After a less than conclusive performance against Juan Manuel Marquez, Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO) finds himself in a spot where possible opponents will be quick to jump in reserving a fight with him.
Pacquiao won a majority decision against the biggest rival of his career, but the decision was unpopular. It wasn't the first he has had against Marquez, as a draw and split-decision win preceded.
With a decisive victory still in need, Marquez is one of many opponents Pacquiao can choose to fight next along with these three boxers.
Top pound-for-pound boxer and former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is one of the best in the sport right now, and his 48-2-2 record with 27 knockouts supports his growing progress.
Since losing a controversial decision to Paul Williams, Martinez has come back to KO Williams and knock out other credible boxers, including Darren Barker and Serhei Dzinziruk.
Martinez's promoter, Lou Dibella, isn't in favor of a potential Martinez-Pacquiao bout because he believes it's a risk not worth taking—at least for Pacquiao.
WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is 28-0 with 12 knockouts, and his recent victory over Joel Casamayor proved he is still continuing to excel in the ring.
At 40 years old, Casamayor didn't have much to offer the much younger Bradley, but it was one of Bradley's better performances in a while. His last victory came over Devon Alexander in one of 2011's biggest duds.
If Bradley doesn't accept a fight with light welterweight champion Amir Khan, he can ask for a potential bout with Pacquiao.
After 36 rounds of boxing with Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez has yet to get a victory despite being competitive throughout and arguably having won more rounds against his Filipino rival.
At the post-fight press conference to their third fight, Marquez hinted at retirement, and after an extensive 18-year career with a record of 53-6-1, it might just be time for the Mexican boxer to retire.
If not, who wouldn't mind seeing a fourth fight between him and Pacquiao?
WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO) is scheduled to return to the ring in May 2012, and an opponent has yet to be named.
After seeing how vulnerable Pacquiao looked Saturday night, it's hard to believe Mayweather will not take the fight.
There is a lot of money involved, and the hype is still gaining momentum. The close decision victory to Marquez doesn't do anything but help this fight happen faster, and it should sometime next year if neither guy has an opponent lined up.