Boxing: Floyd Mayweather’s Top 5 Potential Next Opponents

Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather
Mark J Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

Pound-for-pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather will return to the ring on September 13.

However, the location and his opponent are still undetermined.

Mayweather is in the middle of a six-fight, 30-month deal with Showtime, having already taken down three opponents, with three challengers remaining.

While Mayweather is still undefeated at 46-0, he looked, for the first time in his career, vulnerable in his majority decision win over Marcos Maidana in May in their welterweight world championship unification bout.

The fight was supposed to be lopsided, but ended up being much tougher and closer than anticipated. Although Mayweather prevailed in 12 rounds, he didn’t do so in the convincing fashion we have come accustomed to seeing over his illustrious career.

At 37 years old, Money Mayweather will have to be careful in his upcoming fights if he wants to keep his unblemished record. With that being said, here are the top five potential next opponents for Floyd in his September 13th bout.

1. Marcos Maidana 

Maidana is the obvious choice for a potential rematch after the Argentinean gave Mayweather all he could handle.

Maidana went as far as to say that he felt he won the fight and that he would give Mayweather the rematch instead of the other way around. While that may be slightly hyperbolized by Maidana, there’s no doubt he gave Money a run for his money.

With the minimal list of fighters who have actually hung in with Mayweather over the years, Maidana would be the best bet for a competitive and exciting fight.

Maidana’s aggressive style and ability to force Mayweather to the ropes allowed him to win the early rounds during their fight in May. While Mayweather ultimately gained his composure and found a way to win, Maidana’s rabid dog style clearly made Mayweather uncomfortable.

The only problem with this fight is it likely wouldn’t be a huge PPV draw especially after the last fight didn’t put up extraordinary numbers as expected.

2. Miguel Cotto 

After Miguel Cotto’s dismantling of Sergio Martinez earlier this month, the Puerto Rican star officially put his name in the Mayweather sweepstakes.

A lot of fighters want their chance at a huge pay-day against Mayweather, and Cotto has clearly earned his shot — albeit for the second time.

Cotto is another fighter on a short list who actually have challenged Mayweather’s throne. In their first fight, Cotto, similar to Maidana, was the aggressor and managed to constantly push Mayweather to the ropes.

Cotto looked strong throughout the fight, landing a couple big body shots and bloodied Mayweather up several times. However, Mayweather proved to be too quick and too fast for Cotto, managing to slip away from trouble and land clean shots.

Regardless, the four-division champ certainly proved he was worthy of being in the ring with Mayweather.

With Cotto’s resurgence under trainer Freddie Roach, he looks primed to take on the best.

Originally, the two fought at light middleweight, but with Cotto looking so dominant in his middleweight bout against Martinez, Mayweather may be intrigued with moving up from the welterweight division to win a title in yet another division.

With the two superstars coming off big-time wins, this would be a huge draw.

3. Danny Garcia

This potential fight has gained some steam recently after Garcia said he was open to fighting Money.

Garcia is undefeated at 28-0 and would be more suitable size wise for Mayweather at 140 pounds. Garcia, known as “Swift”, is up and coming and could make for an interesting fight with his elusive style.

Still, this potential square off would seem like the safe fight for Mayweather and likely wouldn’t have much of a draw despite Garcia’s recent ascension.

4. Amir Khan

Outside of Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan is likely the fight that fans want to see most.

Khan is a confident and formidable opponent, who even took the time to call out Mayweather after his narrow victory over Maidana, calling Money “beatable.”

While this would be an interesting fight, there remains one problem:

Khan won’t fight in September due to his religious obligations in observance of Ramadan. Khan would need Floyd to push the fight back to November, but Floyd isn’t the type of superstar that allows his challengers to dictate his fights.

So, this bout likely won’t happen barring some type of change in heart or willingness to change the date of it.

5. Manny Pacquiao

What kind of Floyd Mayweather potential fight list would this be without Manny Pacquiao?

For two fighters who have never even gotten close to battling each other in the ring, their names always seem to be intertwined.

While this fight lost some of its luster with Pacquiao’s recent defeats and the two fighters no longer at the apex of their primes, this would still be a bout for the ages.

It would break every PPV record and be one of the most hyped boxing event of all time.

Unfortunately, quibbles over drug testing, money, and other factors have prevented this super fight from actually happening.

Some people have accused Mayweather of being afraid and not wanting to risk his perfect record, but we don’t actually know why this fight hasn’t happened. Is it the promoters? Is it Mayweather? Is it Pacquiao?

We may never know.

However, the reason that Pacquiao gets a spot on this list is because there have been some murmurs recently about possibly reigniting talks. With Top Rank and Golden Boy recently showing a willingness to move past the “Cold War” and both fighters realizing they need to take on better opposition if they want to maintain a high level of ratings, this fight has potential.

At the end of the day, this comes down to showing me that action, boss. Until this actually happens, it’s all speculation.

Honorable Mentions

6. Peter Quillin

7. T.I. (just kidding)

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Allen Levin
Allen Levin works for the Miami Dolphins in Media Relations and has covered the NBA for 5 years, including the Orlando Magic beat with He has been published in Fox Sports, CBS Sports the Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel. Follow Allen on Twitter @TheNBAllen