By NICK GIONGCO
The World Boxing Council (WBC) has surprisingly put Manny Pacquiao as its top contender in the welterweight class being ruled by Floyd Mayweather based on the latest ratings released by the Mexico City-based governing body.
Pacquiao wasn’t even rated in the last rankings that was released during the boxing body’s annual convention in Bangkok last month and his sudden inclusion has obviously something to do with efforts to make a megabuck matchup between them happen in 2014.
Now at No. 1 in the 147-lb class, Pacquiao moved ahead of No. 2 Luis Abregu of Argentina, who was the toprated contender in the November 2013 list, and Amir Khan of England, who slid to No. 3 after being rated No. 2 previously.
Khan is being floated as the most likely foe of Mayweather when he makes his return to the ring on May 3 in Las Vegas although the unbeaten American has yet to make an official announcement.
Pacquiao, like Mayweather, is also penciled to see action and Top Rank chief Bob Arum said the Filipino icon is set to fi ght again on April 12 at the MGM Grand against a foe who will be named before the end of the year.
Major backers of Pacquiao and Mayweather have been trying to agree to pair them together but efforts have failed a few times in the past owing to a bevy of reasons.
Pacquiao is coming off a rousing victory over Brandon Rios in Macau and the WBC may have felt that now is the best time to revive the negotiations since they are both shopping for dance partners.
If ever a fight is made, the WBC stands to gain financially as it will collect a fat sanction fee from the promoter not to mention that only ring officials aligned with them get to work the fight.
Even though Pacquiao has agreed to undergo random drug testing, that doesn’t mean it will be a lot easier to out a deal in place.
Mayweather is said to be cold on the idea of giving Pacquiao equal sharing in the revenue since he regards himself as the true attraction although Pacquiao is likewise a major force in pay-per-view.