Based on the most recent rankings released by the World Boxing Council, Manny Pacquiao is the No. 1 contender to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s welterweight belt. Widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, Mayweather also holds the World Boxing Association’s super welterweight belt, the World Boxing Council’s Super welterweight belt and the World Boxing Council’s diamond super welterweight belt.
As you can probably tell, belts mean very little in boxing.
Mayweather, 36, is coming off a dominant victory over Saul ‘Canelo Alvarez. Pacquiao, 34, broke a two-fight losing streak this past November when he pummeled Brandon Rios into submission. There have been a lot of opportunities for these two to fight in the past, however, the bout never actually materialized. For now, at least, it seems like the perfect storm of events has finally come together to make this thing a reality.
Recently, in an interview with Boxing Scene, Top Rank boss Bob Arum was asked whether Pacquiao being the No. 1 contender to Mayweather’s WBC welterweight belt meant that their super fight was slightly closer to becoming a reality.
According to Arum – nope.
“I don’t know whether that means anything,” he said. “I have no idea whether we can move forward with Mayweather.”
He added: “Let’s see what he does as far as vacating titles or whatever. So unless we know what he’s going to do there is no sense getting excited.”
Despite Arum throwing cold water on everyone’s hopes and dreams, it’s worth noting that the Top Rank boss has spent more time discussing Mayweather over the past month than at any point in the last year. A tide is building. Whether that tide will lead to a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight is to be determined, but it’s definitely building.