Floyd Mayweather’s decision to avoid a ring return is forcing Manny Pacquiao to consider a shortlist of three opponents for his next outing.
Pacquiao had high hopes of meeting Mayweather this summer in a rematch of their 2015 Pay-Per-View record-breaker.
The pair had held talks on more than one occasion. Although Mayweather is thought to be happy in retirement.
‘Pacman’ has stalled on chasing an alternative foe in order to give Mayweather ample time to reconsider. The Filipino cannot wait much longer, though.
A trio of top names are now in the frame. Keith Thurman is leading the pack over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
Thurman is the ‘super’ title holder to Pacquiao’s ‘regular’ WBA version. A match-up will give the eight-weight champion the opportunity to secure a fully-recognized belt.
To most, the ‘regular’ championship is not the main title at weights where there currently is a ‘super’ holder. The WBA’s decision to continue adding more and more straps to their roster doesn’t make things totally clear.
Take away the belt, and Pacquiao v Thurman remains a highly-attractive contest. It would be the top choice of many over Garcia or WBC ruler Porter.
All ranked in the top ten at 147, Pacquaio is certainly not shirking any challenges despite turning 40. Thurman is back on form after defeating Josesiton Lopez upon his return from injury in January. ‘One Time’ is yet to taste defeat in 29 fights, holding 22 knockouts to his name.
Garcia fights Adrian Granados later this month and could then be pitted against Porter once Pacquiao v Thurman is confirmed. ‘Swift’ suffered only the second reverse of his career against Porter in September 2018. The two-weight ruler has been hunting a second chance ever since.
Ironically, Garcia’s only other loss came against Thurman.
An announcement is expected before the end of the month, with Pacquiao v Thurman and Garcia v Porter II both possible for 2019.
The only way Pacquiao could have his head turned again would be if Mayweather has a massive u-turn and does agree to a Las Vegas comeback.
‘MayPac 1’ earned a staggering $400 million the first time around.