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Arum wants to match Crawford up with Pacquiao in the future, says Rafael

Manny PacquiaoBy Chris Williams: Bob Arum of Top Rank has got WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (24-0, 17 KO’s) on the fast track to face his No.1 money fighter WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) in the near future, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.

He says he spoke with Arum last Saturday night following Crawford’s sensational 9th round knockout win over Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Arum said that he plans on matching Crawford against only the best fighters from here on out, and that he’s going to be facing Pacquiao in the future.

We saw Arum say that same thing about former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios in 2012, and sure enough, he was fighting Pacquiao the very next year in 2013 despite Rios getting a very controversial decision over Richard Abril in 2012.

“He’s [Crawford] going to move up to junior welterweight if not in the next fight then in two fights,” said Dan Rafael to ESPN. “When I spoke with him [Arum], he was very, very clear the goal is. ‘We think we have a super star here. We’re not going to mess around. We’re going to put him in the super star kind of fights.’ And Bob said without question that means an eventual fight against Pacquiao, because Crawford is that highly talented. He’s eventually going to be a welterweight, and that’s a fight that Bob would like to make. And that’s his long term potential, a fight against that caliber opponent.”

For Crawford’s sake, let’s hope that Arum doesn’t let the Crawford-Pacquiao marinate for too long, because I’d hate to see Arum spoil the broth once again like he did with the Gamboa vs. Juan Manuel Lopez fight. Arum let that fight marinate for over two years until Lopez was knocked out twice by Orlando Salido.

At that point the broth was ruined and those fighters went hungry. I have no doubts that Crawford, 26, will keep winning and can handle 2-3 years of Arum’s marinating of the fight, but I don’t have the same confidence about the 35-year-old Filipino star. He’s getting old, and we’re seeing that with each fight. If Arum is smart, he’ll put Crawford on the express train to the top and put him in with Pacquiao in early 2015, if not in November.

Arum probably won’t let Crawford at Pacquiao in November, because Amir Khan is a potential option for Pacquiao, but if he doesn’t lose the fight against Khan, then Crawford would be perfect for Pacquiao in early 2015. I have my doubts that Pacquiao will get past Khan though. A loss to Khan will mean a rematch between them in early 2015, and that’ll mess things up for Crawford in a big way, especially if Pacquiao loses twice to Khan. There would be no point in a Crawford-Pacquiao if he gets beaten twice by Khan, because Crawford would be getting little more than an old scuffed up lion that had been beaten in battle. The last thing Crawford needs is a toothless lion to fight, and Arum doesn’t have control of Khan’s fights. He couldn’t match Crawford against Khan unless Golden Boy went along with the plan.

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