So the WBC went ahead and rated Manny Pacquiao its No. 1 welterweight, with the hope that division champion Floyd Mayweather will eventually break down and fight him.
Is it wishful thinking?
It was wishful thinking until reports surfaced that Pacquiao (55-5-2) is in major financial trouble with U.S. and Filipino tax officials.
Pacquiao has yet to speak publicly about his money problems, but if it is true that he owes tens of millions in back taxes, the Filipino Congressman may have to fight Mayweather (45-0) just to break even.
The two sides, which includes Pacquiao’s promoter Top Rank and Mayweather’s partner Golden Boy Promotions, have been at odds for several years, blaming the other for the potential mega-fight not happening.
Knowledgeable fight fans and media members know not to believe anything until it happens.
As much as Mayweather regards the WBC welterweight title, he would be quick to give it up for a big payday. Meaning if there is another boxer with a better financial upside than Pacquiao, Mayweather may forgo a fight with the Filipino for the bigger payday.
But Mayweather’s thinking could change sooner than we think, especially if what he told mmaartmartial.com’s Chris Robinson in an interview Tuesday is to be believed.
"My focus is May 3rd. I don't know who my opponent will be," Mayweather told Robinson. "If it's Pacquiao, it's Pacquiao. If it's Amir Khan, it's Amir Khan. For 17 years they've been putting guys in front of me, and I've been beating them. Come May they'll put a guy in front of me, I'll go to training camp, work hard, and the results will be the same."
It’s also worth noting that the Pacquiao-Brandon Rios bout in China only earned 475,000 pay-per-view buys, a far cry from what he usually brings to the PPV table. A bout with Mayweather, even years after it probably should've happened, would generate at least three times that amount.
Here is an interesting scenario. If the WBC mandates the fight and Top Rank and Golden Boy fail to come up with a deal, the fight would be put up for a purse bid, meaning any promoter from anywhere in the world can try and secure promotional rights for the fight.
The odds of that happening are slim, though, as Top Rank and Golden Boy would not allow what would likely be the biggest fight (financially) in the history of the sport to be promoted by another company.