In the blink of an eye, all the hype and buildup for Floyd Mayweather's bout against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has turned into the familiar procession of boxing fans reaching for superlatives to describe Money's prodigious abilities.
Consequently, it's time to start thinking of Mayweather's next opponent.
Given his overwhelmingly thorough victory—to everyone except judge C.J. Ross—there isn't a need for a rematch between Money and Canelo. Strip away the massive hype, and that win looked like so many other Mayweather triumphs.
So, it's on to the next crop of fighters. Here are three who would provide the most exciting next opponent, and likely victim, of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
No. 3: Amir Khan
After consecutive losses, Amir Khan has begun rebuilding his viability as a top contender.
The 26-year-old suffered defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia before getting his career back on track with wins over Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz.
Now, Khan sits at 28-3 and is awaiting his December showdown with Devon Alexander. Obviously, if he loses that one, the shine of this potential bout would be greatly dulled. However, if he wins, this would provide for a solid evening of boxing.
After watching Mayweather toy with strong fighters in his recent outings, Khan would provide an opponent with speed and precision.
No. 2: Danny Garcia
For what it's worth, I think Garcia is the man who takes on Mayweather next. He took the ring against Lucas Matthysse in the fight directly preceding Mayweather's, and it's hard not to look at that as a playoff of sorts for the right to fight Mayweather.
Garcia was impressive in his unanimous-decision victory as he improved to 27-0 in his professional career.
And it wasn't just the unanimous decision against the heavy-hitting Matthysse that impressed, but the way he earned it. Garcia warded off plenty of big shots and stood ready to keep battling.
While that effort wasn't enough to raise reasonable doubt that Garcia could handle Money, it was a gritty, determined, and above all else, entertaining effort.
No. 1: Manny Pacquiao
Who else was going to be No. 1 on this list? The same man who has been No. 1 for the better part of a decade: Manny Pacquiao.
Sure, two straight defeats for Pacquiao (one a questionable decision involving the above-mentioned C.J. Ross and the other an epic knockout) have taken a huge amount of the luster off this potential matchup.
But who cares? I'd still be excited to watch these two do battle, and I suspect almost every other boxing fan would be.
That said, I don't think it is going to happen. Money couldn't find a way to make this fight happen when there were intense criticisms that he was ducking Pacquiao. Now that Pacquiao's recent losses and Mayweather's recent wins have taken the bite out of those criticisms, I have to believe Money will be all too content to deny Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum a shot at this fight.
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