Even though Floyd Mayweather quickly backtracked on vacating all of his belts this past Monday, there is still a real possibility that the pound for pound king will be giving up some part of his status as a current five-belt world champion.
The 38 year-old, who holds the WBA ‘super’, WBC and WBO titles at welterweight, along with the WBC and WBA ‘super’ belts at 154lbs, is almost certain to take a step back from the super welterweight division which would leave old foe Canelo Alvarez high-powered to take over the reins.
Alvarez, 24, fights James Kirkland in a non-title bout this weekend, although victory would cement his place at the top of the WBC ratings and mean the Mexican would be firmly in line to regain his old belt the very next fight. American Jermell Charlo is the number two-ranked fighter, and with both he and Alvarez having strong ties to Golden Boy, any clash for the vacant title should be relatively easy to make.
On the WBA side, not much would change as current ‘regular’ title holder Erislandy Lara is not in a position to be bumped up to ‘super’ status but would then be recognised as the only ruler in the 154lb weight class with the body.
Should Mayweather decide to relieve himself of all the championships as previously stated, the welterweight division would be in a slightly more complicated predicament.
Amir Khan would be thrust into title contention as mandatory with the World Boxing Council and Canadian Antonin Decarie the likely opponent should he accept the challenge.
With the WBO, Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios would be left to negotiate a vacant title clash providing Juan Manuel Marquez shows no interest as the number three contender.
And that only leaves the World Boxing Association at 147.
Provided Khan goes the predicted WBC route, Andre Berto and Marcos Maidana would be the first two boxers contacted to enter talks about fighting for the mandatory spot leaving Keith Thurman as the only welterweight WBA champion once the dust finally settles.