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Roach: Crawford wanted $7M for Pacquiao fight

By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach says that he was told a week ago by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum that Terence Crawford was the possible opponent for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight. However, Roach then said he heard that the 29-year-old Crawford’s asking price was $7 million for the Pacquiao fight.

Roach thinks that it might have been too much, because Arum is now talking about wanting to match Pacquiao against unbeaten #2 WBO Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) in April.

Roach said this to RingTV.com about Arum speaking to him about Crawford being the next opponent for Pacquiao:

“Arum told me last week it was Terence Crawford [for Pacquiao’s fight in April],” said Roach. “Crawford asked for $7 million. So maybe that’s too expensive,” said Roach.

Arum said this week that Crawford won’t be getting the fight with Pacquiao in the first half of this year. Arum is talking about wanting to potentially have Pacquiao fight on free television. Little known Jeff Horn from Australia is one name that Arum has mentioned for Pacquiao.

If Pacquiao is going to fight on free television in the U.S, then it would make sense for him to fight an obscure guy like Horn. What’s not to know is why Pacquiao would ever agree to such an idea? Would Pacquiao be doing it as a favor to Arum to help make a name for Horn? The fight doesn’t do much for Pacquiao.

There’s no upside in fighting a little known guy like Horn. There’s a huge downside though. If Pacquiao loses to a fairly mediocre guy like Horn, it would be pretty much the end of his career. Horn has been dropped in his last two fights against old timers Ali Funeka and Randall Bailey. Funeka is 38 and Bailey 42. Arum might as well match Pacquiao up with Chris Algieri again, because at least the U.S boxing public has heard of that guy. Horn is about as talented as Algieri in my estimation.

One problem with Crawford wanting $7 million for Pacquiao is the fact that we just heard that the Filipino star wants $20 million for that fight. Arum might have added the $27 million and figured there wouldn’t be enough revenue to cover those purses.

It’s not news to anyway that Pacquiao’s pay-per-view numbers have been dropping since after his big mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015. Pacquiao’s first fight after that against Tim Bradley pulled in 400,000 buys on HBO PPV. Pacquiao’s last fight against Jessie Vargas brought in 300,000 buys on HBO. Is this a trend or this just the product of Arum’s match-making?

It seems pretty clear to me that Pacquiao fighting Vargas and Bradley would be a non-starter with the boxing world. Did Arum really not know that? If not, then shouldn’t have told him from his organization that the fans wouldn’t buy those fights? Arum’s been a sharp match-maker during his years as a promoter. Does he now have a tin ear now to what the boxing public wants?

“The last time I talked to Arum,” Roach said via RingTV.com, “he called me up and he told me that Crawford is the guy we’re trying to make and so forth. And he said, ‘You’re going to have to fight him sooner or later. You might be better off fighting him now. What weight do you want?,’ and so forth. So I said, ‘If we do fight him, we’ll fight him at [welterweight]. Bring him up in weight, maybe slow him down a little bit.’ I know he does have a little bit of trouble making (140 pounds), but I think he’ll be maybe not as quick and as good a fighter at ’47.”

It looks like something caused Arum to change his mind about wanting to match Pacquiao against Crawford. Like I said, it might be the combined purses for the fight. If Arum is expected to come up with $27 million for the fight, he might not be able to do that, given Pacquiao deteriorating PPV numbers in his last fight.

If Pacquiao-Crawford does only 400,000 buys or maybe even 300,000 buys on PPV, will there be enough money to cover the huge purses for both fighters? I doubt it. Unless Arum wants to have the fight take place at a huge loss, I don’t see how he could accommodate the two fighters. Pacquiao might be pricing himself out by asking for $20 million.

Is this intentional on Pacquiao’s part or does he think Arum could come up with that kind of loot for him to fight Crawford? I think the days where Pacquiao gets $20 million per fight have over with since after his loss to Mayweather. Again, I don’t know if that’s because the boxing fans are no longer interested in Pacquiao like they were before due to his loss to Mayweather or if they were simply turned off at the idea of paying to see him fight Bradley for a third time and Jessie Vargas, who is not a big name or well-known with the boxing public.





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