Manny Pacquiao has suddenly become the no.1 contender for WBC Welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., boosting the chance for the fight between the two biggest names in the sport to actually happen next year.
In a shrewd move to make the grandest fight in boxing a reality, WBC President Jose Sulaiman announced that Pacquiao will be the no.1 contender for Mayweather's WBC Welterweight Belt.
Pacquiao is fresh from a one-sided 12-round unanimous victory over Brandon Rios at Venetian Macao in Macau, China. Meanwhile, Mayweather brought home over $100 million this year after beating up big, but flat-footed opponents like Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero and Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Fight of the Century
Top-Rank promoter Bob Arum said his prized fighter is very much interested to settle his score with Mayweather in a bout that could generate up to $300 million, including Pay-per-View buys, merchandise sales and other revenues.
Arum stressed he's open to accept calls from Mayweather's camp and arrange a meeting involving all parties - including cable giants HBO and Showtime - to finally come up with a megabout, which would settle all kinds of debates on who's really the best fighter in this era.
"There needs to be a big meeting, a summit, involving all the players: "Everybody would have to meet. Talk about an incredible summit. When Lewis and Tyson fought that took the cooperation of everyone. Including Don King and HBO (actually King was not involved in Lewis vs. Tyson in 2002). It can be done," Arum said in an interview with Bob Velin of USA Today.
"Anything can be done. It depends on the willingness of people to do it. And to set aside ego. It's not a big deal getting two guys into the ring to fight each other. There's certain issues that have to be dealt with. But if we just look at an athletic contest and we include in that the testing, there are no issues. The size of the gloves - that's done."
"The size of the ring if they fight in Nevada - it's not an end to the fight. There are no boxing related issues - who goes into the ring first. So what is there? The financials. But again, those can be solved. If people aren't obstinate, those can be solved, the give and take," the promoter added.
Huge Windfall For WBC
There's no surprise WBC putting Pacquiao as the no.1 contender for the WBC Welterweight belt, considering the potential Pacman vs. Money slugfest would give them millions of dollars as the sanctioning body of the bout.
With Pacquiao as the mandatory challenger, Mayweather has the option to accept Pacman as his next opponent or vacate the belt.
"It looks like the WBC is trying to set it up to where Mayweather will have to fight Pacquiao if he wants to keep the WBC 147 lb. title. By pushing Pacquiao to the top spot, it's going to give Mayweather a choice - either to fight Pacquiao or vacate the WBC's 147 lb. title," Boxing News 24 writer Chris Williams stated.
Arum said Pacquiao's opponent will be announced before Christmas Day with Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley emerging as the frontrunners. On the other hand, Mayweather is set to unveil his next foe this week, and it looks like he would take on Great Britain's top welterweight Amir Khan.