Timothy Bradley (26-0)
Considered by most to be No.1 in the division, Bradley achieved his status with impressive wins over Junior Witter, Kendall Holt, and Lamont Peterson. Most recently, Bradley went up to welterweight and took on undefeated Carlos Abregu, winning by unanimous decision.
For a minute there, Bradley seemed to be confused over his place in the sport, thinking he was in line for big fights with Mayweather or Pacquiao. Frankly, he is nowhere near that. Would they be great fights? Yes. Is it realistic? Absolutely not.
He has now come to his senses and agreed to the fight everyone wanted from him against Devon Alexander. Way to go, Tim.
Amir Khan (23-1)
Khan is listed at the No. 2 spot by most rankings due to his wins over Andriy Kotelnik, Dmitry Salita (a first-round blowout), and Paulie Malignaggi. Khan was pulling for a big fight against lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, but Marquez decided to stay at 135 pounds and defend his title. Now, Khan has signed to face his overdue mandatory Marco Maidana, the fight everyone preferred to see.
In Khan's only loss, he was knocked out in the first round against hard hitting Colombian prospect, Breidis Prescott. It was also not the first time Khan has hit the canvas. Now, Khan will have the chance to prove his chin can keep up with his skills and physical gifts, as he faces arguably the strongest of the division's contenders.
Devon Alexander (21-0)
A now unified and defending titlist, Alexander went quickly from a prospect that couldn't get a fight to possibly becoming the champion of the division. The change came with three big wins over Junior Witter, Juan Urango and most recently a close decision over Andriy Kotelnik. His knockout over the iron-chinned Urango was especially impressive.
After months of calling his name to the media, Alexander will get the fight he was begging for against Tim Bradley. HBO will start the year with a bang when these two meet.
Marcos Maidana (29-1)
Maidana broke onto the American scene last year with a six-round classic against Victor Ortiz. The two exchanged knockdowns like young couples exchange text messages until Ortiz couldn't take anymore and quit.
Before that, Maidana lost a close split-decision to Andriy Kotelnik that most thought could have gone either way.
Since the Ortiz win, Maidana has won three fights, most notably a sixth-round knockout of undefeated prospect, Victor Cayo. Now Maidana will get his chance against the best opponent of his career in Amir Khan. Will Maidana's power be too much for the possibly fragile chin of Khan? Or will Khan's boxing skills overwhelm the Argentinian slugger? I can't wait for December!