Manny Pacquiao named mandatory challenger to Floyd Mayweather’s WBC 147-lb title

After his win against Brandon Rios in Macau, Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 knockouts) was named as the mandatory challenger for the World Boxing Council’s welterweight title currently held by Floyd Mayweather (45-0-0, 26 KOs).

Immediately after Pacquiao’s victory in Macau, Bob Arum announced that the Filipino congressman would fight again on April 12 in Las Vegas while Mayweather, who has long owned the cinco de Mayo weekend, will fight on May 3 also in Las Vegas.

Both fighters still have no scheduled opponents but a dream match between the two is still far from reality even if they are mandated by the WBC. The first impediment is that Mayweather has a contract with Showtime while Pacquiao usually works with HBO. The second and perhaps bigger obstacle is that Mayweather refuses to work with Top Rank Promotions’ Arum.

Arum used to promote Mayweather but the two had a falling out due to the split of revenue. Mayweather has since promoted himself while working closely with Top Rank’s rival Golden Boy Promotions.

Because Mayweather fought and defeated fellow WBC champion Saul Alvarez in his last fight, the undefeated American is now on the voluntary phase which means he could choose to fight anyone making a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight all but impossible for the first half of 2014. Currently, Mayweather also holds the unified WBC and WBA super welterweight titles along with his WBC welterweight crown while Pacquiao has the WBO international welterweight belt wrapped around his waist.

The camps of Mayweather and Pacquiao have had multiple negotiations for a mega fight but all of these efforts were for naught. The biggest issue before was Mayweather demanding that the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association to handle the drug testing prior the fight. Pacquiao first declined then softened his stance but the two camps could not agree with the cutoff date for the last day of drug testing. The fighters went their separate ways, facing different opponents while the boxing world patiently waited for another chance to see the fight happen.

Before Pacquiao’s fight against Rios, trainer Freddie Roach said that a bout against Mayweather is still what he wants for the Filipino slugger. “They say Manny is not the same fighter as he was three years ago but Floyd is also not the same fighter,” Roach said. “It won’t be easy, we’ll have to make a really good game plan for it but I think Manny will overwhelm Floyd.”

In the organization’s updated rankings, Pacquiao was the top challenger followed by Luis Carlos Abregu of Argentina and Amir Khan of Great Britain. Khan, Pacquiao’s former training partner, has been rumored as Mayweather’s next opponent.

Pacquiao on the other hand has Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Ruslan Provodnikov in his short list of opponents for April. 


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