Fans hoping to see a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao got a glimmer of hope this week with the release of the WBC’s rankings. The organization named Pac-Man as the No.1 contender for Mayweather’s welterweight title.
Pacquiao was moved atop the welterweight rankings after his defeat of Brandon Rios by unanimous decision. It was his first win in two years, after losing a controversial bout to Timothy Bradley in June 2012 and being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez a few months later. In his first match back, Pacquiao looked like he still has what it takes to compete with the best boxers in the world.
However, the announcement doesn’t mean that the mega-fight is any closer to happening. Even if the WBC mandates that Mayweather must defend his belt against Pacquiao, it doesn’t mean he has to take on the challenge.
Mayweather won the WBC welterweight title when he defeated Victor Ortiz in 2011. Since then, he’s fought three times and defended it once, when he beat Robert Guerrero on May 4 of this year. If the WBC forces Mayweather to put the belt on the line, he may simply choose to vacate the championship. He has so many belts that losing this title wouldn’t be the deciding factor in getting him in the ring with Pacquiao.
A fight between the two superstars could eventually happen, but it won’t occur because the WBC mandates it. Mayweather is set to lace up the gloves again in May 2014, following his victory over Canelo Alvarez in September. His next opponent hasn’t been made official, but speculation has it that he’ll take on British boxer Amir Khan.
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“I’ve got nothing bad to say Manny Pacquiao,” said Mayweather, according to Hustleboss.com. “The guy is 1-2 in his last 3 fights. I wish him only the best. I don’t know which company he’s with. I’m only focused on Mayweather Promotions. My focus is on May 3rd. I don’t know who my opponent is. If it’s Pacquiao, it’s Pacquiao. If it’s Amir Khan, it’s Amir Khan.”
Khan was listed third on the WBC rankings, behind Luis Carlos Abregu and Pacquiao. Pacquiao may have to win at least one more fight before Mayweather considers facing him. The bout would not be as big as it once was, but it would still have a strong chance to break Pay-Per-View records.