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Arum will match Pacquiao against Terence Crawford next if Mayweather doesn’t want rematch

crawford8888By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank says that he’ll look to match the 36-year-old Pacquiao up against his Top Rank stable fighter WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) next if Floyd Mayweather Jr. decides that he doesn’t want to do a rematch with Pacquiao.

Arum wants the Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch above all, as he feels there’s still a lot more money that can be mined from that fight than any other fights that he can setup for the soon to be 37-year-old Pacquiao. However, with the way that Arum is calling the win indecisive, saying that he thought Pacquiao deserved the win 7 rounds to 5, it’s unlikely that Mayweather will bother fighting Pacquiao again.

It’s not interesting for some fighters to beat guys and then have to listen to them – or their promoters – deny that they were beaten.

“He’s [Pacquiao] going to go right to an elite fighter,” Arum said to esnewsreporting about Pacquiao’s first fight after he comes back from his shoulder surgery next year. “I would rather him fight Terence Crawford. The money that was made in the last fight [against Mayweather], and a rematch wouldn’t do as well, but it would still do tremendous, bigger than any other fight. I think that if the Mayweather people want the rematch, we would be willing to do it,” Arum said.

I think Mayweather realizes that if he were to keep beating Pacquiao over and over again, he might have to hear the same thing from Pacquiao and Arum about how they weren’t beaten. I think there’s a basic psychology to not admitting defeat. If you don’t admit defeat, then enough of your fans are going to want to believe you to want to see you fight again. But if you say you were beaten, which in this case was clearly what happened in the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, then a lot of boxing fans would jump off the Pacquiao ship and look for someone else to back. So it works in Pacquiao, Arum and trainer Freddie Roach’s favor if they never admit that they lost to Mayweather. But that doesn’t mean that Mayweather needs to keep accommodating them by playing into what appears to me to be a ploy to keep getting rematches.

Crawford doesn’t have a large fan base outside of Nebraska, his home state. If Arum matches Pacquiao against Crawford, then I see that as a fight that might bring as many as 400,000 PPV buys at best. It’s another Chris Algieri or Brandon Rios type of fight. Crawford is only know in Nebraska and with the hardcore boxing fans of the sport. Since Arum would need the casual boxing fans to purchase the Pacquiao-Crawford fight to make it a huge success, I don’t see that happening.

My guess is that Arum will either stage the Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight in Macau, China or in Dubai, if he can get a huge site fee. It’s not a big enough fight to stage it in the U.S, because Crawford is just a guy known by hardcore boxing fans.

Pacquiao will be doing Arum a huge favor in fighting his guy Crawford because the money won’t be good for Pacquiao, and it’ll mainly help make Crawford a bigger name for Arum’s Top Rank stable.

In other words, it would be a move that would help Arum but do very, very little for Pacquiao in terms of money. It would be a decent accomplishment for Pacquiao to beat Crawford, but I get the feeling that Pacquiao wants to maximize the amount of money he makes before he gets out of the sport. Crawford isn’t the fight that Pacquiao needs to do that.

For Pacquiao to make bigger money, he needs to be matched against guys like Amir Khan, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Kell Brook, Marcos Maidana or Miguel Cotto. Those are guys where there’s money to be made, whether it be in the U.S or in England. Putting Pacquiao in with Crawford helps Arum and Top Rank, because Pacquiao will help make a name for Crawford by fighting him, but it won’t do much for Pacquiao. If I was Pacquiao, I would say no to a fight against Crawford, and a definite no against Arum’s other Top Rank stable fighters Brandon Rios and Tim Bradley if Arum started talking about those match-ups.

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