The top four stars of PBC’s 147-pound crew are officially looking to what’s next.
With Shawn Porter getting a W in his latest outing, and Errol Spence getting a W+ in his last glove-up against Mikey Garcia, we are moving closer to knowing what the next stretch of action in the welterweight division will look like.
Manny Pacquiao is at the top of the target list, apart from the “currently on hiatus do not damn well call it retirement” Floyd Mayweather.
No massive mysteries why — a fight with Manny brings with it expectations of a handsome purse and also, he’s past his prime, at age 40.
Lobbying of a public nature and behind the scenes maneuvering is being done as we speak, with the A and B-plus players at 147 seeking to grab a meaningful and money-ful bout for their next mountain climb.
So about Pacquiao — he slapped Adrien Broner down a notch to celeb gate-keeper, and has to be feeling pretty upbeat about where he stands in the division and sport. So let’s start with him. What does the Senator want to do next?
Sean Gibbons, who holds many of the duties held until last year by Michael Koncz, checked in with BLH. I asked him about the rumor running through the mill that Pacman would fight Mikey Garcia, last seen getting his tush handed to him by Errol Spence in Texas, in front of 47,000 plus fight fans at AT&T in Arlington, and on pay-per-view.
One news purveyor put forth the tidbit that Team Pacquiao was looking to sign on to fight Garcia, who looked better suited for 135-140 than he did the welterweight class.
Gibbons’ thoughts on that news brief?
“Mikey just lost every second of every round. Explain to me who came up with that bright thought! If Mikey Garcia won, game on for the Senator and Mikey, but he did not!”
You might get a hint of what’s coming next for Pacquiao by the process of deduction; if Shawn Porter is to be believed, and why wouldn’t he, it looks like he is in the lead for a sweepstakes shot at Spence.
Porter (30-2-1) looked off his game in beating Yordenis Ugas March 9 in Cali. The fight was tight, with two of the three judges scoring it accordingly. One judge had it wide for Ugas, in fact. So that doesn’t render a Spence vs Porter matchup as scintillating on paper as it might have been after Porter downed Danny Garcia.
But the Ohio native, age 31, holds a strap and we do know how the top-grade fighters like to consolidate and collect straps. Spence (25-0; age 29, might now be at his physical peak, as opposed to Porter, who might be past his prime) right now has the IBF version while Porter owns the WBC.
And who holds the WBA version? Er, versions? Keith Thurman (29-0; age 30) does; he was allowed leeway while getting over injuries and he kept the WBA super world title in downing Josesito Lopez on Jan. 26. He, too, wasn’t his best self in getting the W. Pacman right now holds a WBA lesser version, which was up for grabs when he mastered Adrien Broner, and upped his mark to 61-7-1 in January.
Gibbons had said that Manny is looking to enter a ring for real again in July, so circle that on your calendar and prep yourself accordingly.
Now if a Twitter poll posted by Manny is worth anything, you could present Floyd Mayweather as a wild card entry into this mix-n-match theorizing.
Who should I fight next?
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) March 23, 2019
73% of respondents want a Floyd vs Manny sequel, and a Pacman vs Thurman match comes in second place. Spence, you will note, is not one of the four possibilities available, for what it’s worth. Make of that what you will.
Your thoughts, readers? What matchups would you like to see for the next wave of welterweight face-offs on this side of the street to look like?
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