By Ed Baylor: Andre Berto’s trainer Virgil Hunter sees a future where boxing fans will feel the absence of superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. after he steps away from the sport following his fight against Berto on September 12th.
Mayweather is saying that he’ll hang up his gloves following their fight on Showtime pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Even if Mayweather doesn’t retire from boxing at that time, He’s still expected to walk away from the sport in the not too distant future.
Once that happens, Hunter feels that Mayweather will be missed in the same way former heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali was missed after he retired many years ago. It took many years before someone came along to replace Ali and that was Mike Tyson. However, he didn’t stay at the top for long before he moved on as well.
“I think once Floyd Mayweather is gone, we’ll feel the presence that this man had on the sport. I witnessed the same thing with Muhammad Ali.” said Hunter via worldboxingnews.net. “I’m glad to be a part of this. It’s a big thrill for me to be on the opposite side of legends and we’re anticipating everything turning out just right for us on fight night.”
Manny Pacquiao won’t be able to replace Mayweather like he did when he stepped away from the sport from 2007 to 2009. Pacquiao was younger than and more able to carry the sport on his shoulders. Pacquiao was knocking everybody out left and right and creating a lot of excitement. Pacquiao stopped knocking guys out in 2010, and he’s no longer the same fighter he once was.
If anyone is going to take over for Mayweather when he retires, it might be IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin if he can get past the likes of David Lemieux, Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. I just don’t think Golovkin will be nearly as popular as Mayweather was because he doesn’t have the personality, charisma, or the opposition needed for him to get enough big name opponents to face him.
Once Golovkin gets past those three fighters, he’ll be back to fighting the little known contenders like Tureano Johnson over and over. At best, we might see Golovkin fight someone like Demtrius Andrade, Andre Ward, Erislandy Lara, Amir Khan or Tim Bradley, but those won’t big fights for him.
Mayweather has enough left in the tank to probably continue at the top for another two years if he wanted to, but he doesn’t want to risk getting beaten. If he sticks around much longer, he’ll likely lose to one of the welterweights and finish his career with a loss. He doesn’t want that to happen.