Manny Pacquiao will face Brandon Rios in November, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may or may not fight someone in September. Either way, though, regardless of how this year concludes, if both men manage to escape 2013 without a loss on their records they’ll be in ideal position for a super fight at some point in 2014.

Coming out of Mayweather’s impressive although under-watched victory over Robert Guerrero, all talk immediately turned to a showdown between him Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The 22-year-old Mexican star is widely considered the best and most legitimate challenger to Mayweather’s throne, and imaginations are already running wild regarding just how well he’d fare against the top pound-for-pounder in the world today.

Rumors have these two squaring off against one another in September of this year, however, if history has taught us anything it’s that Mayweather will avoid fighting his equals for as long as humanly possible.

During a recent interview, ESPN boxing aficionado Teddy Atlas echoed that very point.  

"Floyd Mayweather is not looking to fight Alvarez,” Atlas noted, per “Yes, it'd be a huge money fight, but Mayweather can make money in a lot of places; that's why they call him Money Mayweather. Why take the risk with a much bigger guy like Alvarez? So from what I understand, Alvarez  and Cotto, much better bet than waiting to see Alvarez and Mayweather."

Alvarez-Cotto doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given that the latter fighter is coming off a loss to the guy that the former just beat, but the general idea behind Atlas’ statement is sound. Mayweather has gotten to this point by being smart and strategizing – taking on Alvarez now, this early in his Showtime deal, makes no sense.

The obvious question then becomes: Who can help Mayweather generate the same amount of PPV buzz with much less risk? Answer: Pacquiao

Pacquiao will take on Rios later this year, and odds makers already have him as a three-to-one favorite. If he manages to prevail against an admittedly tough foe, his career will experience a rebirth of sorts. And since Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez clearly don’t want to fight him, squaring off against Mayweather makes perfect sense.

The only tough part in all this is making both men’s availabilities coincide. Pacquiao will be ready in early-to-mid-2014; same goes for Mayweather, if he fights in September of this year. However, if he puts off fighting until 2014 because of his hand or whatever else, then he’ll be looking to fight early next year.

Given the amount of money that’s being talked about here, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t be able to come up with a date that works for all involved.