Top Rank CEO Bob Arum says Manny Pacquiao-Terence Crawford bout possible

ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 27, 2020 10:41 AM
Arum says Pacquiao-Crawford bout possible
(AP Photos)

Could we see a massive welterweight showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford down the road?

Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum says it’s something of a possibility.

Speaking to Keith Idec of BoxingScene.com, Arum reveals that he has had discussions about putting together a mega-bout between the two welterweight world champions.

“These are tentative talks. To make it happen, we’d have to do it outside of the United States, and outside of the Philippines, of course. And we’d have to make it work with a big site fee,” Arum said.

Pacquiao, 41, currently holds the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship, while Crawford, 32, is the reigning WBO Welterweight World Champion.

(RELATED: Manny Pacquiao thankful after PCR-based test confirms he is COVID-19 free)

As it turns out, both Pacquiao and Crawford want the fight to happen.

“I had feelers out before all of his happened with the coronavirus, where it was pretty much down the line about getting a Pacquiao-Crawford fight on late in the summer or in the fall. Then, of course, everything blew up,” Arum said. “But I am optimistic that I will be able to continue with these talks in the next month or so. I talked to Terence and [trainer/manager Brian McIntyre] about it. It appears to me that Crawford and Pacquiao wanna go ahead with that fight.”

“So, we’ll have to see. The world is different from what it was the end of January, mid-February, and we’ll have to see what it looks like when we get through this. It would be great, particularly if the economics for that fight work, which would’ve happened absent this coronavirus situation,” he continued.

The undefeated American has long been a name on Pacquiao’s radar. After ruling over the junior welterweight landscape for years, Crawford finally made the move up to 140 lbs, and in defeated , interestingly enough, a former Pacquiao foe in Jeff Horn. Crawford has defended the title three times since. Considered as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound today, Crawford’s lethal mix of youth, speed, and power could prove dangerous against an older Pacquiao.

Being the game’s only eight-division titleholder, Pacquiao remains a big name for today’s stars to chase, and as he’s been able to show in his wins against Adrien Broner and the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman, Pacquiao’s advanced age hasn’t stopped him from being one of the best in the world. For Crawford, a fight with the Pinoy boxing legend can mean a massive payday, and an opportunity at capturing another world title.

(RELATED: Welterweight Crawford out to make his case as boxing's best)

Having promoted Pacquiao in his prime for many years, there are very few people who know Pacquiao like Arum does but if the fight were to happen now, Arum says he sees it going in favor of the younger Crawford.

Arum maintains however, that Pacquiao could definitely make the clash very competitive.

“If I had to bet the fight, I’d bet Crawford, but now I think Pacquiao is in there with a good chance. There’s no question that it’ll be an entertaining fight. Manny seems dedicated again. I’ve had that situation before, where guys get to be a little older, but somehow their skills aren’t diminished. Look at ‘Big’ George Foreman winning the [heavyweight] title at 45.”

With the current COVID-19 pandemic effectively changing the landscape of sporting events for years to come, Arum says he’s also explored the possibility of putting on the fight behind closed doors or even in front of a physically distanced crowd.

“If somebody was willing to put up a big site fee, and do it without fans for the publicity, that might work,” Arum said. “Or maybe not do it without fans, but do it with safe-distance seating, which I’ve been exploring.” 

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