Bernard Hopkins/Floyd Mayweather is the heir apparent to Roy Jones’ mythical pound for pound title according to most writers and fans alike. This truly and precarious and prestigious position differs from any other sanctioning title or linear championship. That is the reality of why Antonio Tarver doesn’t automatically garner that ultimate championship status.
Pretty Boy Floyd is unbeaten and a two weight division champion. His overall speed, footwork, and accuracy are nearly unbelievable at times.
The only apparent drawback Mayweather has is his notoriously fragile hands. The same hands re-injured in his previous fight against Demarcus “Chop Chop’ Corley.
It’s also apparent Floyd is listening to the critics and as a result has adopted a more dangerous and entertaining style. (At least for now that is).
However if people say that Kostya Tszyu or some other contender with power will KO Pretty Boy because of that, they are most certainly missing the bigger picture. To these eyes it seemed as though Floyd was merely proving a point to the fans, as well as himself, by standing toe to toe with Demarcus Corley in is his first endeavor at super lightweight.
To the trained eye Mayweather fights every opponent with some degree of uniqueness, and it seems feasible to think he has enough power to break down Tszyu over the course of a 12 round bout (assuming his hands hold up). Of course, that also assumes Kostya fights again or recaptures his previous form. That remains to be seen prior to any real talk of a future match up.
The element of his performance that impressed me most about Mayweather's move up in weight, besides the quality of his chin, was the fact that his reach and speed translate very well. I was surprised to see that Floyd enjoyed a 2-inch advantage over Corley and that also makes me believe he could have similar success at 147, over the next few years providing he cleans the Light-Welterweight division out first. His enormous speed can make up for any future deficiency against the bigger guys as well. It didn’t seem plausible when he was nearly beaten by Castillo at 135, but it seems like a strong possibility now.
In my view, the fighter who may give him the most trouble at 140 is Shambra Mitchell. Mitchell’s style, size, and speed coupled with his southpaw stance may be what gives Mayweather the most trouble in his career. Then again he may just prove to have the answer for Mitchell as well. He’s that good. That match-up would likely produce much interest by diehard technical fans, but not the public. Therefore, it may never happen.
I also believe that Floyd could carve Hatton up like a Thanksgiving Turkey if FW was actually insane enough to put them in the ring together. That would be another example of Floyd fighting more cautiously, but I think he would wear Hatton out late because of the accumulated accurate blows. Should his hands hold up for the duration I can even see him stopping Hatton late.
Miguel Cotto doesn’t seem nearly ready nor have as much power as was originally assumed. Actually for a challenge such as Floyd he probably will never be truly ready. Paul Spadafora would most likely get run out of the ring as his lack of power will allow Mayweather to be more aggressive (ala Corley). By then, and if it should happen, Floyd would be stronger as well.
That goes for any potential foe as Floyd becomes acclimated to his new class. Gatti, while being a good fighter, is not even in the same neighborhood as Floyd in terms of skill and athletic prowess. Harris and Witter would likely get outclassed as well. Leo Dorin seems tailor made for Floyd.
Should Floyd give himself the time to grow into a full 140 pound fighter (and have strong success), he shouldn't have much more trouble at 147. Margarito, Spinks, Forrest, Judah, and Cintron will likely be at 154 or higher by the time he graduates; so he may just tear through welterweight as well. I believe you’ll find a lot more fighters moving to 160 after Hopkins vacates the division or retires. Call it a hunch.
If the positive scenarios mentioned come to fruition for Floyd Mayweather, he will certainly have a firm grip on the number one spot by then. There can be no doubt about that unless Hopkins keeps fighting and winning until he’s 45. And I can’t see that happening as he seems to have some very finite and specific goals in mind and they shouldn’t take more than two years to accomplish.