MANILA, Philippines – Shawn Porter got the win, but gained nothing as far as his ring stock is concerned.
Fact is, his split decision over Cuban Yordenis Ugas on Saturday night, March 9, in Carson, California, may have dampened the World Boxing Council welterweight champion's chances of bagging a unification bout with Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, and Errol Spence.
Especially Pacquiao, the World Boxing Association welterweight titlist who happens to be the most ideal and most lucrative target for Porter.
First, a fight with Pacquiao will give Porter the opportunity to earn his biggest paycheck ever.
Second, Porter is familiar with Pacquiao's boxing prowess, having been the eight-division world champion's sparring partner in 2009 in Baguio City, when the then 30-year-old Filipino icon is training for Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto.
Third, Pacquiao, of course, is now 40 years old.
Thurman is the next option, as Porter wants to avenge his unanimous decision loss to the WBA super welterweight champion in 2016 in Brooklyn.
In his last fight, Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) was also unimpressive in beating Josesito Lopez by majority decision.
Fighting Spence is uncertain because the International Boxing Federation 147-pound king still needs to dispose of unbeaten challenger Mikey Garcia on March 16 before thinking of another fight.
This early, however, Spence, like Thurman, has joined the tight chase for a fight with Pacquiao, who proved that he's still a major draw in his lopsided title defense over Adrien Broner in January in Las Vegas after posting over 400,000 pay-per-view buys.
Though Pacquiao still prefers a megabuck fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, the reigning Fighter of the Decade will settle for either Spence or Thurman for his next bout this year if Mayweather chooses to stay retired.
Pacquiao is currently on a European tour with wife Jinkee, but his itinerary is reportedly being arranged so that he can watch Spence-Garcia in Brooklyn and assess whether the would-be winner is a suitable opponent.
If not, Thurman comes next for consideration. Then Porter. – Rappler.com