Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 12 July 2020

Manny Pacquiao eyes potential mega-fight with Terence Crawford

Promoter Bob Arum says Filipino's team have reached out over bout

Manny Pacquiao celebrates after defeating Keith Thurman in their WBA welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Reuters
Manny Pacquiao celebrates after defeating Keith Thurman in their WBA welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Reuters

Manny Pacquiao could be in line for a mega-fight with Terence Crawford, possibly outside the United States, once boxing resumes following the coronavirus, according to promoter Bob Arum.

The Filipino, 41, has not fought since last July’s points victory against the previously undefeated Keith Thurman, although he was targeting a return to the ring this summer.

However, boxing has ground to a halt amid the pandemic, with no definitive date set for a comeback.

Nevertheless, Arum has been busy discussing Crawford and what the future may hold for his unbeaten Top Rank client.

The American, the current WBO welterweight champion, has been tipped for a money-spinning clash with IBF and WBC belt-holder Errol Spence Jr, if their rival promotions can actually agree on a deal.

Speaking on the Top Rank podcast, Arum said that could well be a possibility for later this year, although he also cited Pacquiao as another candidate to meet Crawford. Pacquiao holds the WBA strap.

“Pacquiao and his people have reached out to me about the possibility of a Crawford fight,” Arum said.

“We were hopefully thinking about scheduling that fight outside of the United States. We’ll have to see, but it is certainly a very interesting fight and once this clears up, I think we have a way where it can happen.”

Arum, who used to promote Pacquiao, has for some time questioned the eight-division world champion’s suitability for Crawford, saying his former charge would be reluctant to take on the challenge given the boxers are at vastly different points in their careers.

Crawford, 32, is considered among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, while the consensus is that Pacquiao is close to retirement. His record stands at 62-7-2. Crawford, meanwhile, has 36 wins from 36 professional bouts, 27 by way of knockout.

Should the pair meet, though, it would be sure to garner significant pay-per-view attention.

Speaking early last month, Pacquiao said: "My plan is to get back into the ring this coming July. Second or third week in July. Training should start in April, May, June.

"We have enough time.There's a lot of possible opponents, like Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence or Crawford, and also there's boxers from Canada and Mexico who want to fight with me.”

Updated: April 23, 2020 03:51 PM

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