Every day, as I sift through the boxing stories and forums, I find myself looking for two names, and two names only: Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. What are they doing next? When are they fighting next? What are they said about facing each other? I like many other boxers, and some are slowly creeping into my reading newsstand, but these two have my full attention, and complete control of the sport.

But there are a lot of good, young stars on the rise.

It is clear that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has been pinned as Golden Boy Promotions new “Golden Boy”. While he has been very impressive through 42 undefeated bouts, many believe it’s time for him to take on a real challenge. It’s not Alvarez’s fault, the path he has been led on, but I think he is also ready for a greater challenge.

While he has constantly been thrown in conversations about Floyd “Money” Mayweather, there are other matches that also should be considered, to continue in making him GBP’s “Golden Boy”.

MIGUEL COTTO
Excluding Floyd Mayweather, Cotto is the top dog at 154 lbs, where they both reside. (Cotto is #1, Alvarez #2) Once you get beyond the Mayweather and Pacquiao news, Cotto is the next big name in the sport. He is battle tested and has faced any and every challenger that has stood in his way. Imagine these two in the ring against one another. You have Cotto, who has been transformed into more than just a brawler. He has power, speed, and defense. Then Alvarez is a young, strong, powerful freight train. He isn’t really interested in playing defense, but really more about making his opponents crumble into theirs’. I think the two would make an explosive match up, with little defense, little ducking, and a lot of power.

SERGIO MARTINEZ
We all know that Martinez has been calling for a fight against Mayweather or Pacquiao for a year now. I don’t know if he realizes it, but most casual Boxing fans are not interested in those fights. Martinez fights at 160 lbs, which means he would have to drop 10+ pounds just to face one of them. Martinez against Alvarez can be a good match up. Martinez is willing to drop weight for a big pay-day. Imagine these two, or the afore-mentioned fight on Cinco De Mayo in 2013. The elder has power and dangerous speed for a big man. The younger, as I said before, has Tommy Morrison, Rocky V (5) power. As they say, “speed kills”, but when is the last time we’ve witnessed a Welterweight with the kind of power as Alvarez?

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR
I honestly believe both Cotto and Martinez would be a better fight, but there’s a lot in a name. No name in boxing brings more attention, money, and publicity than “Money”. It’s a fight that Alvarez has continuously called for, and it poses the risk factor that will make fight fans wonder: Does Alvarez have the power to break through Floyd’s lockdown defense? Critics said Mosley would do it. Then Victor Ortiz. Then Cotto. While Cotto has done better than any fighter before him, we still haven’t seen Mayweather in real, sustained trouble. If Floyd insists on not using his defense, like he did with Cotto, this will be a great match. Floyd has never taken true power to the chin, and if he does….

The overall picture for Alvarez is a positive, lucrative future. Each of these fights are a win-win situation for him. He could definitely lose any, or all, of these match-ups, but at this point in their careers, none of these opponents have the ability to completely dominate him. Even in defeat, either of these would be great names on his resume, and big bucks in the bank.

And, of course, the best part of a win-win situation is actually winning. If he wins, he has a victory over one of the top players in the game right now. And for a young, hungry fighter that is a risk worth taking.

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