Following on from WBN’s annual list of Seventeen Fights for 2017, a list of ten of potentially the biggest money-spinning encounters have been number-crunched.
Floyd Mayweather aside, the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez continue to take center-stage in their bid to follow the former pound for pound king as the number one money-maker in the sport.
Below are the fights in descending order:
1. Manny Pacquiao v Canelo Alvarez: Two former Mayweather opponents sharing the ring at a catchweight of around 153-155 is slowly drifting away as the Mexican heads up in weight and seems destined not to happen despite having the most pulling power. Pacquiao v Canelo would certainly be the first since Mayweather to generate over a million buys.
2. Canelo Alvarez v Gennady Golovkin: The fight of 2017 taking place at middleweight has the potential to be the first non-Mayweather or Pacquiao pay-per-view since Cotto v Alvarez to reach anywhere near one million, although is still up in the air regarding an agreement for September.
3. Manny Pacquiao v Gennady Golovkin: The more time that passes puts distance between the duo ever sharing a ring, but whilst GGG continues to insist he can make 154, the Pacquiao fight has some possibilities and would be a huge affair.
4. Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez V: A fifth installment would allow Pacquiao to go for revenge after being wiped out in 2012, giving the contest that extra push in PPV revenue.
5. Manny Pacquiao v Amir Khan: As ex-training partners, the bout has a good angle to build interest with fans but would need the right advertising push and a Khan win over a decent opponent before taking place.
6. Gennady Golovkin v Andre Ward or Sergey Kovalev: GGG moving up in weight has been longed for since the Kazakh unified against David Lemieux, but whilst Canelo is still hovering around 160, Golovkin is destined to wait around.
7. Manny Pacquiao v Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia: Pacquiao facing the winner of the Thurman v Garcia unification would see three belts on the line at 147 and be one of the most intriguing contests at welterweight since Mayweather v Pacquiao.
8. Manny Pacquiao v Terence Crawford: The ‘Pacman’ is already being linked to facing Crawford in November this year, an encounter that could be the highest profile of the year should Canelo v GGG fail to happen.
9. Manny Pacquiao v Vasyl Lomachenko: It could be at least 18 months away, but if Pacquiao can still make 140 at the age of 39, November 2018 could be a big month for the Ukrainian.
10. Terence Crawford v Vasyl Lomachenko: Two stars still building the foundations of a successful pay-per-view run. Sharing a ring anytime over the next two years would certainly help cement their structure should Top Rank allow it to take place.
Evidence from the ten listed proves Pacquiao remains the top fighter on the planet following Mayweather’s self-imposed exile, whilst Gennady Golovkin and Alvarez are in contention to be the major players once the Filipino Senator steps away for good.