Mayweather Next Opponent: Timothy Bradley, Manny Pacquiao, Brandon Rios, Or Amir Khan The Top Candidates To Fight Floyd In 2014?

Floyd Mayweather Canelo Alvarez
Canelo Alvarez could get a shot at Manny Pacquiao a year after losing to Floyd Mayweather. Reuters

Following his victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather is still looking for his next opponent. The boxer plans on fighting again in May 2014.

A potential challenger emerged this past weekend with Timothy Bradley’s victory over Juan Manuel Marquez. In a split decision, the WBO welterweight champ improved his career record to 31-0. Now, Bradley has two marquee wins in the last year and a half, defeating both Marquez and Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather proved in his last bout that there may not be a current boxer who can beat him. It was thought that Alvarez had the best odds of any recent challenger, but he didn’t come close. With two big wins, though, Bradley may have the best resume of any potential opponent.

"I just want to fight the best fighters out there," Bradley said after beating Marquez. "If a Floyd Mayweather fight were to materialize, I would love to do that. ... and I would love to fight the Money team."

A bout to see which boxer will pick up their first ever loss, though, may not be in the cards. Bradley fights under Top Rank promotions, which hasn’t worked with Golden Boy Promotions on a big fight since 2009. Mayweather left Bob Arum and Top Rank for Golden Boy seven years ago, the bitter breakup has caused a rift between the two promotions.

“I’ve tried to reach out to Bob Arum several times and I get nowhere, so I want nothing to do with him,” Golden Boy Chief Executive Richard Schaefer told the L.A. Times. “I’ve tried and tried and tried. It’s enough.”

Bradley, however, wants a chance to prove that he can go toe-to-toe with the best the sport of boxing has to offer. Coming into his fight with Marquez, many experts still questioned the ability of Bradley. His win against Pacquiao was one of the most controversial in recent years, and his title defense against Ruslan Provodnikov in March was closer than what many had expected.

"I've been hated my whole career. I'm always going to be hated," Bradley said. "As long as they hate me, they can't stop me, I'm telling you. I will not stop. I'm going to keep going. That's it. I'm going to the top."

If a Mayweather-Bradley fight can’t happen, Amir Khan might be the frontrunner to step in the ring with the best boxer in the world. Khan was set to fight Devon Alexander for the IBF Welterweight title on Dec.7. However, Khan is now out, with the champ set to face Shawn Porter a week earlier.

The change has rumors swirling that Khan will meet Mayweather early in 2014. In the eyes of many, Khan has the best chance of giving Mayweather a serious challenge.

"I don't think he'll beat him and I don't think Amir will mind me saying that,” former boxer Ricky Hatton told wharf.co.uk. “I think most would class him as an underdog but it will certainly be interesting if Amir swallows his pride for one fight and doesn't go to war. If he keeps his head and boxes you never know."

Khan may be the likeliest opponent, but Manny Pacquiao is always an option for Mayweather. The dream matchup between the two mahy not draw as much money as it would have a few years ago, but it could still shatter Pay-Per-View records. Pacquiao’s camp has consistently said they are open to a fight, but Mayweather hasn’t expressed much interest in revisiting that potential bout.

For a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight to be possible, Pac-Man would have to defeat Brandon Rios on Nov. 23. The two are scheduled to fight in Mancu, China. Pacquiao is a decided favorite, but a win for Rios might put him in line to eventually take on Mayweather.

Join the Discussion