Floyd Mayweather improved to 46-0 with a majority decision victory over Marcos Maidana Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It wasn’t as easy a fight as some had predicted, with Maidana coming out very aggressively in the opening round, but Money kept bobbing, weaving and popping with Maidana with stiff rights as usual. In the end, it was a clear, if not dominant, victory over the 30-year-old WBA welterweight title holder.
But who’s next for Mayweather, now that most of the obvious contenders — Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, etc. — have been dispatched over the past few years?
We take a look at the best options …
1. Amir Khan (29-3, 19 KOs)
Khan was disappointed Mayweather chose to fight Maidana over him Saturday night and took out his aggression on Luis Collazo on the same card. He won a unanimous decision and pushed for a Mayweather fight after the Collazo win as well. “Definitely, people want to see that fight between me and Floyd,” Khan told reporters. “He’s fighting guys who are strong, but styles make fights, and I believe my style would cause Floyd a lot of trouble.” Khan won by unanimous decision over Maidana back in December 2010, though that was at light welterweight, where Khan has traditionally fought. He moved up to fight Collazo though, and would stay there to fight Mayweather. First, however, there is the matter of a possible Khan-Manny Pacquiao fight.
2. Marcos Maidana (35-4, 31 knockouts)
Yep, we could very well see a rematch with Maidana sooner rather than later. After the win Saturday night, Showtime’s Jim Gray pushed hard for a rematch during the in-ring interview. No surprise Maidana’s rep agreed to it, while Mayweather said, “If the fans want to see it again, we can do it again.” It was certainly the best fight Mayweather has had in a couple years, but just because Mayweather was down for a rematch after the fight doesn’t mean he will be in a couple weeks when it comes to scheduling it. It will, as always, depend on the money involved.
3. Timothy Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs)
The 30-year-old Bradley wants to fight Mayweather and it looked like he’d earned it with a win over Pacquiao in June 2012 and Juan Manuel Marquez in October 2013. But then he fought Pacquiao, supposedly on the decline, last month and lost his undefeated record and WBO welterweight title by unanimous decision. Still, it would be an interesting fight, just not one likely to happen imminently. There’s also the problem of Bradley being repped by Top Rank, which doesn’t cross promote with Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Productions — for which Mayweather always fights.
4. Shawn Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs)
The best young fighter in the welterweight division is coming off impressive wins against Devon Alexander (when he took the IBF welterweight title) and Paulie Malignaggi, just a few weeks ago. Porter, 26, will probably have took bolstering that resume before he gets a chance at Mayweather though. Brit Kell Brook is likely his next fight later this year. Brook, 28, is 32-0 but hasn’t fought the level of opponent Porter has. In fact, all but one of his fights have been in his home country. If Porter can knock off Brook, he may be on deck to fight Mayweather toward the end of his current six-fight deal.
5. Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs)
We’re still going to push Pacquiao-Mayweather now that Pacquiao is back on the rise. The Filipino politician is on a two-fight win streak against Brandon Rios and Bradley. After losses to Bradley and Marquez, it looked like this superfight was a dream of the past. But maybe not quite yet. The 37-year-old Mayweather and 35-year-old Pacquiao don’t have many fights left in them. Please, please, just do this fight. It won’t be as good as it would’ve been five years ago, but it’ll still be a HUGE moneymaker.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.