Although the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight didn't exactly reach the extremely high expectations set upon it, boxing fans can look forward to a great future of next generation fighters.

Mayweather is obviously ranked No. 1 in the welterweight division today with his unblemished 48-0 record. After him, Manny Pacquiao is ranked No. 2, but shoulder surgery has sidelined "Pacman" for at least another year. Kell Brook is ranked No. 3, followed by Keith Thurman who is No. 4 in the welterweight division.

So, what does all this mean?

Everyone wants a piece of the champion, the No. 1 fighter. In this case, Mayweather may be past his prime, but he's still the top welterweight guy who everyone is calling out. Thurman and his people have been reaching out to the Mayweather camp for over a year, but no future fight has been confirmed between the two. Brook has been making quite a name for himself since his TKO victory over Frankie Gavin in late May.

Thurman and Brook have a combined 60-0 record with 45 knockouts in the ring as professional boxers. On top of never losing a single fight, Brook is just 29 years old and Thurman is just 26 years of age. These two young guns are the future of boxing. But, as Ric Flair once told us, "to be the man you got to beat the man."

If Thurman or Brook want a future fight with WBA/WBO Welterweight champion Mayweather, it appears as if they will have to go through one another. Brook does not have a scheduled fight, however Thurman will face Luis Collazo on July 11. This sets up perfectly for each of them because Mayweather has said numerous times that he plans on fighting in September.

"We are both natural and big welterweights. We're unbeaten and we're coming for it, so for me, Thurman and I stand out" said Brook in a recent interview. Thurman doesn't appear to be very open to a potential bout with Brook, but he must realize and realize that this may be his only way to get to Mayweather.

A Thurman vs. Brook fight would certainly be a must-watch event for any boxing fan. Both are orthodox fighters with sharp knockout power and an identical 69-inch reach. Thurman and Brook knock out their opponents at a combined rate of 75 percent. Brook doesn't get huge recognition because he isn't very outspoken, and he has only fought twice in the United States. Thurman is currently the Interim WBA Champion while Brook holds the IBF Welterweight title.

For Mayweather, this could do wonders for his legacy. He has already defeated Marcos Maidana twice, Pacquiao won't be returning for another year, and Amir Khan has dropped to No. 6 in the rankings. With Thurman and Brook as the top two (healthy) contenders, Mayweather may not have much of a choice if he wants to please fans, make maximum money and secure his all-time legacy.

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