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Crawford open to Golovkin and Pacquiao fights

By Dan Ambrose: WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) revealed in his live Top Rank video chat on Monday that he sees himself as the next superstar in boxing after guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr. retire from the sport. Crawford, 27, also said that he would be open to facing both Manny Pacquiao and Gennady Golovkin in the future.

With Golovkin, he would only agree to fight him if he moves up to 168 to fight Andre Ward first. After that, Crawford says he’d fight Golovkin at 154 if he were willing to come down to that weight to fight him. Crawford fights at 140 right now, but he says he walks around at 160. So in other words, Golovkin is 10 pounds heavier than Crawford at 170 compared.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum would likely not give the green light to having Crawford fight Golovkin, even if the fight were to take place at 154. Golovkin hits too hard and would stalk Crawford around the ring looking to KO him with one punch. Crawford would obviously get out of the way of a lot of Golovkin’s shots, but eventually he’d probably get broken down by the heavy shots from Golovkin. I think the fight would end with a single punch from Golovkin at some point.

When asked if he sees himself as the next superstar after Mayweather retires, Crawford said “Of course. Time will tell. Right now I’m just being patient with my career.”

There’s a lot a changes that Crawford would need to make to his game if he were to try and step into Mayweather’s shoes. Crawford isn’t as exciting as Mayweather in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans due to his tendency to tie up his opponents a lot. Crawford doesn’t stay in the pocket as much as Mayweather, and he doesn’t have Mayweather’s blazing fast hand speed, defensive skills or reflexes. Even Mayweather at 38, is much faster than Crawford with his hands, and he’s harder to hit with the way he is able to lean away from shots. As Crawford showed in his fights against Thomas Dulorme and Yuriorkis Gamboa, he gets hit when he stands in front of his opponents and it nothing like Mayweather at all.

Crawford said he would never fight WBO interim welterweight champion Tim Bradley because he sees him as his brother. “We’re never going to fight because that’s like my brother.”

“As far as Pacquiao, if it happens, it happens.”

The Pacquiao-Crawford fight likely will happen in 2016, because that’s something that Bob Arum is been mentioning. It’ll ultimately be up to Pacquiao whether he wants to fight Crawford next year. It would be tough to bring Pacquiao back from a shoulder injury straight into a fight against Crawford. That wouldn’t be an ideal situation for Pacquiao to take that fight off of that kind of injury. A lot of fighters come from rotator cuff surgery and are never the same. Having Pacquiao go straight into a difficult fight against Crawford or some other tough fighter wouldn’t be fair to Pacquiao. If Arum makes that move, then you have to wish Pacquiao a lot of luck, because if he’s fighting with only arm because he’s only got a fraction of the power that he once had in his surgically repaired right shoulder, he could lose to Crawford.

Crawford said this about fighting WBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin:
“If Golovkin would go up to fight Andre Ward, yes [I’d fight him]. I’d fight him at 154.”

Right now, Golovkin is arguably the more popular fighter than Crawford on HBO. There’s no way that Crawford could call the shots in a fight against Golovkin. So unless Crawford was willing to fight Golovkin at 160, it’s a fight that would never happen. Crawford isn’t a big enough name for Golovkin to move down to 154 to fight him. Golovkin would do it if Crawford had a fan base like Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Pacquiao, and if he were a pay-per-view star. Crawford clearly isn’t a PPV attraction, and he’s about to turn 28.

It’s unclear if he ever will get to that level. You’ve got to figure that even Crawford did reach that level, Golovkin would be up there in age in his late 30s, and maybe not even still fighting. Arum is going to need to make a lot of changes with Crawford’s fighting style to make him a pay-per-view fighter because he’s too much of a counter puncher, and not nearly as aggressive as needs to be to be a more fan friendly fighter.

Crawford also ruled out a fight against Pacquiao in the Philippines, saying “Not at all.”

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