Boxing/MMA

Floyd Mayweather’s Next Fight: Saul ‘Canelo' Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao or Devon Alexander

Floyd Mayweather Jr. needed two rounds to warm up this past Saturday night.

Only two rounds.

Despite spending the last year dealing with various issues outside of the ring, Mayweather still cruised to an easy unanimous decision victory over Robert Guerrero this weekend in a fight that wasn’t as close as the 117-111 scores that the judges presented. If not for a hurt hand, the 36-year-old undefeated champ likely would have inflicted even more damage upon his counterpart.

Any questions people had about Mayweather’s potential decline following his not-so-impressive performance against Miguel Cotto last year were answered: That was the byproduct of bad training, nothing more. With his father by his side, Mayweather went back to showcasing the elusiveness and pinpoint accuracy that got him to this point. When it was all said and done, he landed 60 percent of his power punches and 41 percent of his total punches. For comparison’s sake: Guerrero landed just 113 of the 581 shots he threw.

Mayweather still has it, that much is settled. The question is: How confident is he in his own skills. If he came away from Saturday night’s bout feeling like he’s the best in the world, as opposed to simply saying that he feels that way, then a match between him and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez could happen as soon as September. If he didn’t, though, and if he would rather go for the safer, more business-savvy route, then there are better options on the table.

For his work this weekend, Mayweather took home $32 million. That means in his last two fights, against Cotto and Guerrero, the undefeated star has racked up $64 million brawling with guys that aren’t even in his league. If he sticks to that plan, someone like Devon Alexander, a guy he flirted with taking on prior to signing off on Guerrero, could be a very realistic possibility.

If Mayweather wants to get truly creative, though: Why not a fight Manny Pacquiao? At this stage in the game the Filipino star isn’t even close to being what he once was, so any fears Mayweather had about losing his undefeated record should be gone by now. And despite Pacquiao’s two-fight losing streak, he is still a major, major draw. It is an absolute lock that Mayweather-Pacquiao would still shatter sales records.

The only real question is whether the non-financial risk involved justifies the reward. If Mayweather beats Pacquiao, people will say the Filipino star is past his prime. If he loses, critics will argue that he was always better. While the money in this potential match-up is off the charts, the extra baggage that comes along with it might dissuade Mayweather from pursuing it.

Regardless of what he ultimately decides to do, though, if Mayweather is truly planning on fighting in September or October of this year, he’ll have to make his decision pretty quickly.

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