It came, we saw, it went.
The "Fight of the Century" between Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, for which combat sports fans pined for almost six years, is now just a memory.
Through the use of a commanding jab and a hair-trigger right hand that served to punish any overextension from his opponent, the undefeated Mayweather kept his beloved adjective with a 12-round decision over longtime rival Manny Pacquiao.
To watch full fight video highlights of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao right now click here.
After all the glitz and glamor, the massively inflated ticket and pay-per-view (PPV) prices, and merciless marketing campaign, though, it's hard not to feel like the tank fish at the end of Finding Nemo. We've finally gotten everything we supposedly wanted but, floating in an endless ocean of possibilities, there's only one thing we can think:
The fight these two men had pursued and hyped for so long is over. The tunnel vision we'd gotten so used to when picking their next fights is gone. What's left for the premiere fights of this generation?
Let's see if we cant figure it out.
Before and after the fight, Mayweather was adamant that he would fight just once more in Sept. 2014. Despite cajoling from his post-fight interviewer, Mayweather showed no interest in breaking Rocky Marciano's historic record of 49-0.
So, with just one more fight, we'll have to think hard on this one.
Looking at the 140- and 147-pound landscape, we have something of a preponderance of young prospects and previous victims of Mayweather. Considering this in addition to Mayweather's Showtime contract and his insistence on fighting in four months, three names come to mind:
Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia and Amir Khan.
We can probably eliminate Matthysse right away. While Mayweather has the confidence and technical ability to steer clear of the Argentinian's Earth-shattering power, Matthysse doesn't have the kind of drawing power to justify the risk. Garcia is probably out, too, considering that his stock has likely dropped after his recent struggles with Lamont Peterson and Mauricio Herrera.
So that just leaves Khan.
As much as I'd love to see the egotistical Brit get denied once again and firmly believe he doesn't deserve the fight in any way, shape or form, options are limited among those with the name value to be Mayweather's final opponent. Miguel Cotto's busy fighting Daniel Geale for the Middleweight title and "Money" isn't touching Gennady Golovkin with a 20-foot pole.
While I'd prefer Garcia, I'd put my money on Khan being Mayweather's final victim.
Pacquiao was, ostensibly, adamant that he won the fight, so the idea of him retiring immediately afterward seems far-fetched. To my annoyance, that leaves me the unenviable task of picking a quality foe for him out of HBO's limited pool of of eligible fighters.
One name that pops out is Marcos Maidana, who hasn't seen action since his losses to Mayweather. He'd certainly give Pacquiao the action fight "Pac-Man" was hoping to drag out of Mayweather. Unfortunately, Maidana's made Showtime his home, so that's probably off the table.
The same goes for the entertainingly aggressive Shawn Porter.
HBO's offerings among the Welterweight elite pretty much begin and end with Diego Chaves, the latter of whom the suits have been more than happy to feed to superior opposition. Aside from that, we could have a rubber match with Tim Bradley.
The best option, honestly, is Matthysse, who just defeated Pacquiao's training partner, Ruslan Provodnikov. As with Mayweather, however, I don't think that Pacquiao's team would find the risk worth it.
I'm kinda stumped, to be perfectly honest. I have the sinking feeling that they're going to make a fifth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez despite getting a perfect ending to their rivalry in the fourth fight.
I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.