Lem Satterfield

Manny Pacquiao’s No. 1 in WBC behind Flolyd Mayweather

Eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao has been installed as the No. 1 contender in the WBC’s 147-pound ratings behind RING and WBC champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., as listed in the organization’s recent rankings.

Following Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) and Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) at Nos. 2 and 3 are Argentina’s Luis Carlos Abregu and Amir Khan, the man widely-speculated to be named as Mayweather’s May 3 rival as early as this week.

Mayweather, who turns 37 in February, is coming off September’s majority decision over former RING and WBC junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, a fight which grossed a record $150 million.

Prior to facing Alvarez, Mayweather unanimously decisioned Robert Guerrero in May as a 147-pounder, where he is THE RING and WBC champion as well.

Mayweather’s victories over Guerrero and Alvarez satisfied his mandatories, according to WBC secretary general Mauricio Sulaiman.

“Any mandatories for those weight classes will be addressed later,” said Sulaiman. “Both the welterweight and super welterweight statuses are in a voluntary state because there is no mandatory challenger right now. We will be addressing thats top in February, I believe.”

Sulaiman would not speculate on whether the February vote would affect Mayweather’s May 3 return.

“I perfer not to speculate,” said Sulaiman, adding that Mayweather’s mandatories “were taken care of in a timely manner.”

Meanwhile, Pacquiao, who turns 35 on Dec. 17, was last in the ring on Nov. 23 for a welterweight unanimous decision triumph over Brandon Rios that sold only 475,000 units on pay per view — far less than the 1.15 million buys generated by Pacquiao’s sixth-round stoppage loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December of last year.

“Right now, the ratings committee reflected the victory of Manny Pacquiao over Brandon Rios,” said Sulaiman. “He had not fought for a long time, and now that he’s fought, he was eligible, so he became rated. It is unquestionable that he deserves to be the No. 1 welterweight.”

The CotaiArena, nevertheless, was packed to capacity atc 13,101 for Pacquiao-Rios.

“I think that the performance in terms of pay per view was good. Obviously, we didn’t know what to expect coming from China,” said HBO Sports’ boss Ken Hershman of Pacquiao, who fought Rios in Macau, but has announced a return to the MGM on April 12.

“We were pleased that the fans seemed to like the fight. We learned a lot about how to do it, and that’s pretty much the wrap on that,”April 12, that’s what Top Rank has announced. That’s a good date and we’ll just have to find the right opponent. We’re happy to work on that show.”

Abregu is 35-1, with 28 knockouts, having gone 6-0, with five stoppage wins since falling by unanimous decision in July of 2010 to WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley, who dethroned Pacquiao by disputed split-decision for his belt in June of 2012.

Khan (28-3, 19 KOs), who turned 27 on Dec. 8, has won his past two bouts by 10th-round knockout over Carlos Molina (not to be confused with the IBF junior middleweight titleholder of the same name) and by unanimous decision over former titleholder Julio Diaz.



Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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