Only hours remain until kick-off of Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans tonight. This is amidst rumors that pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. will flex his proverbial muscles and use the biggest sporting event in the United States as a platform to announce his next opponent for an anticipated fight on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Will it score a winning touchdown or will it wind up being a quarterback sneak?
Given the typical high drama and anticipation surrounding all things Mayweather, it would come as no surprise if he once again used this opportunity to generate even more attention for himself. The undefeated champion used the Super Bowl to promote his fight with Shane Mosley in 2010 and created chaos last year when he and former partner-in-crime 50 Cent drove an oversized bus through the crowded streets of Indianapolis for promotion of his May 5 fight against Miguel Cotto.
While those were tactics to promote previously confirmed fights with well-known and highly established fighters, this would be a case of actually announcing an opponent. It doesn't exactly seem to be something football fans would particularly be interested in learning about during a Super Bowl that pits two brothers who will be head coaching against each other for the first time in history and will be Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis' final game after a dominant 17-year career.
Interim WBC welterweight titleholder Robert Guerrero has been the rumored opponent for Mayweather since December. The Ghost is not particularly well-known to the casual boxing fan so using the Super Bowl as a means to introduce him as the next foe may not get the biggest bang for "Money" Mayweather's buck.
WBC light middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez is the other possible option that has been heavily considered. Although a star-in-the making with wide spread appeal, the 22-year old Mexican has not fully established himself with notable victories over prime opponents during his title reign. While a segment of boxing fans would not mind seeing the young gun take a stab at the great Mayweather, the general feeling among hardcore boxing fans is that such a fight is unwarranted and would be anti-climatic.
An announcement that involves either Guerrero or Alvarez could very well result in an overwhelming reaction of "Who cares?" from the large majority of tonight's Super Bowl audience.
The type of announcement that would really generate mainstream attention and water cooler conversation tomorrow morning is if the 35-year old Mayweather uses the biggest sports stage in the country to inform the world that he is retiring from boxing. At 43-0, 26 KO's and little possibility that there will ever be a fight against pound-for-pound rival Manny Pacquiao (a fight that has appreciably lost its appeal over the last three years), Mayweather will not cement his legacy by fighting anyone else at this stage of his career.
Now that would be the kind of sneak that not even Colin Kaepernick could execute.