a man whose two career defeats came against Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter; implying 147lbs is a problem for ‘The Problem.’
Amir Khan (31-3-KO19)
Amir Khan is putting on the muscle ahead of Canelo clash

Amir Khan is putting on the muscle ahead of Canelo clash

If Khan springs the upset and beats WBC world middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on May 7, he’ll propel himself to the upper echelon of the sport. America has always enjoyed watching Bolton’s finest due to his risky style, but it’d be forced to take a victory over the Mexican very seriously.
Khan was left frustrated time and time again in his campaign to become Mayweather’s opponent last year, and if he beats Alvarez then who knows – maybe he’ll decide he’s ‘above’ going through the process again. With such a large amount of money on the table next to Khan’s unwavering self-belief, that seems unlikely, though.

Watch Amir Khan in training for his super-fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez.

Mayweather, of course, beat Alvarez. In September 2013, the American secured a majority decision over Canelo for the WBC and WBA super-welterweight crowns. If Khan can produce a clearer-cut victory at the catch-weight of 155lbs, he could find himself with Mayweather’s full attention.
What sets Khan apart as a prospective Mayweather opponent is his speed. He is the one fighter who can match Mayweather in that regard. Furthermore, with his history of hand issues, any knockout power Mayweather possessed has diminished and that may render him unable to take advantage of Khan’s hotly-debated chin.
Danny Garcia (32-0-KO18)
WBC world welterweight champion
Danny Garcia (L) beat Amir Khan by early stoppage

Danny Garcia (L) beat Amir Khan by early stoppage

Big, strong and unbeaten, the WBC welterweight champion is in his prime at the age of 28. In one of his career-best performances, he decimated Khan inside four rounds in 2012 and recently stepped up to 147lbs to beat Roberto Guerrero to a world title.
Garcia has a host of other impressive names on his record – Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Lucas Martin Matthysse and Paulie Malignaggi – but whether his profile possesses the ‘showbiz’ aspect required to make Mayweather the money he’s targeting is questionable.
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Amir Khan and Danny Garcia react after Las Vegas bout

To highlight the lack of history between Mayweather and Garcia is not to suggest he is undeserving of the pay day; on the contrary. As an undefeated business-like fighter who hits hard and speaks relatively realistically, he may be the most underrated in the division.
Stylistically, Garcia could suit Mayweather. A natural aggressor, Garcia’s come-forward style could serve to highlight Mayweather’s phenomenal skills on the back foot. There’s no doubt that Garcia has improved technically, though, and there’s also no doubt that power-wise, he’d be capable of ruining Mayweather’s dream via stoppage.
Keith Thurman (26-0-KO22) v Shawn Porter (26-1-1-KO16) winner
Thurman is WBA world welterweight champion
Keith Thurman (L) will defend his title against Shawn Porter

Keith Thurman (L) will defend his title against Shawn Porter

Thurman is another unbeaten world champion (holding the WBA strap) and will defend his crown in June 25’s rearranged clash with former IBF king, Porter, who outpointed Broner in his last bout.
‘One Time’ is entering his prime at the age of 27 and boasts significant power; stopping Luis Collazo, Julio Diaz and Diego Chaves in recent years. In the welterweight scheme of things, the Floridan is up there with Kell Brook and Garcia at the top of the tree and would pose a very real threat to Mayweather.

Keith Thurman is training for his upcoming fight with Shawn Porter.

For some, Porter was exposed at the top level by Brook – even though ‘Showtime’ still disputes the majority decision. He outworked a lacklustre Broner in June 2015 but with his hustling, busy, come-forward style reliant on work-rate rather than technique, his are the tactics that may allow Mayweather to look best.
Thurman is likely to hear the opening bell as a favourite to beat Porter but if Mayweather has confirmed plans for the 50th fight by then, both will know that claiming the WBA title may come with an extra-special bonus reward.
Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2-KO38)
Floyd Mayweather Jr exchanges punches with Manny Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Jr exchanges punches with Manny Pacquiao

Yes. Really. Both are now officially retired but for some – including Pacquiao, who still maintains he won their first bout in May 2015 – there is a sense that the business between the pair remains unfinished.
There’s no dressing it up; the ‘Fight of the Century’ was disappointment as a spectacle. Pacquiao seemed unable to apply the pressure he had promised as Mayweather sashayed to a decision without really being troubled. Pacquiao claimed in the wake of the bout his preparation had been plagued by shoulder issues.

Watch Manny Pacquiao spar for his farewell fight against Timothy Bradley.

As ever, there’s really only one way to find out and that’s do it again – and that raises the question of the boxing public’s appetite for watching it. Pacquiao’s impressive display in bringing his curtain down with a wide decision over Timothy Bradley served as a reminder of what excited such anticipation for the first bout.
Mayweather isn’t big on rematches (Jose Luis Castillo and Maidana being rare cases), but the two standout performers of their generation returning to the sport for one last hurrah against each other remains an option.
…But what about Kell Brook?
Kell Brook is unlikely to make the running to face Floyd Mayweather

Kell Brook is unlikely to make the running to face Floyd Mayweather

Despite his victory over Porter, Brook’s profile in the US remains relatively low. In fact, his night of world title glory was only the second time he’d fought on American soil – the first being a fifth-round stoppage of Luis Galarza in Atlantic City back in 2011.
Brook’s lack of pulling power Stateside and the fact he’s arguably the division’s most dangerous operator mean it’d be a surprise if Mayweather went looking for the IBF world welterweight champion.

Saul Alvarez v Amir Khan Either Fighter Wins: Either fighter wins in Rnd 1-12 (any method)