Floyd Mayweather is the undisputed best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and taking on Sergio Martinez as his first 2013 opponent would only do more to enhance his legacy.
A potential superfight between Money May and Manny Pacquiao is not going to happen when Mayweather returns May 4. That much is clear, and both fighters could use a tune-up as it is. Pac-Man just got knocked out for the first time since 1999 in his most recent bout with archrival Juan Manuel Marquez, marking his second loss in a row.
Younger undefeated fighters are generating more of the hype to fight Mayweather next, particularly Adrien Broner and Saul Alvarez.
Many boxing experts like the prospect of Alvarez (h/t ESPN). According to a report by Bob Velin of the USA TODAY, Alvarez posted on his Facebook that he was close to finalizing a May 4 showdown with Mayweather.
However, it's unclear how much Pretty Boy Floyd has in the tank, and rust could very well be a factor after an extended time away from the ring and a short prison term served for domestic abuse.
Mayweather should go after a competitor who is closer to his age rather than a fresh, explosive early 20-something. He has much more wear and tear at age 35, and Martinez is two years his senior.
Squaring off against Martinez would mean significantly more than a tune-up for Mayweather, while still being a captivating matchup where he'd be very much favored. It will be nearly a year since he has entered the ring, and Maravilla is no slouch. Martinez's flashy style would help create an even bigger draw, as would a potential move by Mayweather up to the middleweight class.
Who should Money May's next opponent be?
With the experience of moving up to face his last opponent, Miguel Cotto, under his belt, it's feasible that Mayweather could do it again, considering the dominant fashion in which he beat Cotto in 12 rounds.
A victory over one of the best in the world in yet another weight class would only do more to solidify Mayweather's place as the world's best, and he would match up favorably with Martinez.
It would also be good preparation for a potential clash with Pacquiao, because Martinez has the unconventional southpaw stance, which is hard for orthodox boxers to pick up on. Getting practice against a lefty like Martinez would only help Money May in that regard, particularly if he goes up a weight class to meet him.
Martinez is coming off of an impressive, unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. back in September, which gives him even more viability as a Mayweather opponent.
With his championship belts from The Ring and the WBC middleweight division on the line, the stakes would be high for Martinez, who would have little to lose in terms of his reputation even if he came out on the wrong end against Mayweather. He would still get a massive payday, and a win would be incredibly huge.
Meanwhile, Mayweather would simply further cement himself as the greatest fighter on the planet, and only add to the intrigue for his prospective second fight in September.