I’ll Take My Roses Now


By Luke Givens

“They say, they never really miss you till you dead or you gone…”
-Jay Z

This past weekend the world witnessed one of the greatest fighters of all time put on a masterful display of technical boxing against one of this generation’s best fighters. And yet, what we’ve been hearing from most so called boxing fans and many in the mainstream media is how disappointed they were in the fight. How they expected more. How it didn’t live up to the hype. How Floyd was too cautious, Manny too timid, and how so called real champions…. (fill in your descriptions here).

I’m not going to make the case for Floyd Mayweather’s bid as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) or T.B.E (The Best Ever). The truth of the matter is no one reading this can objectively make that evaluation. Sure I have my opinion but that opinion is based on subjective evidence. That evidence being what I’ve seen, witnessed, heard and read. It’s my experience. I didn’t watch Sugar Ray Robinson, Jack Johnson, Rocky Marciano, Willie Pep, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, or Muhammad Ali fight in their prime. I’ve heard the stories, listened to the experts, and seen some of the old reels but there is no way me or anyone else can objectively evaluate and make that determination on which of these is the so-called GREATEST OF ALL TIME. They didn’t fight each other. They were in different weight classes. They trained differently. They fought with different rules and in different eras. Those who came later were influenced by those who came before.

I grew up watching Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr., Pernell Whitaker, Lennox Lewis, Tito Trinidad, George Foreman (the 2nd go around), and Mike Tyson. My experience was shaped by sitting on my parent’s livingroom floor watching HBO’s Boxing After Dark, Pay-Per-Views and old VHS tapes my uncles and parent’s friends recorded and passed around. You see, my evaluation is shaped by that experience. So you can’t tell me that Roy Jones Jr. in his prime wasn’t the most exciting boxer ever, because I saw it with my own eyes. I watched him toy with opponents, avoid shots, then knockout guys with some crazy off-angle counter from out of nowhere. You can’t convince me of George Foreman’s grit because I watched a 45 year old Foreman come from behind on the cards to KO the 26 year old champion Michael Moorer. We can’t argue Tyson’s punching power or the fear he instilled in opponents because I watched him win fights in the staredown. (Sidenote: Mike was the only person who could make grown men spend $50 for what might only end up being 10 seconds of pleasure. Hell most prostitutes can’t do that. You paid for a vicious knockout and whether it took 10 seconds or 10 rounds, you left satisfied. Sidenote over) I can’t be convinced of Tito’s controlled aggression or Sweet Pea’s elusive defense. That’s not to make a case for any of these guys as the Greatest, it’s simply to provide a context for how I evaluate guys like Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, or Wladimir Klitschko. I’ve seen the tapes of Ali, Frazier, (young) Foreman, Louis, Johnson, Leonard, Duran, and Hagler but I didn’t watch them live. Most importantly, I couldn’t watch them without the knowledge of the influence they would have on future boxers.

If you never knew about the existence of a cellular phone and I gave you the iPhone 6, it would blow your mind. But if I then handed you the LG flip phone I used to carry in college, you’d be decidedly less impressed. That doesn’t take anything away from the flip phone (or the boxers I’m using for this comparison), it’s to communicate that one couldn’t exist without the other. Mayweather’s greatness was built on the foundation of men like Ali, Leonard, Hearns, and Whitaker. Now would we honestly argue that the LG flip phone is a greater cellular device than the iPhone 6? Compared to the Zack Morris Motorola…YES! But compared to the iPhone 6? However, the iphone can’t exist without that Motorola. Mayweather can’t exist without Ali…Ali without Robinson…Robinson without Louis…and Louis without Johnson. Boxing, like technology, and like all things grows and evolves. So when we look at Mayweather, we’re looking at the best of what that evolution has produced.

The old-school fighters trained differently. They fought more often. They competed for fewer belts. All of this is true but their greatness wasn’t recognized in their time, it came with people’s ability to understand how they built on the foundation of those who came before. This is why I make the case for recognizing Floyd’s accomplishments now. We forget how despised a fighter Ali was in his time. Both Black and White America hated the young mouthy Cassius Clay. It was only after a few years of inactivity (due to his stance against the war) that Black America gained a slight appreciation for him as a fighter. Let’s not even get started on Jack Johnson’s image (or his private life). While we’re talking about private lives, take a few moments to Google Sugar Ray Robinson. That’s who most boxing experts label T.B.E. right? The point of making these comparisons isn’t to slander any of these fighters or their legacy; nor is it to excuse the sometimes questionable actions of Floyd Mayweather. The point of the comparisons are to provide a context for how these individuals were viewed in their time and how time has allowed society to shift and in many cases change that perception. Sure, those fighters may have labeled themselves the best or the greatest but did the expert say so?

We don’t appreciate Floyd because it’s so easy for us to take him for granted. The casual boxing fan will never really like Floyd because he doesn’t charge into the ring like an uncaged animal and knock people’s heads off. That person is never going to appreciate the gifts a guy like Mayweather has. They said Johnson ducked his greatest opponents, Robinson hugged too much, and Ali ran. But after a few years of inactivity those voices got softer and the voices of appreciation got louder. So maybe in five or ten years, when it’s been awhile since his last fight, and he’s not in the media as much, and the guys he’s fought wrap up their careers and begin their induction into the Hall of Fame, maybe we’ll start to appreciate Floyd. Right now we don’t miss him. He’s too fresh. He’s too cocky. He’s too brash.

But we like brash. We like cocky. We just like it in hindsight.

So I would ask folks to go back and look at the old clips of Louis, Ali, Robinson, Pep, Holmes, Frazier, Duran, and the many others who’ve influenced today’s boxers. I’d ask them to look at their opponents. I’d ask them to look at their records. I’d ask them to look at how they trained. I’d ask them to look at how they were judged…both inside and outside the ring. Some people are brawlers, some knockout artist, some technicians, and some even icons. But we’re not talking about the greatest fighter in history, or knockout artist, or even the fighter with the greatest social, cultural, or political impact. We’re talking about the greatest boxer in history. Now I’ll ask that you to look at Floyd Mayweather, judge him with that context and through that perspective, then make your determination.

“If you can’t respect that, your whole perspective is wack. Maybe you’ll love me when I fade to black.”
-Jay Z

After the Mayhem…

I ignored the buzz of my phone as I was enjoying my birthday dinner at Altura in Seattle, as my future wife reached for hers and asked, “Do you want to know?”


I responded knowingly, looking at the clock and noticing it was around an hour past fight time, “Nah, I know.”

Coming into the fight week, I was averse to the usual BMB twitter feed and instagram news that was actually hyping up Mayhem, the anticipated rematch between Maidana and Mayweather, after first passing on Amir Khan, and again passing on Manny Pacquiao. This time around, I just had a feeling that this wasn’t right, like looking at a really ostentatious ad for a buffet at a casino knowing that its going to be pretty much the same as any buffet, you’re going to hate yourself the same way afterwards.

I actually took the time to reflect on my upcoming birthday and (gasp) put boxing aside. Besides, I already regret not writing up the unification bout between Chocolatito and Akira Yaegashi, what should have been more news if I could’ve adjusted myself to the fact that boxing primetime can exist at other times since there are other boxing worlds beyond Las Vegas.

And that’s the crux. Las Vegas has been the center of boxing attention because of the simplicity of boxing’s translation as a sport towards gambling. “Big fights don’t happen very often, but when they do, they happen in Vegas, and bettings are ripe and winnings are big.” But lo and behold, the legacy of Money Mayweather, working all his life to refine his incredible boxing skill to virtually eliminate risk, is actually repelling the Vegas audience away with his all-but-certain outcome to what should’ve, always been a risky, emotional, heart-tugging combat sport.

Us readers and fans have been voting with our wallets concerning Mayweather, so hopefully this ushers in an opportunity for other fighters to shine. Here’s to the Thurman’s, the Chocolatitos, the Ruiz Jr’s, the Froch’s, the Figueroa’s, the Mikey Garcia’s.

Juan M Lopez: That’s a Wrap!


By Rudy Mondragon

Juan Manuel Lopez (34-5, 31 KOs) was brutally knocked out in the second round by Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar (25-1, 19 KOs) in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Lopez looked like damaged goods. He is a fighter who has not recovered from the beatings he received from Orlando Salido, Francisco Vargas, and Mikey Garcia.

Jesus Cuellar did what he needed to do. He won by KO and entertained the fans in attendance. It is a win that puts his name in the mix of the featherweights. It is also a win for Robert Garcia, who will be in Marcos Maidana’s corner on Saturday night as they take on the best ever, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Juan Manuel Lopez will no longer be a top contender in boxing. Should he continue to fight? Based on last night’s performance, it might be in his best interest to walk away from the game that does not forgive a fighters health if they are not careful.

See fight below.

Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia: A Visit to North Philly [Photos]

By Rudy Mondragon 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a rich boxing history. It is home to some of the rawest fighters the boxing scene has ever seen. From the hard punching Bennie Briscoe to hall of famers like Joey Giardello and Philly’s forever Heavyweight Champion, Joe Frazier. The list of old timers and modern day fighters from Philly can make for hours of bar conversations. One can’t forget Julio Cesar Chavez’s toughest fight during his undefeated hot streak was against North Philly’s  Meldrick “The Kid” Taylor. And as all boxing heads know, the current fighter and future hall of famer who put Oscar De La Hoya down with that nasty body punch is North Philly’s own, Bernard “The Executioner and Alien” Hopkins.

In a recent trip to Philadelphia, my vision was to take in this rich history. With stops to the  Blue Horizon, the Rocky Statue and Steps, the Joey Giardello Statue, Italian Market, and Pat’s Cheesestakes, I was on a mission to experience Philly boxing culture. A necessary step in doing this was visiting Danny “Swift” Garcia’s gym. With the help of John Disanto, founder of phillyboxinghistory.com and my new friend, I was given the needed information to make my way north.

The area was industrial and had the vibe of a blue collar, hard working-class neighborhood. The gym was located in a decent sized lot with a few humble signs, making it difficult for me to spot at first. I parked and worked my way towards the gym, in hopes that the Champ and his father, Angel Garcia, would be at the gym.
DSG EntranceAt first glance, the building did not appear to house a gym. There was a body shop, a car wash station, and a barbershop. My initial instinct was to head into the barbershop and talk boxing with the community. I was reminded of the scene from “Coming to America” and that reflection confirmed that I go in there to get an idea as to whether Danny and his team would be making an appearance.

I walked into the barbershop and it felt like home. It reminded me of the neighborhood barbershops I would visit when I was growing up in South Gate, California. The major difference here was the connection to Danny Garcia and the boxing world. I sat down with Steve, a young brother who has close ties to Danny. He hooked me up with a clean tapper and shared how Danny Garcia opened up the barbershop as a side hustle to create jobs for his immediate community. Rather than having a passive entourage as most boxing celebrities do, Danny’s barbershop provides the barbers a way to sustain themselves and maintain close relationships with the champion.

I shared with Steve that I made the trip all the way from Seattle, Washington and was excited to meet Angel and Danny. Steve’s response to that was, “there goes Angel right there!” I looked up and there was Angel, the high energy and hardcore trash talking father and trainer to his son, Danny Garcia. Respectfully and humbly, I greeted the man and he walked over. He asked me if I was being taken care of and if I was having a good experience. To that I said “absolutely, Steve is hooking me up and I am looking forward to checking your son if at all possible.” Angel said it most definitely was and told me to enjoy the rest of my cut. The best way to remember that moment was with a picture, which Steve and Angel agreed to.

DSG Barber

The next stop was the gym itself, which was located all the way in the back of the building. Close to the entrance was Danny’s personal parking spot. It was car less at the moment of arrival, signaling to me that Danny had not yet arrived.  This bought me some time to check the inside of the gym and gain an appreciation for the aesthetic nature of the place.

DSG Parking Spot

Entering the backside of the building was transformational. After having checked the barbershop, the body shop, and car wash, the back of the building took on a new life. The gym communicated love, respect, and appreciation for Philly boxing history as well as Puerto Rican boxing legends. The first art piece as I walked in was a juxtaposed frame of Danny Garcia and the late Hector “Macho” Camacho. For boxing heads, knowing about Macho is important. He is the man who stepped into the ring against some of the biggest names in boxing: Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Vinny Paz and others. Hanging over head were old boxing gloves, similar to the neighborhood where you would see old sneakers hanging by the laces. Those gloves, I am sure, have a story and symbolize something deep. Most striking about the gym however was Danny’s WBC Jr Welterweight championship belt on display for all to see. It communicates to the people that Danny won that belt with his team and the support of his fans. Those lucky enough to come visit the gym can see this symbol of greatness first hand and up close.

DSG with Legend

DSG Glove

DSG Gym Mural



By the time I had finished taking it all in, Danny had arrived and was warming up and wrapping up for a five round sparring session. He was scheduled to get into the ring with young and hungry super featherweight contender, Omar Douglas (12-0, 9 KOs). Prior to the start of the sparring session, Angel Garcia approached me and asked if I wanted to meet his son. My response was most definitely, but only if it was cool with the champ. After all, this is his work place, his office, the place where he sharpens his blade and works on his craft. Angel said it was no problem and I was allowed beyond the “DO NOT PASS” gate. DSG Gate

Danny was in work mode. Quiet, focused, serious, reserved, composed, and ready to enter the ring to spar against Omar Douglas, a man who was being paid to fight Danny in preparation for his August 9, 2014 showdown against Rod Salka. Danny’s vibe was appreciative that I came to visit and he showed love for a fan. I appreciated Danny as he appeared to do a great job balancing the many roles he was playing at that moment. At that moment, Danny was a family man as he was training with his father and in the presence of his sisters. He was a fighter, about to step in the ring and spar. He was a public figure, greeting his fans and posing for pictures. He was a mentor, as many youth were working out in the gym looking up to the champion. A balancing act that not many can do, let alone do it well. That is why Danny is the professional in this game.

DSG and Me

Omar Douglas and Me

Danny Garcia is in a good place. The property he and his father own is alive and well with potential growth. The size of the gym and the resources in there have been enough to prepare the young champion to defend his title five times now. The beauty of the situation Danny is in, much like the physical property, is that there is much room for growth. Danny is still hungry and working his way up to a new weight division. This could bring him a future showdown with boxing’s king, Floyd Mayweather. Danny has great mentorship as Bernard Hopkins chooses to train at Danny’s gym. This means Bernard is available and accessible to talk with, providing Danny with an opportunity to absorb all the boxing wisdom Bernard has to offer.

Before I close this out, it is worth mentioning that Danny and his father are also trying to build a record label. Boxing gym, barbershop, car wash, body shop, and recording studio all in one building!  Angel said that the music industry has been a challenge for the two of them as they are trying to figure out the politics and nature of the music game. Nonetheless Angel said that they will figure it out and find a way to be successful. Like boxing, there is no easy hustle. One always has to work at it and if you get knocked down, know that it is part of the game, the true test is if one can get up and keep fighting.

DSG Recording Studio

Schaefer leaves GBP: Where should a boxer sign now?

New schaefer post

In light of recent events, the new-old-guard of the modern boxing world has suddenly shifted its weight, causing a stir in the boxing community, speculating on potential downstream events such as whether fights that fans have been calling for can actually be made. In summary, Richard Schaefer, the acting CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, is effectively retired from this position in Golden Boy, but is still contractually bound to Golden Boy and still holds shares with the company.

As a partner to Oscar De La Hoya since 2000, Schaefer was instrumental in building his promoting company to the behemoth it is today. He has architected a boxing landscape that is built to reward the business-minded boxer in an era where, understandably, boxers of great ability were taken advantage of, abused, and discarded as a shell of their former selves. Schaefer and the Golden Boy were out to make a difference, and were aptly rewarded with generations of fighters that wanted to be recognized and wanted to make money. Arguably, Al Haymon and Mayweather stepped so much further into that philosophy and maximized the profit to risk ratio with a generation of fighters all seemingly defensive and powerful in style, with matchups won before even stepping into the scales. What was once a honorable venture in changing boxing turned into a beast cranking out fighters that look the part, and crank out even more money. Here’s my formula for the PPV Cash Cow Fighter:

  1. Oozing with confidence
  2. Has a nice smile/face that hasn’t been pounded with punches
  3. Obsessively conditioned body
  4. Clinch first/fight back later
  5. Likes to shake head to opponent, feigns “That didn’t hurt.”
  6. Probably not a bad dancer
  7. Growing posse with a fat guy and small guys
  8. Probably is a LeBron fan
  9. Hedging to be a movie/rap star on the side
  10. Makes a fashion statement outside of the ring
  11. Fiance ringside with a massive ring
  12. Likes to be in pictures with the Watson Twins

Of course, in regular BMB fashion, let’s be critical optimists of this situation. I believe greatly that this shift in the landscape is a monumental chance for fighters to take ownership of their futures in the sport. I’m not saying that they have to be different fighters, but they have a chance to directly tap into the fans rather than try to appease the big wigs in the promotional thrones. They don’t have that much weight anymore, the fans with their money do. Too long has boxing taken advantage of the media and skewed the so called value of a fighter with superficial quantities like PPV buys. Is PPV buys correlated with the international professional record of a fighter? Is PPV buys correlated with the hours put in the gym or miles pounding pavement? In the same vein that students can’t be judged with their SAT or GRE scores alone, boxers too should access all their talents and dimensions to their game (personality, values, work ethic, humor, community) along with the new wave of media channels  – Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook – to market themselves and control their destiny.

Here’s to a bright future for boxing.

Quick Thoughts on the Golden Break Up


By Rudy Mondragon

Ladies and gentlemen, are we surprised at the recent break up between Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer? We should not be. The signs were there. One of major importance was Oscar De La Hoya’s deceleration to end The Cold War between his promotion company and Bob Arum’s Top Rank.

Messy politics between those two companies. Most importantly is the refusal of Richard Schaefer to work with Top Rank. From there, the ripple effects were huge as seen in the recent statement by Floyd Mayweather. Floyd’s loyalty to Richard Schaefer was a major reason as to why he worked with Golden Boy Promotions. Now that Schaefer is gone, so is Floyd.

Bernard Hopkins weighed in on the whole matter. From the way he spoke, it sounds like he might be slowly parting ways from Oscar as well. Bernard spoke highly of Richard, stating that he didn’t always agree with him, but “Richard Schaefer cannot be replaced.”

Bernard also shed light to the reality that Oscar was hardly ever present to run his company. “Think about it. Who really ran Golden Boy?” With Oscar’s lack of visibility on the business side of the house and dealing with his drug struggles, it was Richard who made Golden Boy Promotions run like a high powered machine.

A key part to the possibility of Hopkins leaving Golden Boy Promotions is that he is not under contract. This means he can leave and fight as an independent fighter at any time. He has also stated that he has his own team and at the end of the day, he has “to do what is best for Bernard Hopkins.”

My quick thoughts on this: Changes are coming!

What will become of Golden Boy Promotions? Who can take over and succeed Richard Schaefer? After all, these are big shoes to fill! Although Richard Schaefer left Golden Boy, he is still technically under contract through 2017/18. He is also “proud to remain a shareholder” of the company. These are technical aspects of this situation. But the reality is that Richard is a mover and a shaker.

With loyalties from Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions CEO Lenoard Ellerbee, and boxing supreme manager Al Haymon, Richard Schaefer is more than okay. If you think about it, the next three wise men in boxing can be Mayweather, Al Haymon, and Richard. Can this be the rise of Mayweather Promotions and decline of Golden Boy and Top Rank? What should be alarming to Oscar is that many of Al Haymon’s fighters who appear on Golden Boy cards are not under contract with Golden Boy Promotions.

My thought is that this has been in the making for years. The chess match was in full affect while Oscar was occupied playing checkers. Oscar caught on late and then decided to form an alliance with Top Rank. Golden Boy and Top Rank are on call and are making moves to align in order to survive the push that Mayweather Promotions is making, most likely with Richard Schaefer playing a critical role in time.


Mayweather To Fight Canelo


Not quite in the official sense, but boxing fans can always dream for match ups like this. With Floyd Mayweather Jr. working on honoring his 6 fight contract in 30 months with Showtime, fans eagerly await for Money May to announce his next opponent. Off a recent victory against Roberto “The Ghost” Guerrero, Floyd has 5 fights left and has already informed the public that he intends to fight in September. Two fights in the same year? He hasn’t done that since he fought De La Hoya and Hatton in 2007!

So who is next? Who will Floyd’s next five opponents be? Here is what our boxing experts had to say:

Jose Hernandez’s Picks

A lot has been said about who Money Mays next opponent will be.  It seems that there is a consensus between the media around the stats, and all have fallen in love with the idea of “El Canelo” Alvarez having the next fight.  In the next few paragraphs I will make the case for Money May’s next opponent and beyond.  Instead of mere speculation, I will rely on statistics and Money May’s careful opponent selection.

Money remains as the sport’s most efficient fighter, in terms of plus/minus overall punching connects (+24%).  This means that he not only punishes his opponents with over 40% efficiency, but he also has an air tight defense that limits his opponents offence to a mere 17% efficiency (33% average in pro boxing).  Of Mayweather’s last eight opponents only 2 had a plus/minus statistic above (+10%), Oscar de la Hoya (+11%) and Shane Mosley [in his PRIME] (+13%).  The last three opponents had a plus/minus statistic of (-1% Guerrero, +1% Cotto, 3% Ortiz)  all three, solid professional fighters, but for as much punishment as they were accustomed to inflict in victory, they were accustomed to taking a beating themselves  (good choice Money).

His next opponent will not be someone in the top of this list:

Top four in the plus/minus category [Source Compubox, minimum 5 fights]:

1. Money +24%

2. Canelo +18%

3. Santa Cruz +16%

4. Ward +14%

Canelo’s efficiency benefits from his opponent selection aka inflation.  The latest being the most efficient (Trout +7%) and he gave him his toughest fight yet (some even have Trout as the winner).  However, his weight (walks around at 170 at least) and his seemingly good skill level leave him a long shot to get the next crack at Money. It’s too risky for Money to fight Canelo next, he has five pay-per-view bouts; this will happen in fight 5 or 6.

His next opponent will come from this list (Plus/minus):

1. Amir Khan 

Would make an exciting fight.  Khan’s athleticism would make the fight challenging enough, but Money would be too much.

2. Danny Garcia 

Young and ambitious, but not at this class yet.

3. Sergio Martinez

He looked old and frankly his body is falling apart on him in the ring.  Money likes to prey on these type of fading stars (see Mosley).  This might be closer than we think, especially if he saw the Murray fight.  Weight might be an issue, but Martinez is under-sized at 160 lbs. I can see this at a catch weight or even 154.

4. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

Has the fan base and would make a hell of a fight. [He needs at least another good fight with a “good” fighter]

5. Manny Pacquiao 

(if he bounces back against Brandon Rios) – If Manny has two solid return fights, we are all back in line for the mega-fight. 

Wild Card Picks

Adrien Broner

Like my dad always says (Translated from Spanish: With money you can make the dog dance). 

Timothy Bradley 

He will be in the running for a fight with Mayweather if he fares well with Marquez

5 Picks:

1. Amir Khan
2. Danny Garcia
3. Sergio Martinez
4. Saul Alvarez
5. Manny Paquiao

Jarret Bato’s Picks

What we know:

Mayweather has 5 fights left, fighting at an unusual (for him) 2 fights a year. To me, that constrains the level of choice that matchmakers can make, and maybe Mayweather’s schedule is really a matter of putting a master stroke on his retirement come 2015. It’s in Mayweather Promotions’ best interest to maintain Floyd’s value while sustaining interest in the next 5 fights.
I believe he has to fight Canelo Alvarez next, while the second fight is a toss up depending on the activity of the has-beens: Ortiz, or Khan. I think it’s also a possibility to see Alvarado win the second fight bid. Alvarado looked very impressive against Rios, and could put himself in a very good position come 2014. Danny Garcia is another one who I put up in there to look very good against Floyd in 2014. I think by that time, he’s going to be comfortable at a higher weight. In 2015, I think the game will have changed. Floyd will have changed, and so will the landscape of prospective opponents. By 2015 I think it would be nice to see Floyd fight Maidana, and then lastly Pacquiao. I put Manny in there because I really believe that he’ll get smarter about the people around him, and get rid of Arum, if I can truly feel what’s in his heart. So here’s my list:
5 Picks:
1. Saul Alvarez
2. Amir Khan
3. Mike Alvarado
4. Danny Garcia
5. Manny Pacquiao
Rudy Mondragon’s PIcks 
There are a couple of things I would like to point out before I share my picks. Some of the things we learned from the last fight was that Floyd did not put on his usual promoter hat. He was relaxed and calm and did little trash talking. This could be a sign of maturity as well as being content because of his mega contract with Showtime. I do believe that Showtime will put some pressure on Mayweather (which has already started from external sources). From the lack of PPV sales to the difficulties of selling out the MGM for his recent fight with The Ghost, Showtime expectations will be high for Mayweather.  What he will have to is select a PPV, fan favorite fighter to fight next. I’m not saying that he needs to fight Canelo next, but Floyd needs to fight someone who will be a huge draw during Mexican Independence weekend. Having said that, here is how I see it unfolding:
1. Amir Khan
Since Amir is coming off two wins after his defeat to Danny Garcia, he finds himself in a decent moment in his career. He fights under the Golden Boy Promotions banner and draws a large UK fan base. This can definitely sell domestic and international PPV sales as well as bring in many fans to Las Vegas.
2. Danny Garcia
Danny is coming off a win against Zab Judah. Danny had to dig deep in this one to beat the veteran Judah and therefore I can see him taking a tune up fight next. Look for Danny to take on a beatable opponent late in the fall to set up a May 2014 showdown with Floyd.
3. Lucas Matthysse
If Lucas can beat Lamont Peterson and one other worthy opponent, he will earn a fight against Floyd. He is making a name for himself as a dangerous fighter who many are avoiding. Once Floyd pinpoints Matthysse’s weaknesses and Lucas wins his next two fights, Showtime will have no troubles promoting this one.
4. Manny Pacquiao
The possibilities of this fight happening will be alive as long as both of these fighters are still standing. Look for a Pacquiao win against Brandon Rios, a 2014 year of tune up fights for Pacquiao and we will see Floyd’s penultimate fight against the veteran in May/summer 2015.
5. Saul Alvarez 
Fast forward to September 19th, 2015, Mexican Independence weekend. Floyd Mayweather’s final career fight against the future star of boxing. The stage will be set, PPV sells will be through the roof, the MGM won’t be sold out because this fight will take place on Las Vegas Blvd (yes, Las Vegas Blvd, TMT & Golden Boy Promos will steal Top Rank’s original idea to make a fight on the strip). This fight is a huge risk for Mayweather and waiting out this long will maintain Floyd’s stock value and undefeated record. This will be the biggest risk Mayweather will take in honoring his 6 fight contract with Showtime. He will go out with a bang as retirement for Money May will be official in 12 rounds or less…
Wild Card: Paulie Malignaggi
This one is just for fun, but there is a possibility of Paulie landing a fight with Mayweather. Paulie fights at the welterweight limit and his next opponent is Floyd’s little brother, Adrien Broner. If Paulie can win in June, I can see a fight between Money and Paulie taking place for three reasons: 1) To avenge his little brothers defeat 2) Paulie is a “worthy” opponent coming off 6 wins in a row 3) Both fighters can sell the fight with their promotion skills.
5 Picks:
1. Amir Khan
2. Danny Garcia
3. Lucas Matthysse
4. Manny Pacquiao
5. Saul Alvarez 
Blood Money Boxing fans, who do you think Floyd Mayweather will fight next?

Box out for Mexican Independence

By Rudy Mondragón

According to multiple sources (Bleacher Report and ESPN), Juan Manual Marquez (55-6-1) is set to face Timothy Bradley Jr (30-0) on September 14th, 2013. Bob Arum, President of Top Rank, said that although the fight is set for September, he would move the match to October (5 or 12) if Floyd Mayweather Jr. winds up fighting on the same date. This is a good move given last year’s poor planning where both Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank had major fights scheduled during Mexican Independence weekend (TR: Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. & GBP: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez).

What Top Rank is doing is calling first dibs on the hottest weekend in boxing. Top Rank is also being real about the power that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has in the sport. As of now, Top Rank owns the September 14th date, unless Mayweather Jr. decides to fight that weekend. I hate to look beyond scheduled fights, but another reality is that there are plans to create a Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. rematch. The plan is for Martinez to fight this weekend (4/27) and win, setting up a potential fall rematch with Chavez Jr. If Mayweather Jr. beats Robert Guerrero, does it mean that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (off his recent win agains Austin Trout) lands a fight with Mayweather Jr. in September?

Nothing is for certain with the match ups discussed above, but they are certainly possible. What does this mean for boxing in the year 2013? One hell of a fall season of boxing! As boxing enthusiasts, all we can do is sit back (well, not really, who sits back while watching all the fighters listed above) and enjoy the match ups that are set up for the spring, summer and fall. We will most likely see Marquez and Bradley square off in the ring in October as long as Mayweather Jr. gets the W on May 4th and decides to fight again in September. Given that Money May is not getting any younger and has 30 months to fight six fights under his contract with Showtime, chances are we will see two Mayweather Jr. appearances in 2013.