Monday, January 22, 2018
Sports

What's next for unbeaten Mayweather?

LAS VEGAS — Two years. Four more fights.

The end of Floyd Mayweather's career is in sight, because even the best fighter of his era can't beat Father Time. He'll be 38 and another $150 million or so richer when his lucrative contract with Showtime ends, and by then even the fighter raised from birth to be in the ring will likely have had his fill.

Appreciate his spectacular skills while you can. After what Mayweather did Saturday night to Canelo Alvarez, it's hard to argue when he proclaims himself as one of the greatest ever to lace on the gloves.

The only question is, can anyone give him a legitimate fight?

"I don't know what the future holds now," Mayweather said. "I'm not psychic."

Maybe, but Mayweather knows this: He'll fight in May ("Cinco de Mayweather" he calls it) and he'll make another huge purse.

"I've only got 24 months left," he said.

Whether he sticks to that plan remains to be seen, of course. Fighters can be their own worst enemies when it comes time to calling it quits, and Mayweather by then likely would be 49-0 and one fight from breaking the unbeaten mark set by Rocky Marciano before he retired.

Alvarez was supposed to give him a tussle, but the Mexican champion spent all night punching at air as Mayweather put on a virtuoso performance that had everyone raving — except one judge.

The 114-114 scorecard of C.J. Ross was as bizarre as pop star Justin Bieber walking into the ring with Mayweather. Two other judges had Mayweather an easy winner, and the Associated Press had him winning all but one round, 119-109.

"I'm not in control of what the judges do," Mayweather, 36, said. "That's a strong, young fighter over there. My dad (trainer Floyd Sr.) said I was a little tight, and he was right."

Mayweather hurt his left elbow midway through the fight and hesitated to jab for a few rounds but worked through the pain, he said, because he wanted to show his children that their dad was a winner.

Few can argue with that after Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) won what might have been the richest fight of all time. The live gate was a record $20 million, and promoters will find out in the coming weeks if the fight generated the 2 million or so pay-per-view buys that could add several more millions to the record $41.5 million purse Mayweather was guaranteed.

Mayweather was the main draw, but Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) put the hype over the top. His fans made up a big portion of the sellout crowd at the MGM Grand arena on Mexican Independence Day weekend. Some in Mexico estimated up to 80 percent of the country watched.

But Mayweather attacked with sharp jabs and straight right hands that found their mark early and often. Alvarez tried to land big punches but Mayweather was too elusive and Alvarez grew more frustrated by the round.

"Obviously I didn't want to lose," the 23-year-old said. "It hurts."

Mayweather, who captured the WBC and WBA light middleweight world titles, was effusive in his praise for Alvarez afterward, saying he will be a great champion for years to come. Baited several times to throw a verbal jab at Alvarez, Mayweather never bit.

Promoters have talked about several fighters who could be next for Mayweather, including unbeaten Danny Garcia, who upset Lucas Matthysse in a 140-pound title fight on the undercard. But for now?

"I just need a vacation," Mayweather said. "I haven't taken a vacation in four or five years."

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