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.
Remnant of the historic Africa Cup of Nations squad of 2012, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele and Botswana’s first-choice goal keeper, Kabelo Dambe, will never embody the future of the Zebras as long as Adel Amrouche is at the helm, WeekendSport has established.
The duo made this confession in the squad secret WhatsApp group seen by this publication, expressing concern and antipathy about playing for the squad heavily polarised by the coach.
It turns out that the coach has players he favours and prefers, many of who appear in the starting line-up as a long lasting promise to be signed under his stable. The aim is to ultimately recruit them to far flung clubs and earn a commission.
Ngele who remains the only player to have scored the Zebras goal (in open play) at the 2012 edition has endured a rocky affair with the coach.
Not much has been established as to why the affair is in tatters but sources claim that it stretched to a point where Amrouche confronted Ngele’s former coaches at Black Leopards to discuss possible options of side-lining him. The idea was to frustrate the player and kill his confidence as the only player Zebras looked up to.
Ngele, under former coach Peter Butler, was named the squad captain but under Amrouche, he has played cameo roles in World Cup and AFCON qualifiers. Ngele has made three appearances and came once as a substitute in all the 10 games Amrouche managed.
Ngele was hoping for his own great leap forward in an effort to end his nightmare and play for the Zebras especially after earning playing time with his new club, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
Do this day, Ngele has made more than 35 appearances for the Zebras since earning his debut in 2009. Away from The Zebras stage, Ngele made significant contributions at Platinum Stars, the first team he signed his professional contract with. In 67 games, he scored 19 times.
Amrouche’s insistency and promise to make a loud impact in this year’s qualifiers did not bear fruit. Part of the blame is shoved on Township Rollers stopper, Kabelo Dambe. He is accused to have failed to stand strong for Zebras and shipped in simpler goals that cost the team to book a flight to Cameroon next year.
A goal against Algeria on home soil and a goal by Zimbabwe last month could have never gone through had he positioned himself better, critics claim.
Dambe who has more than 44 caps and played all Zebras games under Amrouche feels hard done and had hoped the coach and the nation would protect him. He feels the ambition of the country to qualify mirrors a tomorrow that could never come because of his mistakes.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) General Manager of National Teams, Monnakgotla Mojaki when pressed for interview failed to provide details about the future of the two stars.
He expressed concern that he was never hands on when the squad played the qualifiers. This according to Mojaki, was the case because the coach had barred him from mingling with the players.
“I am sorry I cannot assist you with anything, I know nothing and remember I have not spoken to anybody since I was asked not to come to camp,” he shared.
Both Dambe and Ngele are not only equally unhappy but are also equal in age; both are 30 years and have played for Platinum Stars at one point in their careers.
However, there is information to the effect that the duo made a promise to return one day, and that is when the coach has parted company with the association.
Lebogang Ditsile has begun to cast fresh doubts over his future as a Jwaneng Galaxy player. The hard tackling midfielder has handed the club management a transfer request amid rumours linking him with Gaborone United.
This week, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum -to either improve his contract benefits or let him go- this comes after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the corona virus pandemic.
Galaxy has arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P3000 until a time football returns to the field.Ditsile, one of the club’ highest paid players is certainly restless and would not want to entertain a second thought over his future.
Galaxy on the other hand is feeling distraught over GU’s constant communication with the player, and are also aggrieved that the Nikholas Zakhem powered team wants to prize away their asset. Ditsile’s contract does not expire until June of 2022.
The situation is not yet explosive but it is believed to have gotten under Ditsile’s skin and it is threatening to turn ugly. Ditsile apparently is the best thing ever to happen to Galaxy and to leave them at this point will surely be a great loss that could take some time for the club to recover.
However, GU is busy making their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be determined to complete the transfer before the season begins. It is said the player wants to play football without hustles, which Galaxy cannot promise at the present moment, and the allure of GU will certainly prove too much to stay from.
The team led and directed by Zakhem is reported to have promised ‘Tally’ a mouth-watering contract should he voluntarily terminate. It is however noted that GU cannot risk buying the player who is still on a running contract.
It is believed that Ditsile recognises GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. In the event of joining GU, Ditsile would have fulfilled his dream of playing for a rich paying club.
He has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but feels that the time is right to move on. It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with last season being his best.
The fan-favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, is still held by the terms of his contract while discussions between his agent are continuing behind closed doors.
Those close to developments mention that Ditsile is yet to be shocked by the stubborn position held by the Galaxy; but the club will surely hate losing such a prized possession to their fiercest rivals.
The Galaxy management has a reputation of being tough negotiators but for Ditsile, the offer from GU is one that should be impossible to refuse.On the other hand, GU are mindful of the tactics often displayed by Botswana players.
They have a tendency of bargaining through rival clubs so as to increase salary or force the management to act swiftly.
The absence of women national league in the country has caused anxiety and alarm at Botswana Football Association (BFA) secretariat. PIC: Soccer Laduma
This is the case because the inaugural COSAFA women champions’ league is about to kick start and BFA is expected to send the name of the team that will represent the country.
As things stand, the association is caught between a rock and a hard place because they are unable to determine the deserving team. The reality facing the association is because its women nation-wide league has never been played since the first corona virus case was registered in March of 2020.
However, the association has devised a plan and a model to opt for a team that will participate in the tournament to be held between November and December of this year. The play offs are expected to commence in August.
BFA has therefore called for an expression of interest from clubs to select the most deserving team.The expression of interest, according to BFA, should cover the club’s financial viability and ability to honour its games (both home and away) without fail. According to findings, the club will need a minimum of P100 00 to play a telling role.
It is therefore highly unlikely that BFA will find a women’s team enjoying such financial freedom. In any case, the association will be forced to offer financial assistance.Township Rollers, Mexican girls and Double Action are the few teams that can possibly be selected, but a huge question mark hangs over their financial disposition.
One other thing needed through the expression of interest is the current books of accounts which will definitely show that the club has been operating. BFA is of the view that this is important because it will help in showing the financial progression of the team.
“We are very pleased with how these events were organized under very difficult circumstances,” COSAFA General Secretary, Sue Destombes said in a statement.
“We take what we learnt in Nelson Mandela Bay into our planning for 2021. We have a full calendar of tournaments at this stage. We are hopeful we will be able to stage them all, even in these most challenging times.
The highlight must be the introduction of the regional Women’s Champions League, which will be a zonal qualifier for the new CAF Women’s Champions League which is coming later this year,” she further shared.