How can Pacquiao be fighting for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title when he’s not even ranked in the top 15?
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao has pretty much everything going for him in his upcoming November 13th fight against Antonio Margarito – hand speed, power, movement, and better boxing skills. With all that going for him, why does Pacquiao need a 150 pound catch weight to fight Margarito? That’s four pounds under the 154 pound maximum weight for the junior middleweight division. Why does Pacquiao need a catch weight, and how is he allowed to fight for a title when he’s not going to be fighting at the full weight? But more importantly, how can Pacquiao be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council junior middleweight title when he’s not even ranked in the top #15 in the division?
The last time I checked, Pacquiao is the WBO welterweight champion and has no ranking in the junior middleweight division. This reminds me a lot of Pacquiao’s title challenge of then WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto last year in November 2009. Like the Margarito fight, Pacquiao was able to fight Cotto at a catch weight for the title. Cotto didn’t want his WBO welterweight title to be on the line, because the fight was going to be held at a 145 pound catch weight.
Suddenly, however, the WBO put Pacquiao at number #1, meaning that Cotto has no choice but to have his WBO title on the line for the fight. If Cotto refused, then he would have been stripped of his title and it would still be on the line for Pacquiao to fight for it. Pacquiao went on to stop Cotto in the 12th round to capture his WBO welterweight title. Now, Pacquiao is fighting for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title against Margarito, who is ranked #1 by the WBC. I don’t see Pacquiao’s name anywhere in the top 15 for the WBC or any of the other junior middleweight sanctioning bodies.
How, then, can Pacquiao be fighting for the vacant title when he’s not even ranked? Shouldn’t this fight really be between Margarito and someone like the number #2 ranked WBC junior middleweight contender Saul Alvarez, or someone like Alfredo Angulo, Vanes Martirosyan or even Sergio Mora rather than Pacquiao. I honestly don’t know how a fighter like Pacquiao can be fighting for the vacant WBC title when he’s not even ranked in the division. How is that allowed?
I mean its one thing Pacquiao fighting for titles at catch weights instead of the maximum weight, but it’s a whole different kettle of fish when Pacquiao is allowed to fight for vacant titles when he’s not even ranked at all in the division. I know anything is possible, but there’s got to be some rules that keep fighters from doing this, because it’s not fair to the top contenders that are currently ranked in the top 15 in the junior middleweight division. Is it okay for Pacquiao just to leap frog over them and fight for the vacant title at a catch weight. In either case, I don’t think it’s fair.
I think if Pacquiao wants to fight for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title, he should be fighting at the full weight and he also should be ranked in the top 15. Somehow, I have a feeling the WBC will soon have Pacquiao ranked in the top 15 for the junior middleweight division, much in the same way that the WBO suddenly pushed Pacquiao out of nowhere to the number #1 spot in the welterweight division before his fight against Cotto last year.