Manny Pacquiao back in mix in the welterweight division

Nov 26, 2013 3:06 AM

Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO’s) was the first and only 8 division champion, as well as the first boxer to win the lineal championship in 4 different weight classes.

And after tossing what appeared to be a complete shutout to most observers, including myself, against Brandon Rios, Pac-Man is now right back in the mix in the welterweight division.

Few could argue the 147 lb weight class offers up the most attractive mega-fight possibilities for Pacquiao, and none would argue his most lucrative bout is undoubtedly against the sport’s No. Pound for Pound king, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0, 26 KO’s), if of course a bout could ever be made.

Even before Pacquiao entered the ring to challenge for the vacant WBO International Welterweight Championship this past Saturday night in Macau, there was already talk here in Las Vegas about a potential meeting with Mayweather if he got past Rios.

More importantly, he needed to look spectacular since Pacquiao’s stock has plummeted from an all-time high just 2 years ago when he was crowned Fighter of the Decade for the 2000’s and a 3 time Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year winner.

During that time “Money” Mayweather undeniably surpassed Pacquiao as boxing’s biggest name if he was ever even in second to begin with. Regardless, as the question of a possible retirement loomed for Manny after suffering a devastating knock-out from a Juan Manuel Marquez right hand, Mayweather was setting the boxing record for the most money ever received for a fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, $41.5 million.

Now the talk of a possible block buster bout between the two is gaining even more momentum. Most will remember a time when a Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight was at an all-time high and both were continuously bombarded with the question of “when” or “if” it would go down. But it soon died down after Manny lost a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley and has since not been discussed much, until now.

It’s no secret Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum (Top Rank) and Mayweather have a lot of bad blood between them, and in the past it’s been something neither side’s been able to get past in order to make the fight a reality. It’s also no secret that personal issues between Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank Promotions have been the reason so many obvious fights of great interest have never been made.

But after the way Pacquiao handled Rios, Arum said, “It’s a fight that should happen, and where there’s a will, there’s a way.” A megafight between Mayweather and Pacquiao would shatter all kinds of records financially, and would undoubtedly be a career defining win and loss for both.

Unfortunately, there is already a fight in the works for a rematch between Pacquaio and Bradley that is tentatively set for April 2014 in Las Vegas according to sources. If a bout with Mayweather ever does become a reality, 12 months from now probably is the earliest it goes down.

Manny would be 35 or 36 yrs old, depending on whether it’s fought prior to Dec.17, his birthday. Floyd would be 37.

As a lifelong fan of the fight game, I will go on record saying the two will put aside their differences and eventually make the bout. And I’ll go a step further and say on record throw down on “Money” Mayweather as an investment once more.

Vegas-Runner, a pro sports bettor in Las Vegas, has been featured on CNBC/ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @vegasrunner, at and on AM 1100 ESPN (also FM 98.9) on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. when he co-hosts First Preview. Contact Vegas Runner at [email protected].

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