On Sept. 14, 2013, Floyd Mayweather defeated Saul Alvarez via majority decision at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was yet another display of dominance by the active legend, who has dismantled every fighter in his path en route to a record of 45-0.
As his career rages on, Mayweather should continue scheduling rising stars for future fights.
Over the course of his past 10 fights, Money has defeated Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero and Alvarez. In turn, he's become the most decorated fighter in the world.
He's also become the most valuable to ever live.
Love him or hate him, Mayweather is maintaining the public's interest in boxing and generating new levels of financial gain.
As he moves forward with his career, it's imperative for him to book fights against the young stars of boxing. Not only will this help him pad his resume, but it will present the boxing world with the opportunity to grow.
The question is, whom might he face?
Regardless of his next opponent, the fight will garner mountains of hype and create the biggest payday in his adversary's career. As a result, the fighter he faces will benefit financially, regardless of the result.
For that reason, Mayweather should take on the rising stars and help to create a brighter future for boxing.
Fighters whom Mayweather could face include Timothy Bradley Jr., Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman and Austin Trout. Bradley, Broner and Thurman are undefeated, while Trout is 26-1 and the former WBA light middleweight champion.
Each of those fighters provides a quality threat to Mayweather and would benefit from facing the best in the world.
For instance, Bradley is 30-0 with a win over Manny Pacquiao and is scheduled to fight Juan Manuel Marquez in early October. Should Bradley defeat Marquez, he'd be in line for a high-profile fight against the boxing elite.
More importantly, it would provide boxing with the opportunity to crown a new superstar—Bradley or not.
The same can be said about Broner, Thurman and Trout, which is a critical piece of information for boxing's future. In a sport with aging stars and unproven young guns, the best way to crown the next face of boxing is to pit rising stars against the current king.
In this case, it's Mayweather.
The unfortunate truth of the matter is that there just aren't any qualified fighters to face Mayweather at this juncture. Manny Pacquiao has lost back-to-back fights, while the likes of Cotto and Marquez have already lost to "Money."
Barring a fight against 38-year-old star Sergio Martinez, there truly isn't another veteran fighter for Mayweather to face. While a clash with Martinez is a genuine possibility, the inevitable response will be the criticism of Martinez's age.
The only question at this point is whether or not Mayweather will chase the WBC and The Ring middleweight titles or continue to help save boxing's popularity. If he chooses the latter, fights with the rising stars of boxing would provide the sport with the best opportunity for growth.
Except for a select few options—and I mean few—the only rational choice for Mayweather is to take on the up-and-comers of the boxing world.