Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be released from Clark County Detention Center on or about Aug. 3, so we have started to think more and more about what fight looms next for him.
I asked Brooklyn-born HBO analyst Larry Merchant: Who, as a fan, would you like to see Mayweather in the ring with in his next tussle?
"They're not talking about [Manny] Pacquiao next, and if it's not Pacquiao, there are two guys I'm thinking of. One would be Timothy Bradley, or Canelo Alvarez. Those are the two. If Canelo can win on Sept. 15 [against Josesito Lopez], then maybe his next fight would be that huge event, against Mayweather."
Merchant noted that a chilly relationship between Mayweather, the promoter he works with, Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, and Bradley's promoter, Bob Arum, could easily impact the viability of making a Mayweather-Bradley fight. Also, Merchant mentioned Miguel Cotto and a rematch with Mayweather. Cotto tested Mayweather on June 5, en route to losing a unanimous decision. "Will the Canelo side want a fight with Cotto first?" Merchant asked rhetorically.
"There are lots of variations," he said. "But keep in mind, Mayweather has always picked the guy with first priority being helping him generate the biggest possible pay-per-view audience."
If I get a vote -- I don't, but that doesn't stop me from weighing in -- I'd rather see a Mexico-versus-Puerto Rico showdown between Canelo and Cotto, before a Mayweather-Cotto rematch. While I'm at it, can I make clear my preference that the Cotto-Canelo fight occur at Madison Square Garden, in an atmosphere that will demand I consider bringing earplugs with me to the scrap?