If not Mayweather, who's next for Pacquiao?
LAS VEGAS, USA – With Floyd Mayweather Jr opting to stay retired, who's likely to be Manny Pacquiao's next opponent?
Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, and Shawn Porter are in the race, along with Danny Garcia and Terence Crawford.
The power-punching Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) holds the World Boxing Association super welterweight title while International Boxing Federation counterpart Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) are both aligned with Premier Boxing Champions like Pacquiao, who dominated Adrien Broner Saturday night, January 19, (Sunday in Manila) to keep the WBA regular welterweight crown.
It's WBC champion Porter, however, who has shown the most interest after watching his former sparring partner beat Broner by unanimous decision at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Thurman will dangle his belt against Josesito Lopez on January 26, so he and Pacquiao are in the same timeline.
Porter will defend his title against Cuban Yordenis Ugas on March 9, but this early is calling on Pacquiao, Thurman and Spence for his next fight.
Garcia, the former WBC champion with a 34-2 slate, 20 knockouts, is slated to battle Adrian Granados in April.
Though Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), the World Boxing Organization champion will take on Briton Amir Khan on April 20, and if he wins there's a chance Top Rank will pit him against Pacquiao, its former milking cow.
All these names will take the back seat, however, if Mayweather decides to do a rematch with Pacquiao, his victim in the 2015 Fight of the Century.
Leonard Elllerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, reiterated during the post-fight conference of Pacquiao-Broner that his unbeaten boss remains retired.
Despite Ellerbe's announcement, however, talks are rife that backdoor talks are going on between Pacquiao and Mayweather.
A source close to both Pacquiao and Mayweather told Manila-based sportswriters last week that the rematch is indeed in the works
After all, they've crossed paths twice last year in a rave party in Tokyo, Japan, and, last Tuesday, in Los Angeles, during NBA Filipino Heritage Night.
Though prearranged, Mayweather visited Pacquiao at the dugout before he watched the Filipino icon take on Broner, but did not announce any expected ring return. – Rappler.com
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