Floyd Mayweather will have other opponents ahead of him after beating Saul "Canelo" Alvarez Saturday in what was an uneventful match, but the real match everyone still wants to see will be one with a revived Manny Pacquiao.
Up next for Money will likely be Danny Garcia, who scored a unanimous victory over Lucas Matthysse in the same event as the Mayweather-Canelo fight. Or, perhaps it could be Amir Khan or Devon Alexander who gets a shot.
While all of those fighters are certainly deserving of a matchup with Money, none of them come close to carrying the name recognition and legendary status that a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout would bring.
And, none of those fighters possess the kind of skills or matchup quality that Pacquiao did when he was beating anyone and everyone he stepped into the ring with.
But thanks to two tough losses in a row, Pac-Man is far from deserving of a shot at the moment, and it remains to be seen if he will ever return to his form. His first loss to Timothy Bradley was a joke that should have never taken place, but his knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez was very real.
The road back to credibility will be a long one for Pac-Man.
First, Pacquiao has to take care of business against his next opponent, Brandon Rios, in November. After that, Pac-Man would be wise to attempt to avenge his two losses at the hands of Bradley and Marquez.
If that's not possible for whatever reason, Pacquiao must add a top opponent to his victims list if he hopes to once again turn the head of Mayweather in his direction. At this point, Mayweather has said Pacquiao "blew it," so it'll take at least a few more wins to convince Money to fight him.
This fight has come so close to happening in the past, and many fans have accused Mayweather of making up excuses in order to duck Pacquiao. Rapper 50 Cent actually admitted Money was ducking Pac-Man earlier this year, so the argument does have some traction.
However, Pac-Man's lackluster performances of late have done everything to give Mayweather more excuses not to fight him. Those same excuses—whatever they may be—won't erase the stain on Mayweather's legacy that results from not having taken a fight with another boxer who was at the top of the sport.
Regardless of age or current status, this fight would still be a big deal. Pacquiao and Mayweather each have enormous followings that span the globe, so the money factor wouldn't be an issue. Such an event would be lucrative to say the least and would perhaps shatter records.
It's the dream fight that everyone has been dying to see for years now, and it will instantly become a serious conversation once again should Pacquiao return to form.
The time is coming when this fight is at a now-or-never point. Pacquiao is 34 and doesn't have many good years left, if any at all, and Mayweather is 36 with just four fights left on his 30-month deal with Showtime.
That doesn't leave a lot of time to make this fight happen, and that's especially true seeing as how Pac-Man has some work to do. But if Pacquiao can climb his way back to the top of the sport and regain his status as the only top fighter left, Mayweather will have no choice but to finally take the challenge.