Floyd Mayweather hasn't had anything of substance to announce since his May 5 fight against former 154-pound world champion Miguel Cotto.
Floyd Mayweather is still being talked about even as he descends further into the shadows of inactivity.
Writers and boxers speculate on the day he'll emerge from the light, bringing news of when and where he'll fight.
While any claim of knowing exactly what Mayweather will do next is dubious, creating a guide to chart what factors he'll take into consideration is quite doable. In fact, it's been done and only a click away.
Here are five factors Mayweather will take into consideration when he returns to the ring in 2013.
Sergio Martinez suffered a scary knockdown in the Round 12 of his otherwise dominating unanimous decision against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Sergio Martinez is the WBC Middleweight Champion and a top-five pound-for-pound fighter on every major analyst's list of the best fighters in the ring.
According to Yahoo!, he had surgery on his right knee on Nov. 12 on the heels of his September fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Martinez is 37 years old and has looked like a fighter 10 years younger, but Father Time catches up with everyone. An injury in his knee could hurt his mobility during a fight with someone as quick as Mayweather.
Manny Pacquiao (left) and his rival Juan Manuel Marquez fought to a draw during their initial encounter in 2004. Pacquiao walked away with a split decision in their 2008 rematch and a majority decision in the third fight in 2011.
Manny Pacquiao is the opponent fans want to see Mayweather face, but he is scheduled for a fourth encounter with rival Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8.
Pacquiao has looked less impressive in his last few fights. In other words, his career needs a revival. Mayweather has fought the likes of Miguel Cotto and Victor Ortiz coming off career-revitalizing victories.
If Pacquiao can silence the naysayers with a stoppage victory against Marquez, the fires for a Mayweather-Pacquiao superfight will be fanned once again—and maybe a fruitful round of negotiations can begin.
Brandon Rios is known for his hard chin and dogged determination to trap and brutalize his opponents.
Bob Arum is Pacquiao's promoter and is ultimately a major factor in who Pacquiao fights next. Arum has a April 20 fight date penned and name-dropped the Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado winner as a likely foe.
Rios-Alvarado is the fight of the year. Brandon Rios is an iron-chinned young fighter who is as exciting as it gets, but isn't big enough in name to demand the kind of money that would cut into Pacquiao's portion of the revenue.
Mayweather will have to see if Arum will try to make Pacquiao-Rios right after Pacquiao-Marquez IV or if he will he only use that as a backup in the event a fight with Mayweather can't be made.
Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather gave a great show with many exciting exchanges during their heavily anticipated megafight.
Miguel Cotto is important to Floyd Mayweather's next step in quite a few ways. First off, Cotto is challenging undefeated Austin Trout, a young American with a WBA regular title in the junior middleweight division.
Mayweather holds the WBA super belt in that division. Should Cotto defeat Trout, he'll likely become the mandatory opponent for Mayweather. Cotto has never lost in New York, where his title shot will come.
Trout has also never faced a fighter as elite as Cotto, so the shock will be hard to overcome once he's facing reality in the ring. Once Cotto wins the belt, Mayweather has two options.
He can try to fight Cotto in a rematch of their exciting May 5 blockbuster. May 4, 2013 is Cinco De Mayo weekend and would make for an excellent day to pocket another couple million.
His second option is to wait and allow Cotto to face Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, the most popular Mexican star in boxing right now.
Canelo is the WBC champ and he told his promoter Golden Boy that he wants either Mayweather, Cotto or Sergio Martinez next. If Cotto wins, Canelo vs. Cotto would make for a classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico fight.
Titles would be unified and the most popular fighter from each country would fight with the pride of millions on their back.
The winner would become the most lucrative option for Mayweather to face next, likely in September of 2013—which is Mexican Independence Day weekend and a lucrative boxing holiday.
Andre Berto has missed numerous chances to fight Mayweather.
Andre Berto will face Robert Guerrero for the interim WBC welterweight championship on Nov. 24 in Ontario with HBO broadcasting the bout, according to the LA Times.
Berto was once undefeated with a big fight against Shane Mosley lined up. Then an earthquake struck his home country of Haiti and killed many of his family members.
He cancelled the Mosley match and Mosley went on to fight Mayweather.
Then Berto fought Victor Ortiz in the fight of the year in 2011. Ortiz won after getting off the canvas twice to put Berto on the canvas twice. Ortiz then got his shot at Mayweather and lost badly.
Berto now has what could be a third chance at Mayweather by facing Guerrero. Guerrero is hoping the WBC interim belt he won this past July will mean a mandatory shot against the real WBC champ, Mayweather.
After being locked away for two months and not announcing a fight these past few months, it's very possible that the WBC may grant Berto and Guerrero the wish to fight for the full championship.
That would make Mayweather a contender again, which seems to be what he favors as a competitor. Mayweather defeated Mosley for his WBA belt. He KO'd Ortiz for his WBC one.
If Guerrero or Berto earn the belt, Mayweather could very well come after them for it.
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