Boxing needs a marquee fight to give the sport some mainstream momentum. Floyd Mayweather's recent clinical victory over Robert Guerrero didn't fall in that category, but a bout with rising star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez would.
In recent years, the most talked about fight was Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao. It was billed as the matchup that could get boxing back on track. The two sides could never come together, and then Pacquiao suffered losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Due to the fading stock of "Pac-Man," it's no longer the most desirable fight available. That honor now goes to Mayweather and Alvarez. The tough part will be getting an agreement in place that satisfies both camps. It's always a challenge for big fights.
The good news for boxing fans is that Dan Rafael of ESPN reports Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions is working with both sides in an attempt to find common ground. Mayweather is expected back in the ring in September.
Schaefer said he is hopeful of finalizing a fight between Mayweather, the pound-for-pound king, and unified junior middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, a match that looms as one of the biggest in boxing.
"I am working on the fight," Schaefer said. "I'm crunching the numbers. You should see my calculator -- it's red-hot. I am working on a lot of fights, but this is my No. 1 priority."
The report doesn't specify if they are closing in on a deal or just in the early stages of negotiations, but the mere fact they are considering the idea is a positive.
Since there are only four months between fights for Mayweather, a decision will probably have to come pretty quickly. For boxing as a whole, the sooner the better, so the promoters can start hyping the fight as a must-see event.
It would definitely qualify as one. Both fighters are undefeated with a combined 86 professional victories and are coming off convincing unanimous-decision triumphs. It's the perfect time to put them in the ring together.
For Mayweather, it would be a chance to prove he still deserves the title of best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet. Beating Alvarez on what would amount to short rest would make a major statement after going a year between bouts before knocking off Guerrero.
Will Mayweather and Alvarez fight next?
For Alvarez, the fight would be his chance to break through on a massive stage. Wins over opponents like Austin Trout and Shane Mosley are worthy of praise, but being the first boxer to defeat Mayweather would take him to a completely different level.
Furthermore, one of the main reasons it would be such an intriguing bout is the uncertainty. Alvarez is one of the few opponents available who could actually give Mayweather a serious challenge. Even if he doesn't win, it should be an entertaining matchup.
And boxing needs more of those in the near future. Since the sport lacks star power, its big names need to have competitive fights. It's the only way to bring casual sports fans back into the mix moving forward.
That's not possible if Mayweather and Alvarez both go on to fight second-tier opponents. They must take on each other to give boxing a big boost.