Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new must-see fight for boxing's biggest star.
After watching Marcos Maidana put Floyd Mayweather in more trouble than he's seen in both his previous Showtime fights combined, there's no doubt that a rematch is the must-see fight for the man they call Money.
Where most opponents have talked about bringing the fight to Mayweather, Maidana followed through with it. The fiery Argenine started by totaling 100 punches in the opening frame, and was relentless in his pursuit of making Money as uncomfortable as possible.
In fact, CompuBox numbers show that Maidana was able to hit the elusive Mayweather more than any fighter in the 38 Money fights it has kept stats for, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:
CompuBox has tracked 38 Mayweather fights. Maidana landed the most punches (221) of any against Mayweather.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
The surprise excitement of a bout in which Mayweather looked like he may be mortal after all sparked immediate intrigue in a rematch.
And not just from the fans either.
Mayweather has already gone on record with some specifications for the rematch. Specifically, he doesn't want to see referee Tony Weeks again:
Floyd says if there's a rematch he doesn't want Tony Weeks as ref. Complaining he let Maidana get away with too much. #MayweatherMaidana— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 4, 2014
Maidana certainly won't have any objections to seeing Mayweather again. In addition to the massive payday that comes with fighting Mayweather on pay-per-view, he believes that he actually won the first fight:
"I have to give him a rematch, because I won." -Marcos Maidana on Floyd Mayweather Jr.: http://t.co/vXKyvqunHw— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) May 4, 2014
That's something that he'll have the opportunity to prove if he does get another shot at the pound-for-pound great.
Speaking of pound-for-pound lists, some fans will always clamor for a showdown with Manny Pacquiao. The hard-charging southpaw has long been the fan's preferred opponent for Mayweather.
Who do you want to see Mayweather take on next?
But until there's a legitimate glimmer of hope that the two fighters' promoters are capable of actually arranging a bout between the two then there's no reason to wait with bated breath for that one.
The back-and-forth comments between the fighters and their management are well documented and are unlikely to come to an end anytime soon, with a fight like Maidana on the table representing much less of a headache.
That leaves Amir Khan as the only other logical option for Mayweather as he looks at who he should take on next. The Brit has been on Mayweather's radar previously, but Maidana's dominant win over Adrien Broner helped him jump to next in line.
Unfortunately for Khan, he may have been outshined by Maidana once again.
Make no mistake, "King" Khan looked excellent on the undercard of Saturday night's pay-per-view. He was more technically sound than fans are used to seeing him, and his blinding hand speed proved to be the difference.
However, as Mannix pointed out, it wasn't the kind of flashy performance that will excite fans for a showdown with Mayweather.
Khan probably up big but this isn't the performance @SHOsports was looking for. Not going to be much demand for Khan-Mayweather.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 4, 2014
As deserving as Khan may be, Mayweather is all about the money. That means choosing the fight that will sell the best among fans. Khan may very well have a style that could challenge Money, but he could also get blown out like every other Mayweather opponent.
In Maidana, fans will know that they are getting an opponent who will take the fight to Mayweather. He will likely be defeated again, but not without a bang.
And that's enough to make fans pay to see those two go again.