WHO WILL TAKE THE WELTERWEIGHT CROWN?
By TOM WATT on September 17 2015
Floyd Mayweather’s ‘retirement’ from Boxing leaves a hole in the sport that many fighters around the World will be looking to fill, for the past few years it has been widely accepted that ‘Money’ Mayweather was the Sport’s P4P king and ruler of the 147 and 154 lbs divisions – holding belts in both weights. Now he has retired (for now at least), the various governing boards must decide who their top-ranked fighters are and it seems Ring Magazine have made the first move, installing their new P4P list which can be seen below:
The updated list, which has no space for the likes of Canelo, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan or Danny Garcia, has only two fighters that could possibly fight at Welterweight – Kell Brook, the undefeated IBF Champion and Manny Pacquiao who – despite a tremendously successful career – has lost 2 of his last 3 fights in convincing fashion and this has left many to question the validity of his rank at number 8 in the World when there is clearly such a depth in talent to choose form considering the names omitted from the list. For our full review of the P4P List See Here.
The Welterweight division has been neck-deep in World Class talent over the last few years as every man and his dog has jostled for position in the hope of securing a career-high payday against Mayweather, now he has gone it is time for them to battle it out between themselves for the top-spot. The WBC has already made mention of a potential 6 man tournament to decide the winner of their soon-to-be-vacant belt (they are still waiting for Floyd to officially renounce his titles). The six men thought to be in the running for this potential tournament are Keith Thurman, Tim Bradley, Kell Brook, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr – although their current top 6 ranked fighters are Khan, Garcia, Porter, Decaire, Maidana and Rios.
It seems unlikely that a competition of this kind could be truly be put together given how difficult it can be to get single match-ups made (the ongoing Khan v Brook saga is a prime example of that) but the success of the Super Six Tournament a few years ago could prove a roadmap for this format. That tournament threw up some fantastic match-ups and saw the likes of Carl Froch and Andre Ward emerge with massively enhanced reputations and World Titles to boot. Furthermore, losses in the competition did very little to damage the reputation of Kessler, Abraham, Taylor or Dirrell – all who have won or challenged for World Titles since. And that brings up another valid point, now the man who placed so much value on his unbeaten record has retired, we will hopefully see fighters taking much riskier fights to please the fans and we already have some evidence of that shift with epic matchups like Cotto v Canelo and Golovkin v Lemieux already on the way later this year.
Rankings and belts aside, the promotional and media landscape - so long centred around the movements of one man - will now have to adapt to a time where there isn’t one internationally recognised superstar in the Sport, one polarising figure that will guarantee clicks on an article or views on a video – not one name for UFC fighters to call out for publicity. Other stars will emerge and the Boxing World will turn to them, stars like Canelo and Golovkin are already building themselves into Boxing’s next dynasties to fill the hole left by Mayweather’s departure and walk in the trail that he blazed – love him or hate him, the sport of Boxing has forever been changed by the records he broke and the deals he made. Now it is up to Boxing’s next stars to take up the mantle and drive this great sport forward.
(Above) Britain's Kell Brook and Amir Khan both fancy their chances of becoming P4P Champion
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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