Floyd Mayweather was released from Nevada's Clark County Detention Center less than three weeks ago, and his list of potential opponents is already beginning to take shape.
For obvious reasons, Mayweather wouldn't dream of fighting Manny Pacquiao any time soon, even though the fight has lost most of its luster following Pacquiao's loss to Timothy Bradley in June. Even still, if Mayweather is interested in a low-risk fight with plenty of financial incentives, he doesn't need to look all that hard.
Don't expect to see any sort of Mayweather fight until next May at the earliest, but here's a look at four opponents whom he should consider in his return to the squared circle.
A year ago, Amir Khan was the hottest young boxer in the game. That was before back-to-back defeats at the hands of Lamont Peterson and Danny "Swift" Garcia.
The two losses didn't necessarily doom a meeting with Mayweather, however: Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya still believes that Khan has what it takes to do battle against Money May. Khan's name still carries some weight from a marketing standpoint, and Mayweather could get a hefty payday if he decides to face the British native.
The Mayweather-Victor Ortiz bout ended under such strange circumstances that a rematch almost seemed inevitable. While Mayweather's punch was well within the rules, it would have been interesting to see the dynamic between him and Ortiz play out over the course of 12 rounds.
Eleven months later, a rematch makes sense for totally different reasons. Mayweather needs the work as he re-establishes himself in the fight game, while Victor Ortiz looks to climb back up the welterweight ladder after Josesito Lopez broke his jaw on June 23.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez
After watching Saul Alvarez dispatch Shane Mosley earlier this year, De La Hoya reversed course and declared that his 22-year-old fighter was now ready to face off against Mayweather.
Canelo dominated his bout against Mosley on May 5, but it should be pointed out that Mosley hasn't defeated anyone since January 2009. Alvarez won't figure to have much problem with Josesito Lopez on Sept. 15, so a match with Mayweather could happen as early as next spring.
Timothy Bradley may be the WBO welterweight champion by virtue of his June 9 defeat of Manny Pacquiao, but he represents the perfect medium-risk, high-reward option for Mayweather.
Despite spending 60 days in jail for a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, Mayweather should be able to quickly prepare for Bradley, a fighter whom Money May likely would have outclassed if the two had squared off prior to Mayweather's incarceration.
While the fight itself may need to be sold to the boxing public, it seems clear from recent comments that Bradley is ready to put his name on the dotted line.
"I've been in the ring with some of the best fighters in the world," said Bradley in an interview with RingTV. "If Manny Pacquiao doesn't want to fight me, then I'm looking for a Floyd Mayweather fight."
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