I recently wrote an article titled “PAC-MAN: IF NOT MAYWEATHER, THEN WHO?“, discussing possible opponents for Welter Weight Champion Manny Pacquiao, if the Floyd negotiations fall through, again. I am going to start this piece with the same opening as I did with that article. Here we go:

The fight schedule for 2011 is almost wrapped up, and soon all the talk in boxing will turn to the possibility of a NEEDED mega fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. We can sit around and argue about why this fight has to happen, but we still risk the possibility of being left with the same emptiness as before. So, in order for me to feel like my energy is being used wisely, I’d rather look past that match-up and place focus on what we can hope for if that fight doesn’t happen.

I don’t know how much longer Pretty Boy Floyd can maintain his superb speed and impenetrable defense, but for now, his skill keeps him on top of the sport of boxing. There are not too many fighters out there that have any bit of following that you can match against Mayweather, and not make money. The man is a “cash cow”. But being the best has its demands, and even his most loyal fans are continuing to demand more than just another payday from the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T. This is my Couch Sports Expert opinion on 3 opponents Pretty Boy should face…..if not Manny Pacquiao. (in order by the least attractive to fans)

3. SAUL ALVAREZ / MIGUEL COTTO
I could’ve easily just made this into a list of four, but these two are a toss up. Alvarez is a young, rising star, who decided to call out Mayweather after his last fight. Alvarez is a bigger, younger, stronger, hungry lion, who is in his prime. (We’ve heard that before against Floyd; Ortiz) He has an immaculate following, and would be a low-risk, high reward match-up for Floyd. Cotto, on the other hand, is not as “green” as Alvarez, and has sparked new belief in his boxing status. He has recently shown an increased ring I.Q., and a defense that has never existed. Floyd has made a habit of taking out guys after they come off a quality win. Cotto’s revenge on Margarito has elevated him back into serious boxing talks. Perfect time for Floyd to capitalize on someone else’s hype, as well as his own. Not to mention, both men rely on their POWER, and would have to cut weight to fight Floyd: ADVANTAGE, FLOYD.

2. AMIR KHAN
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t honestly think Khan is on the same level as Floyd right now, and his last fight, against Lamont Peterson, didn’t help to dispute that fact. But I think enough fight fans blame the awkward point deductions, more than they blame Khan’s performance, to still keep him as a viable opponent. But 80% of any boxing match-up is all about FAN PERCEPTION. It’s funny how Floyd is criticized when he bad mouths his opponents, but guys like Khan are doing everything in their power to elevate their careers through Mayweather. Notice, every young fighter out there that the boxing world sees great potential in wants to fight Mayweather NEXT. Khan has elevated as an International star, he has skill and charisma, and he is being promoted perfectly. Facing Amir Khan, in London, would be a perfect situation for Floyd. He already has a strong following there, and he would be facing their young, hometown star. Khan is bigger, and has tremendous speed. Khan is my #2, because Khan will be moving up to the Welter Weight division in 2012, probably after a rematch with Peterson. Floyd could discredit himself by fighting him TOO EARLY.

1. SERGIO MARTINEZ
As I stated in my article about Pacquiao, Martinez is currently ranked as #3 on the “P4P” list. He has publicly stated that he is willing to drop to 150 lbs. in order to secure a match with Mayweather or Pacquiao. In every instance that negotiations for the mega fight have failed, the NEXT opponent for each fighter is always significant. Martinez represents a BIG RISK, and even BIGGER REWARD to Mayweather’s career. He also showed in the De La Hoya fight that he I capable of gaining weight, while maintaining his speed, accuracy, and ring generalship. Martinez, on the other hand, would be sacrificing muscle and stamina.

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