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Who's next for Juan Manuel Marquez?

Juan Manuel Marquez, right, reaches for a punch

Juan Manuel Marquez, right, reaches for a punch against Manny Pacquiao in the first round of their WBO world welterweight fight. (Dec. 8, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Now that Juan Manuel Marquez has finally gotten over the hump, what’s next?

His knockout of Manny Pacquiao with a few seconds left in the sixth round on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas has elevated his already cult-like status in Mexico. But where does he go from here? Does he hang it up?

Marquez will have his choice of opponents to fight next year. Among those choices includes a possible second fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather dominated Marquez when the two met in September 2009, but that won’t eliminate at least the possibility of a second fight.

Money talks. And judging by the sellout crowd at the MGM Grand and pay-per-view numbers expected to top the million-buy mark, don’t be surprised to see a Mayweather-Marquez fight next spring.

Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe told last week that he plans to fight twice in 2013.

There’s also 140-pound contender Danny Garcia (23-0). If he can get by Zab Judah on February 9 at the Barclays Center, Garcia could make a case for a bout with Marquez. That bout might not generate enough interest in the United States to make it a top-flight PPV event, though, and may have to take place in Mexico.

Fellow Mexican Canelo Alvarez, who fights between junior middleweight and middleweight, is probably too big, but Tim Bradley, Devon Alexander and Robert Guerrero, who just took care of Andre Berto, could all be on Marquez’s short list.

At 39, Marquez’s days as a top fighter are probably numbered, so he’s likely to be very selective over the coming months. If he wants the money, a bout with Mayweather becomes an extreme possibility.

If strengthening his legacy is more important than money, a fifth fight against Pacquiao could be in the cards. As long as Top Rank is involved with Pacquiao, a fifth fight between the two can’t be ruled out.

“It’s up to the promoter,” Pacquiao told HBO after the fight. “I’m willing to fight.”

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