- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Floyd Mayweather Jr. was so easily beating Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night that in about the seventh or eighth round, I actually began to think about whom Mayweather should fight next.
I’m still thinking about it a few days later and there is still no obvious choice that really pumps me up. You know why? Because it doesn’t matter who Mayweather fights. He will beat anyone, probably easily, from 140 to 154 pounds. Frankly, there is not one fighter in those weight divisions who I think would even be competitive with the brilliant pound-for-pound king.
Junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia beat Lucas Matthysse in the co-feature of Saturday’s card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and looks like a good bet to get the fight. It would be an easy fight to make because he is with Golden Boy and also with Al Haymon, the powerful manager and adviser whose No. 1 client is Mayweather.
For Garcia to put on seven pounds to meet Mayweather at welterweight would be no issue.
While Garcia, a heavy underdog against Matthysse, scored the upset and fought exceptionally well, would anyone give him much of a shot against Mayweather? No disrespect to Garcia, a fine fighter (and an exciting one) and a good guy, but he’d be a long shot. A really long shot.
Another opponent many mention as a possible Mayweather foe for May, when he plans to next fight, is the winner of a bout between welterweight titlist Devon Alexander and former junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan. They are close to a deal for a fight on Dec. 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
As is the case with Garcia, would anyone give either man a serious chance to beat Mayweather? Alexander is a very good technical boxer, but there is not one category, other than age (26), in which he has an advantage over Mayweather, who's 36.
If Khan were to defeat Alexander (and he’d be the underdog for sure in that one), a fight with Mayweather might be the best bet economically because of the infusion of the British fan base and television money. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer even talked about the possibility of having a potential Mayweather-Khan fight in front of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium.
So Mayweather-Khan would be a bigger event than Mayweather against Garcia or Alexander, but Khan has looked so bad in recent fights that he would be an even longer shot than those guys. I can’t see him laying a glove on Mayweather.
All could land the fight with Mayweather -- and they are all with Golden Boy, which makes them relatively easy to make -- but none do anything to set the world on fire.
Fighters such as Manny Pacquiao, Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley Jr. and Mike Alvarado you might as well cross off the list, because they are all with Top Rank, meaning there is no chance they would get made. We all know that. Other than Pacquiao -- and we’ve been down this road too many times -- none are all that interesting anyway.
Even Pacquiao, coming off a bad knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez (already dominated by Mayweather in 2009) has lost a lot of luster as a Mayweather opponent. Their fight would have set records had they gotten a deal done three years ago, when the world was desperate for the fight.
Eventually, a Mayweather-Adrien Broner fight will be big business if Broner continues to win (and he has a potentially tough fight in December against Marcos Maidana, should that deal be finalized). But it is not ready to be the May fight for Mayweather. Besides, I need to see Broner accomplish more before he deserves a shot at the king.
At junior middleweight, Mayweather has already convincingly defeated Alvarez and Miguel Cotto, and there is not another opponent in that weight class who would be any match for him or create any excitement whatsoever.
Basically, whomever Mayweather fights from 140 to 154 -- it’s all the same. It makes no difference.
But if Mayweather wants to get people truly excited for his next fight -- and wants them to pay $75 to watch it on Showtime PPV in HD -- he needs to dare to be greater than he already is.
That means seeking out a quality middleweight whom he could force to come down in weight a bit, even to 155.
I’d love to see Mayweather challenge champion Sergio Martinez, but that isn’t going to happen. Martinez is injured and fights on HBO. I wouldn’t count on seeing Mayweather call out Gennady Golovkin, boxing’s boogeyman, either. He also fights on HBO and might be the only man from 140 to 160 I’d give serious consideration to picking over Mayweather.
But the specter of Mayweather fighting somebody like titleholder Peter Quillin (easy to make, as he is with Golden Boy and Haymon), a quality bigger man with a personality built for selling pay-per-view? Now that is interesting.