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Potential opponents for Floyd Mayweather if he decides to return

Updated October 19, 2018 - 8:59 pm

Floyd Mayweather was back in the spotlight this week, and that usually means he’s talking about fighting again.

Mayweather started the week by accepting UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s challenge and ended it by taking a shot at Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s new $365 million deal with DAZN.

Alvarez said this week he’s interested in avenging his 2013 loss to Mayweather, but only if Mayweather was serious about boxing again. That last part probably didn’t sit well with Mayweather.

But Alvarez has a point. Why is the retired boxing superstar listening to MMA fighters? Let’s be real. Nurmagomedov was joking. Doubt this cross-sport bout happens.

If Mayweather really wants a fight, challenge someone who boxes for a living. Mayweather-Alvarez II would do big numbers. But it’s not the only option for the 50-0 Mayweather. Here are other possible opponents for the 41-year-old:

Manny Pacquiao: On the morning of the Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch last month, Mayweather tried stealing the spotlight by announcing that he was coming back in December to fight Pacquiao.

That’s not happening this winter, but it’s a realistic possibility in the spring of 2019. Somehow there’s still an appetite for these two middle-aged fighters to get back in the ring for a rematch even after the first bout delivered a dud three years ago at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

But before Pacquiao starts counting his Mayweather money, the Filipino senator needs to get past Adrien Broner. There are reports that Pacquiao recently signed with Premier Boxing Champions and the first fight on the new deal is against Broner in January.

Adrien Broner: The winner of Pacquiao-Broner should be awarded the Mayweather sweepstakes. If that’s Broner, that would make for good theater.

Mayweather and Broner are on-again, off-again friends. Broner was once viewed as Mayweather’s protege and the next draw in boxing.

That never materialized with Broner distancing himself from Mayweather and his Mayweather Promotions. He also has had setbacks in the ring with losses to Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia and a recent draw to Jessie Vargas. But Broner can still sell a fight and would generate plenty of attention if he lands the Mayweather bout.

Errol Spence: This bout would never happen, but it’s worth mentioning. If Mayweather returns to boxing, it’s about getting the biggest paycheck, and Spence doesn’t move the needle.

Also, Spence would probably be a big favorite over Mayweather, who won’t risk his perfect record.

But if Mayweather cares about the sport that made him a billionaire, he should consider giving Spence a shot. It’s time Mayweather passes the torch. That’s what Oscar De La Hoya did for Mayweather in 2007. Spence, the talented IBF welterweight champion, needs a megabout to become a household name.

More Boxing: Follow all of our boxing coverage online at reviewjournal.com/boxing and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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