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Bob Arum says Errol Spence and Terence Crawford 'a bridge too far' for 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao's former promoter says Filipino should instead fight Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman

Manny Pacquiao, right, beat Adrien Broner in his last fight in January to successfully defend his WBA welterweight title. Reuters
Manny Pacquiao, right, beat Adrien Broner in his last fight in January to successfully defend his WBA welterweight title. Reuters

Manny Pacquiao should avoid in his next fight both IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr and WBO welterweight title-holder Terence Crawford, says former long-time promoter Bob Arum.

Pacquiao, 40, was ringside in Dallas on Saturday night to watch Spence Jr, 29, ease to a unanimous decision win against four-division champion Mikey Garcia.

Immediately after the bout, and with Pacquiao alongside him in the ring, the undefeated American called out the Filipino as a potential summer opponent, to which Pacquiao replied “Yes, why not?” - albeit somewhat reluctantly.

The fight seems an obvious one to make given the two boxers are part of the Premier Boxing Champions stable, together with a number of high-profile welterweights, including WBC world champion Shawn Porter, WBA champion Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.

Crawford, meanwhile, belongs to Arum’s Top Rank, providing a significant obstacle to a possible match-up with Pacquiao. The undefeated American, currently second in the pound-for-pound rankings, takes on England’s Amir Khan next month.

However, Top Rank chief executive Arum does not envisage a fight with Pacquiao will follow, warning the eight-division world champion against the dangers of taking on a man nine years his junior.

"Manny doesn't really want to fight Crawford,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “And the question is - should he? It's not like he's a spring chicken, he's a guy in his 40s and that means something.

“A guy in his 40s can run the risk of injury, where a guy in his 30s wouldn't run that risk ... cranium is different and everything, so I wouldn't like Manny to fight either Crawford or Spence.

"I think that's a bridge too far. I think if you put him in with a Porter - Porter is not an elite welterweight and Manny can probably handle him or not get hurt - that would be an OK fight. Or Danny Garcia who doesn't punch very hard, that would be a good fight for Manny. But Crawford or Spence is a bridge too far, truthfully."

Speculation persists that Pacquiao could yet be set for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr, with the pair pictured together on Saturday at the AT&T Stadium. The two met in 2015, when Mayweather, now retired, won on a unanimous decision. Pacquiao last fought in January, sealing a comfortable points victory against Adrien Broner to retain the WBA welterweight belt.

Updated: March 19, 2019 10:40 AM

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