Floyd Mayweather: Ranking Opponents We Most Want Him to Face in 2013

Justin Tate@justindavidtateCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2012

Floyd Mayweather: Ranking Opponents We Most Want Him to Face in 2013

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    Floyd Mayweather has options in the aftermath of Manny Pacquiao's knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez. He is no longer pigeon-holed by the fight everyone wants to see.

    Mayweather has already dominated Marquez to a clear, decisive unanimous decision. Marquez knocking out Pacquiao only helped to alleviate what was left of the roar for him to fight Mayweather.

    Now with the demand for Mayweather-Pacquiao being muffled to a whisper and Mayweather's camp saying he'll fight twice next year, here's a look at five opponents for consideration in 2013.

5. Juan Manuel Marquez

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    Juan Manuel Marquez is a great warrior and has proved he can carry over 140 pounds well, after coming from lighter weight classes for the majority of his career to knockout 147-pound king Manny Pacquiao.

    With that said, suggesting a rematch with Mayweather is potentially hazardous to Marquez's cause. Marquez may do better to rematch Pacquiao again than be handed another unanimous-decision loss.

    Marquez met Mayweather in the ring in 2009 after the American came back from a nearly two-year period of inactivity. He dusted off the cobwebs enough to dominate every round vs. Marquez.

    If a more active Mayweather faces Marquez today, the outcome could be worse and even result in the first stoppage of Marquez's career. The financial rewards could be worth the risk for Marquez though.

    Marquez's stock has never been higher and the audience may be willing to buy into the hype that he can change the outcome of a rematch after what he did to Pacquiao.

4. Timothy Bradley

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    Timothy Bradley has a welterweight title to take, a "0" to snatch and a claim as the first in seven years to beat Pacquiao. For fans, this may be all they need to desire a bout between him and Mayweather.

    For everyone else, the choice of Bradley may be an uninspired one. Bradley's performance against Pacquiao this past June didn't exactly rock the boxing world.

    He tripped and stumbled over himself while barely avoiding Pacquiao's shots en route to a controversial decision victory. Couple that with his tendency for headbutts, and this match loses its luster very quickly.

    What this bout does have going for it is that it's two American boxers, both undefeated and engaging in a high-profile event.

    Is it the second coming of Ali-Frazier or Leonard-Hagler? Certainly not! Is it a boost for American boxing? Maybe.

3. Robert Guerrero

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    Robert Guerrero has been an under-recognized, multi-divisional champion who moved up from lightweight (135 lbs) to welterweight (147 lbs) after over a year layoff due to a shoulder injury.

    He came out on top against one of the division's hardest punchers in Selcuk Aydin and one of the divison's deadliest speedy power-punchers in Andre Berto.

    Guerrero beat them both by unanimous decisions that were clear. Now it's time to see if the hard-chinned southpaw warrior can use his technique and ability to go toe to toe with Money May.

2. Saul Alvarez

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    Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is a force to be reckoned with at the box office. Mexico has been behind this kid for over three years. Now it's time to use that following to make one of the biggest fights possible.

    Mayweather-Canelo would sell over two million pay-per-views and possibly rival De La Hoya-Mayweather.

    Though the 22-year-old would be very inexperienced against an elite fighter like Mayweather, he'll be 36 years old by the time he steps in the ring on May 4 or Sept. 14, two dates he's reserved in 2013.

    Canelo, with his superior size and strength, could hunt Mayweather down and stop him in a knockout-of-the-year candidate that would rival this year's big candidate.

1. Sergio Martinez

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    Sergio Martinez is a beast of a champion. He won titles at junior middleweight before vacating to face the likes of Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik at middleweight and win more world titles.

    Now, Mayweather-Martinez may be a fight the fans want due to Mayweather having two fights at junior middleweight—a place where both fighters can certainly meet with little difficulty—but is it lucrative?

    Martinez hasn't been able to attract the level of attention other Latin stars command such as the younger but less athletically talented Canelo and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

    Mayweather, at age 36, may not be willing to take a young man's risk against a bigger foe when he's almost a senior citizen in boxing years.

    One thing's for sure, if Mayweather does meet the taller, longer-limbed, speedy Argentina-born fighter, it'll be the toughest fight he's been in and one that could define or potentially end his career.

    Follow me on Twitter @justindavidtate for more boxing news and updates.