While boxing fans are salivating at the idea of a long-awaited megabout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, there are other options for both boxers, should the fight fail to materialize. A showdown between the two welterweight superstars has been sought as far back as 2009, but multiple obstacles have stood in the way, so both fighters may need to consider other options in 2015.
As much as $250 million could be on the table if Mayweather and Pacquiao fight, and both prize fighters have yet to schedule an opponent after convincing victories over the past three months. Pacquiao was adamant about finally signing a deal to fight Mayweather after his victory over Chris Algieri in November. Meanwhile, Mayweather clearly has Pacquiao on his mind after uploading a video on Instagram of Pacquiao being knocked out.
Both boxers have expressed that they have an interest in retiring soon and 2015 could be their final year in the ring. Should the two camps fail to reach an agreement, they may choose between three top boxers for their next fight: Amir Khan, Jessie Vargas, and Danny Garcia.
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao could pursue a bout with Khan. The 27-year-old has won his last three fights after consecutive losses to Lamont Peterson and Garcia in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Khan will face Devon Alexander in Las Vegas on Dec. 13, which could decide whether he has earned a title fight against either Mayweather or Pacquiao. Khan may need to defeat Alexander convincingly to not get passed over by both camps. He has a strong relationship with Pacquiao, and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, has stated that he expects Khan to fight Mayweather. Meanwhile, Alexander may earn a shot against Mayweather should he defeat Khan.
The least prominent boxer on this list, Vargas put together an impressive, and entertaining, unanimous decision victory over Antonio DeMarco on the Pacquiao-Algieri undercard. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is reportedly interested in matching Pacquiao with Vargas. The Los Angeles native began boxing in 2008, and is undefeated with his last three victories ensuring him a potential bout with a high-profile boxer. There have been no reports of Vargas potentially fighting Mayweather.
Garcia may be the best active boxer to have not stepped in the ring with either Mayweather or Pacquiao. Garcia has a 29-0 record, and is one of the hardest hitters in the division, who can also take a punch. The 26-year-old Philadelphia native would be an attractive opponent because of his fearless boxing style. He defeated Khan with a fourth-round technical knockout, and has wins over Erik Morales, Zab Judah, and Lucas Matthysse. Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, has stated that he wants PacMan to fight Garcia if a deal isn’t reached with Mayweather’s camp.
Miguel Cotto, who has won his last two fights, appears to be out of the picture for a rematch against Mayweather and Pacquiao. Cotto has defeated his last two opponents, but has moved up to middleweight. He lost to Pacquiao in 2009, and to Mayweather in 2012.
An IB Times staff reporter contributed to this report.