Floyd Mayweather: 5 Fights for Floyd While He Ducks Manny Pacquiao
When it comes to Floyd versus Manny, fight fans have spent the past few years working themselves into a state of voluntary delusion.
"There's too much money involved not to fight," or "They need each other to secure their legacies," fight fans plead to themselves.
As the two great fighters enter their mid-30s and have other obligations fill their time (politics for Manny, the legal system for Floyd), it becomes less and less likely that these two will ever meet in the ring, at least not while each is in his prime.
Neither individual is blameless in ducking the fight, but Mayweather has taken the brunt of the public's ire. Floyd has dismantled every opponent he has faced, and was already well on his way to adding Victor Ortiz to the list when he blindsided him with his knockout punch.
While it seems that there is no one left to test Mayweather—except Manny—there are some decent fights to be had for him as he continues to avoid the fight that everyone wants to see.
Let's take a look at some of the best options for Floyd Mayweather's adventures in avoidance.
If Floyd isn't going to fight Manny, how about Manny's sparring partner, Amir Khan?
Khan is viewed by many as the star of his generation of fighters, and it's easy to see why—he's young, handsome, well-spoken, active in charities, and, of course, a talented fighter.
Khan has shown outstanding growth since he began training with Freddie Roach after his sole loss to Breidis Prescott. Khan still needs to grow a bit more as a fighter before he can pose a challenge to Mayweather.
After prospective fights with Timothy Bradley and Erik Morales failed to materialize, Khan agreed to fight Columbian boxer Lamont Peterson, with whom he will trade blows this December.
After he faces Peterson, some have called for him to fight a rematch with Prescott, but Prescott has lost to three of the seven opponents he has faced since defeating Khan, and a rematch is unnecessary for Khan.
Another option is a rematch with Marcos Maidana, whom Khan defeated last year in an exciting bout.
The best fight for Khan at the moment would be a unification bout with Bradley, an undefeated junior welterweight who is currently Ring Magazine's No. 6 pound-for-pound fighter. Bradley is an outstanding fighter and would be Khan's most-demanding challenge yet and an excellent test to determine his readiness for Mayweather. Bradley has been unwilling to fight Khan thus far, but as Khan's stature rises, he may not be able to avoid him.
Khan currently fights at the junior welterweight level, so he would need to jump up in class to fight Mayweather, a welterweight.
If Floyd Mayweather is the undisputed world champion of cockiness, Brandon Rios is the top challenger. But when it comes to fighting, Rios isn't yet in Mayweather's class.
Rios, currently fighting as a lightweight, will next fight on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito rematch in December. His opponent has not yet been announced, but it is expected to be John Molina, Roman Martinez or Kevin Mitchell, with Molina as the most likely candidate.
Rios's talk has entirely centered around fighting Victor Ortiz, whom he grew up near in Kansas. Since Ortiz failed to hold his own against Mayweather and make his way to the next level of boxing stardom, a decisive victory for Rios over Ortiz would allow his team to make the case that he is a credible challenger to Mayweather.
Rios has mentioned that he'd like to fight Humberto Soto and Devon Alexander before moving up to fighters like Pacquiao and Mayweather, patience that would serve the 25-year-old fighter well.
Amir Khan isn't the only British boxer that Mayweather might meet in the ring. Kell Brook, a 25-year-old from Sheffield, England, is both a strong puncher and a sharp defensive fighter.
After delivering 12 knockouts in 13 fights, Brook went to the cards with Lovemore N'dou, but Brook dominated the fight. Brook has been "the next big thing" for awhile, and though he is still young, his hype has yet to materialize.
Despite his 24-0-0 record, Brook is still a few fights away from the upper echelon of his weight class.
If Amir Khan makes the jump to welterweight after his next fight, a fight between the two would be the biggest thing in British boxing in years. If Brook were to defeat Khan, boxing's brightest young star, he would become a star in his own right, and a natural opponent for Mayweather.
Mike Jones's biggest challenge to working his way to the top of the welterweight division might be his own body. At nearly six feet tall, Jones has acknowledged the difficulty of staying at 147 pounds.
At the top of Jones's wish list is Andre Berto, but if Jones moves up to junior middleweight, Miguel Cotto is the natural opponent for him.
If Jones is able to stay in the welterweight division and defeat a fighter like Berto, he would be an intriguing matchup for Mayweather. Jones's height and reach advantage, coupled with his devastating power, would pose a unique challenge to Mayweather.
As long as Jones remains a welterweight, other fighters will hesitate to fight him due to his size advantage. Unless Mayweather selects him as an opponent soon, this fight probably isn't in the stars.
A fight with Andre Berto was a great deal more likely before Mayweather controversially knocked out Victor Ortiz in their recent fight after dominating him for four rounds.
Berto lost to Ortiz earlier this year, and it's not clear why Mayweather would feel the need to prove himself against Berto after dismantling Ortiz.
However, there are only so many credible challengers in the welterweight division ready to take on someone of Mayweather's stature right now, and other than Manny, Berto is at the top of that list.