Floyd Mayweather has curiously cherry picked Haitian born boxer Andre Berto, among more riveting top-tier champions in the prime of their careers, erratically somewhat adding to the mystification of his matching method as much as it has bolstered his reputation as a tough-fight dodger.
Mayweather has thus far and without a shadow of doubt paid his dues as an indomitable world champion, having fought and ruled over accomplished world champions his entire 19 year professional career notably over Oscar de la Hoya, Marcos Maidana, Pacman Pacquiao as well as Mexicans Juan Manuel Marquez and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. He has curiously in his last fight chosen a relatively unknown name, that should he win will equate the record of Italian-American former heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano peaked ad infinitum at a record 49 victories – 0 defeats, has reached into the stupor of boxing and emerged with somewhat washed out former two time world champion titlist in the form of Haitian-American pugilist Andre Berto, sidestepping title starving darting young guns in the form of Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Britons Amir Khan and undefeated ‘Special K’ Kell Brook or better still the wild and marauding eastern European Siberian tiger: the undefeated Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.
While Mayweather earlier in the year declared his intentions of “ending his career with a bang” his 49th opponent is ridiculously far from any such ‘big bang’ as much as it is far from the naturally exciting slew of fighters who are ready to face the pound-for-pound king whose matching could effortlessly be self-marketing attractions and afford him powerful nostalgic exit from the ring fit for a once a generation pound-for-pound great.
Mayweather’s nostalgic and perplexing shift from a record breaking super fight with a top pound for pound contender in Manny Pacquiao to a virtually stalled and unheard of name in big dollar boxing, chosen over more lucrative and famous boxing names and equally exciting, better and dangerous prospects such as Amir Khan and Golovkin counterproductive as it can already be seen with Mayweather’s frantic marketing exercise and irresolution.
EXCITING POSSIBLE OPPONENTS FOR MAYWEATHER.
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN
Mayweather- Golovkin is possibly the penultimate enthralling and record breaking fight at the dawn of of Mayweather’s career that most boxing fans across the world are dying to see. Should the Mayweather –Golovkin fight happen: a clash of arguably number one and two pound-for pound enthralling fighters fail to break the American pay-per view and global viewership of the past Mayweather-Pacquiao, it will without a doubt break the succeeding records of September 2013’s, Mayweather-Alvarez and May 2005’s, Mayweather-De la Hoya respectively, undoubtedly affording Mayweather an opportunity to bolster his legacy as a 21st century boxing great.
However staid weight compromises will have to be made for the fight to happen which the Kazakhstani national, Gennady Golovkin has already proposed. Golovkin weighing in at the middleweight division of 70-79 kilograms will have to drop and meet Mayweather who weighs and boxes at the welterweight division of 63-66 kilograms at the the weight of 66 kilograms.
THE KELL BROOK CONNECTION
As much as Floyd Mayweather has exhausted the American welterweight division, exciting European young guns such as the undefeated, number one on Ring Magazine, IBF title holding Briton, Kell Brook who is atop Manny Pacquiao who sits at number 2. Brook is undefeated at 35 fights 24 of them coming by way of knockout and is burning for superior league boxing, its slew of opponents and the big pay days they come with. Mayweather-Brook also has the potential of breaking one of the three records set by the Mayweather fights in recent memory.
The Briton who won a silver medal aged 17 at the 2004 Athens Olympic and remains youngest British Olympic silver medallist thus far, is a two time world champion and has been publicly campaigning and rooting for his day in the ring with Mayweather for well over a year is consecutively snubbed by Mayweather for his last four fights is legendary for his blitzing hand speed. Khan who sits at number 3 on Ring Magazine below Manny Pacquiao, Kell Brook and Mayweather respectively has 32 victories under his belt, 19 coming by way of knockout and 3 losses and and is a lucrative name with a potentially money-spinning British following.
He has already engraved his lasting mark in elite professional boxing. Khan has already notably ruled over other thrilling American champions including Zab Judah, Chris Algieri, Devon Alexander, won against Argentine Marcos Maidana who nearly handed Mayweather his first defeat in a close contest forced a rematch and has also faced but lost to Danny’Swift’Garcia.
KEITH ‘ONE TIME’ THURMAN
Another exciting undefeated American prospect who has one of the highest knockout ratios in the welterweight division and who top matchmakers cannot continue to overlook is Keith ’One Time’ Thurman. Thurman though not tested by top end accomplished welterweight and world champions of the crop and status of Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto or Sugar Shane Mosley, has beaten reputable prize fighters in the form of Luis Collazo, Diego Chaves and the Mexican boxing hall of famer Robert Guererro, having had an enthralling cruise to top-tier boxing also remaining untainted by defeats and could have been a better replacement for a faded former world titlist in the form of Andre Berto.
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, is eager to lead crunch talks that will consequently see Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) becoming one authoritative sport entity.
The appointment of one Tuelo Serufho to the plum position of BNSC Chief Executive Officer two week ago has further catalysed the intention to merge the sports bodies to avoid the long standing complaints of duplication of roles by the two.
Serufho was replacing Falcom Sedimo whose contract was not renewed.Serufho, ironically is the longest serving CEO of BNOC and also a board member of BNSC.“One of our aims is to form a robust sport body to centralize and improve decision making processes and maybe the time to resuscitate BNSC/BNOC merger is now,” Rakgare briefly shared.
The impending move is highly meant to improve effective functioning, governance and performance of sports in the country both locally and globally.Should this see the light of day, Botswana would have done itself a favour and it would start sending a handful of athletes to international competitions.
The amalgamation of BNSC/BNOC talks have been in the pipelines but discussions were aborted two years ago without clear reasons. The creation of this all-encompassing sport institution is overdue according to the minister.
“It is in fact our mandate to make sure this happens, it is overdue and by next year we hope to have finalised our position paper,” Rakgare added.The creation of the looming body is borne out of lessons learnt from various sports governance models around the world.
In South Africa, the sports ministry facilitated discussions to merge National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and the South African Sports Commission. Their authoritative sports body is now called South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
With the South African model well in place, Botswana is urged to bench mark and create a sport body as a civic society-based organisation as required by the statutes of international sports bodies.The name of the local sport body is mooted and the minister refused to give a hint. But he is optimistic that the body will be the vanguard organization of sport in the country.
He emphasized that the sports organisation should be a purposeful guardian for governance and management of sports and be the required defining figure of the role of sports in Botswana’s communities.Talks to revamp and rebuild these sports bodies come at a time when BNSC is restructuring.
When Sedimo was still at the helm, he wanted to phase out some positions which he felt were unnecessary.BNSC receive close to 53 million Pula as grants from the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports development and Culture empowerment while BNOC takes a figure a closer to that.
Township Rollers is anticipated to spent around P 50 000 to expatriate their foreign based players amid ravaging corona virus threats. The club, in collaboration with the Football Union of Botswana (FUB) tested Francis Afriyie, Fabian Assagou Guy and Kamogelo Matsabu before they can head to their native countries.
The trio are awaiting the results which are all expected to come out negative, following which they will immediately board planes to their various destinations. Afriyie was a Rollers striker from Ghana.
Matsabu, regarded the darling of the club is heading back to South Africa while Guy signed by the club but has never impressed, will board a plane back to Ivory Coast.It is likely that both Matsabu and Guy will return as they are still contracted to Rollers. However, Afriyie will not return after failing Rollers litmus test.
The striker failed to break into the starting 11 of head coach Frank Nuttall for the season and it appeared that frustration got to him. And when it finally knocked him down, the striker in a rough and unexpected remonstration stormed out of the bench while a Rollers game was on.
The former Gho Maria striker penned a two year deal in January and it is rumoured that his contract was heavily incentivized, catapulting him to being one of the highest paid players at Rollers.His end of season departure will now put a serious question mark over Rollers’ recruitment policy.
He becomes the fourth foreign striker to fail the club examinations and released while on contract. Before him was, Mthokosize Msomi from South Africa, Terrence Mandawa from Tanzania and Fabian Mbowa from Ivory Coast. Msomi and Mandawa’s release were sanctioned by former coach Nikola Kavazovic. Mbowa is loaned to Police XI to create space and playing opportunity for the now departing Afriyie.
Releasing Afriyie will now mean that the club’s striking woes continue. Rollers management complained at times last season at the lack of productivity from their strikers but they hoped that striker Tumisang Orebonye and other targeted signings, aided perhaps by Edwin Moalosi who remains on the books, could fire an upturn.
However, it was never meant to be as they finished the season second behind league winners, Jwaneng Galaxy.
Black Leopards head coach, Joel Masutha, is reported to have orchestrated a move that could see mid fielder-cum-striker, Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele, being dropped by Leopards.
WeekendSport has learnt that the coach summoned the Zebras former captain to a one-on-one meeting a month ago to relay the bad news. It is reported that Masutha told the player that he is surplus to requirement and therefore he will not be selected for any game unless he opts to leave.
Reports further state that Tsotso was not encouraged to fight for his position but instead was told that there are better players to be tasked with scoring responsibilities and helping the club to dodge the dreaded relegation axe.Ngele therefore is waiting for his contract to expire before plotting his next move. He is said to be torn between playing for one more year in South Africa and coming to Botswana to play for high paying Township Rollers.
The Rollers decision will once again hinge on his private business which he would love to monitor closely. He owns a sports clothing label where he already signed a two year deal with Notwane FC.Ngele’s career at Leopards blew hot and cold. He only enjoyed his stay when his former coach Calvin Johnson was at the helm.
He played in crucial matches and his stunning free kick against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs is still remembered by his followers.However, there have been many other factors at play.It is said Ngele’s future at Thohoyandou- a location where Black Leopards is based- encountered problems of many kinds. His future is believed to have been dulled by injuries and a confidence that strangely refused to bloom.
The player is also said to have broken ranks with Leopards management where he shocked them when playing for the senior national team last year albeit claiming to be suffering from a thigh injury. Ngele had signed a two year deal, but as things stand, the left footed midfielder is heading out as his contract staggers to an end. He is believed to be earning close to R80 000 after tax deductions.
The lifestyle and living conditions at Thohoyandou are also seen as factors that further complicate Ngele’s situation hence the sudden collapse of concentration in football.Ngele is said to be represented by Tim Sukazi who still hopes that the player’s breakthrough career is worth fighting for.
When signed by high spending Mamelodi Sundowns almost 5 years ago, he was represented by Mike Makaab, also a renowned football agent in South Africa.It is growing precarious for Ngele who was chained for longer spells at Sundowns.
But when a move to Leopards was announced, there was a high expectation that the player was nearing his revolutionary season.