When the WBC released its December rankings last week, suddenly my Twitter timeline lit up about it for one simple reason.
The organization had ranked Manny Pacquiao, who came off a one-year layoff to dominate Brandon Rios on Nov. 23, No. 1 at welterweight. As it happens, Floyd Mayweather Jr. holds that organization's title, meaning that Pacquiao will be named Mayweather's mandatory challenger.
The questions poured in on the topic and they all went something like this: "Now that Pacquiao is going to be the mandatory, does that mean they will finally fight?" I am here to crush and destroy all of your hopes and dreams.
The answer is unequivocally no.
If Mayweather and Pacquiao do someday fight -- and I am as skeptical as anyone after all the nonsense that has gone on over the past few years as this wretched soap opera has dragged on -- it will have nothing whatsoever to do with a belt.
If they fight, it will be because they all have come to their senses and made the fight. But nobody is going to force either side into it, least of all the WBC.
In normal boxing, when a titleholder is ordered to make a mandatory defense, the camps negotiate and make a deal. If they can't make a deal, the organization orders a purse bid and the promoter that bids the most at the auction wins the promotional rights to the fight. The purse amount offered is then split between the titleholder and the challenger, usually on a 70-30 split, as in the case of the WBC. The organization also has the latitude to change the split depending on other factors, such as the name value of the challenger.
But don't worry about that in relation to a Mayweather-Pacquiao mandatory. It won't matter.
Neither fighter is going to be forced into the fight by a sanctioning body. Do you think for one minute that Mayweather would even participate in a purse bid and risk losing control of the fight? Zero chance.
Nobody is going to tell Mayweather whom he has to fight. As he says, he's his own boss. He picks his opponents. Pacquiao does the same thing.
If Mayweather is ordered to fight the mandatory, it will mean nothing because, you can bet he'd dump the title. He doesn't need it whatsoever (and, by the way, he still holds two others at junior middleweight).
Nobody buys a Mayweather fight because he has a title. And if Mayweather drops the title, he actually would save money because there would be no sanctioning fee to pay.
Ditto for Pacquiao, who, like Mayweather, already has a closet full of belts. If he ever faces Mayweather, it's not going to be because some organization ordered him to do so.
If Mayweather and Pacquiao haven't listened to the fans begging them to fight for all of these years, what makes anyone think they'll listen to the WBC?
They won't, which is why Pacquiao's No. 1 challenger ranking is nothing but symbolic.