Floyd Mayweather wouldn't commit immediately after his dominant win over Robert Guerrero, but the time has come for the fight we've all been waiting for.
Well, not that fight.
We're talking about Mayweather vs. Saul Canelo Alvarez, which Money quickly dodged on Saturday night (via Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix):
Correction: Mayweather says he hurt his right hand. Deflects a question about Canelo.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 5, 2013
Nevertheless, the plan has always been for Mayweather to fight again on September 14, meaning an opponent will have to be set fairly soon.
There certainly aren't a lack of options available.
Besides Pacquiao, which won't happen, Sergio Martinez serves as a realistic opponent, while there are also several other long-shot options that the fans might like to see.
Or, you know, he could fight some of these guys:
Floyd Mayweather should fight Bob Barker next.— Happy Gilmore (@_Happy_Gilmore) May 5, 2013
Mayweather once challenged me to a fight at NY Jets practice. I said I'd happily fight him for one million dollars#truestory— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) May 5, 2013
Floyd Mayweather announces that he'll fight Glass Joe next.— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsRadio) May 5, 2013
But if they are all disappointingly out of the question, and instead of Pacquiao, who was recently knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, or the 38-year-old Martinez, it's time that Mayweather take on an up-and-comer.
Who should Mayweather fight next?
The pound-for-pound champ often gets criticized for battling fighters who are either out of shape, past their prime or simply below his skill level—although to be honest, that last one pretty much describes everyone.
If there is anything left for Mayweather to prove, he could do it against Alvarez.
Canelo is a burgeoning force in the light middleweight division. The 22-year-old is 42-0-1, just worked over Austin Trout in a unanimous decision and has the ability as an offensive machine to seriously test Mayweather's legendary defensive skills.
Not only would he give Mayweather one of the best fights of the veteran's career, but it's what the fans want and it would bring in a staggering amount of money (via CBS Sports' Gary Parrish):
Canelo Alvarez-Floyd Mayweather would smash all money records if they do it in 2014. "Mayweather would kill him," said @kellyparrish.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) April 21, 2013
It may sound selfish, but that's the driving force behind these kinds of decisions.
Mayweather should take some time to revel in one of the most impressive wins of his career, but when it becomes time to decide his future, he should select an opponent that will challenge him—that will give him a chance to improve his legendary resume, and not just someone who will serve as another bland tally in the win column.
Better call Saul.