Boxing: Manny Pacquiao has been on Terence Crawford’s radar since 2015

By ABS-CBN Sports on May 11, 2020 11:49 AM

(AP Photos)

Even at this stage of his career, Manny Pacquiao continues to be a dream fight for many professional boxers. 

It’s not at all surprising, considering that Pacquiao is a sure-fire hall-of-famer and the sport’s only eight-division world champion. Plus, even if he’s already on the wrong side of 40, Pacquiao has proven that he’s still among the best, as shown by his wins over Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman, as well as his current run as the WBA Super Welterweight World Champion. 

It’s precisely why even the undefeated Terence Crawford (36-0), the reigning WBO Welterweight World Champion and one of the pound-for-pound best today, wants a crack at the Pinoy boxing legend. 

Speaking to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Crawford pinpointed Pacquiao as one of the people that he wants to face, along with Errol Spence Jr.

“I'll say Pacquiao first because, you know, he don't have that much longer in the sport. And I want that name on my resume," he said. "And Spence, because, you know, that's the fight that everybody wants to see."

Top Rank Promotions founder and CEO Bob Arum recently spoke about the possibility of a Pacquiao-Crawford mega-fight, saying that there were talks prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As it turns out, Crawford has long been angling for a fight against “Pacman”, even back when he was still dominating at junior welterweight. 

“I’ve been trying to fight Pacquiao since 2015,” Crawford revealed. “Back when I was trying to fight them, they wouldn't fight me. But they were fighting guys like Brandon Rios and Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley. So I don't know what it was, but I just think that they don't like my style or whatever the case may be.”

“But now that he's at the end of his career and the last leg of his run, it may be the money,” Crawford continued. 

In 2015, Pacquiao had the biggest fight of his career: a long-awaited matchup with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao went on to lose that bout by unanimous decision and then defeated Timothy Bradley for a second time before going on a brief ‘retirement’. 

Seven months later, Pacquiao returned to action and defeated Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision to capture the WBO Welterweight World Championship. 

Pacquiao lost the WBO title to Jeff Horn in a controversial loss in Australia back in 2017. Since then Pacquiao has won three straight, defeating Lucas Matthysse to capture the WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship, defending the title against Broner, and then taking the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship from Thurman. 

Crawford, interestingly enough, took the WBO title from Horn in his first fight up at welterweight, and he has defended it three times since. 

Now, with Crawford and Pacquiao both champions in the same division, a unification bout seems more likely than ever. 

For Crawford, it’s a chance to add a legend to his list of growing victims before moving on to face Spence, who he believes is one of the best welterweights right now. 

For Pacquiao, it’s a chance to prove that even at 40+, he can still hang with the best. 

“He surprised a lot of people with the win over Keith Thurman. A lot of people thought Keith Thurman was going to go in there and just knock him out. Pacquiao showed glimpses of the old Pacquiao that got him to the top,” Crawford continued. 

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