03
Aug
2020

Why wasn’t Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao a two-weight title bout?

Phil Jay 04/07/2020
Floyd Mayweather Manny Pacquiao

Esther Lin

At the time Floyd Mayweather finally fought career rival Manny Pacquiao the former pound for pound number was king in two weight divisions.

Therefore, why didn’t the ‘Money’ man put both division title belts on the line against the ‘Pacman?’

WBN decided to look at what happened around that time. What the view of the relevant sanctioning bodies was.

In the months before the multi-million-dollar Pay-Per-View bonanza, there was plenty to sort out.

Mayweather was WBC/WBA super-welterweight champion following his victory over Canelo Alvarez in 2013.

Added to that,  Floyd was also WBC and WBA welterweight ruler. This was thanks to wins over Victor Ortiz and Marcos Maidana.

Quite a conundrum for those eyeing a hand in what was the most lucrative fight of all time.

World Boxing News spoke to the WBA President weeks before the clash. This is what Gilberto Mendoza had to say.

“The WBA is open to a proposal but hasn’t received any request from Floyd Mayweather or his team,” he explained to WBN.

“Mayweather v Pacquiao could be the best event that has ever happened to (the sport of) boxing.”

Obviously, Mendoza didn’t want to miss out and be on the outside looking in as the WBO and WBC were unable to agree on such a move.

The WBO strap was in the possession of Pacquiao. And although the WBA and WBC were both on board with their titles being involved in both divisions, Paco Valcarcel gave it a firm thumbs down.

Floyd Mayweather Manny Pacquiao
📸 Naoki Fukuda

According to the WBO Rules, no fighter is able to hold the WBO championship in one division and another organization trinket in a second.

It was then decided that the WBA would put their ‘super’ title into the fight at the lower limit so all three could stay involved.

Even though he possessed those two-weight belts, Mayweather was prohibited from placing all on the line.

We all know the outcome. Mayweather won at a canter. He, therefore, became a five-belt, two-division conqueror all at once.

VACANT WBO

But not wanting to pay the WBO fee due to their ruling on the initial situation, the 43-year-old then relinquished the strap at the earliest opportunity.

Still holding the WBC/WBA at 147 and 154, it was then up to both Presidents, Mendoza and Mauricio Sulaiman to decide what would happen next.

Mayweather had a firm grip on the sport at the time. Being the best around gave him unrivaled powers.

Asked by WBN after the fight if any of the remaining titles would be vacated, Sulaiman basically said that was up to Mayweather.

“We do not have any mandatories at welterweight or super welterweight right now,” Sulaiman explained to WBN. “We provided every single opportunity for Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao to be made.

“So at this time, we are going to discuss the future of Mayweather. We will assess the situation during the WBC Convention in China in November.

“Both divisions will be ruled on to have a clear understanding of what Mayweather is going to do and what is going to happen.”


FLOYD MAYWEATHER DOUBLE KING

Facing Andre Berto in the final contest of his six-fight deal with Showtime, Mayweather refused to give up any of his statuses.

Defending the WBC/WBA welterweight versions, Mayweather kept the super-welterweight belts as a back-up.

Even when Berto was beaten and it looked as though Mayweather was 49-0 and out, the WBC/WBA were compliant with the TMT boss doing his own bidding.

It wasn’t until January that the WBC acted in delay. They allowed Danny Garcia to fight Robert Guerrero for the vacant strap.

Despite this movement, their 154 version wasn’t in possession of another fighter amazingly until May 2016.

Placing Mayweather as ‘Champion in Recess’ for both divisions, Jermell Charlo then beat John Jackson for the championship.

As for the WBA, the ‘super’ belt at 154 was dormant until January 2017. Erislandy Lara eventually won the title vs Yuri Foreman.

Two months later, Keith Thurman won the ‘super’ belt in an awaited unification with Garcia.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay