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Terence Crawford with chance for Pacquiao fight in February or March 2016

crawford7By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has talking up a possible fight between his star Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) and former IBF/WBA 140lb champion Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs), but it looks like that’s not a match-up that’s going to happen. WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s trainer Brian McIntyre is saying that Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) is the one who could wind up being the one that faces Pacquiao in February or March of 2016 rather than Khan.

“Yeah, how about this for signature fight, Woods? Manny Pacquiao in March or April,” McIntyre told

If McIntyre is talking up a Pacquiao-Crawford fight in February or March of next year, then he likely has had conversations already with the 83-year-old Arum about Crawford being the next opponent for Pacquiao to fight once his shoulder heals up from his recent surgery.

It looks like Arum is going to pull the old bait and switch by talking up a Pacquiao-Khan fight, then switching Khan for Crawford for Pacquiao to fight in February or March on HBO pay-per-view. That’s a predictable move by Arum, because Crawford is one of his Top Rank stable fighters.

By having Crawford fight Pacquiao instead of Khan, it increases Crawford’s value by making him more popular, because he’ll get a lot of attention in facing Pacquiao.

Switching out Khan for Crawford isn’t a good move for Pacquiao, because it’s potentially tougher fight for him due to Crawford being a counter puncher with a good chin. Crawford is like a much slower and far less talented version of Floyd Mayweather Jr., but we already saw that Pacquiao is vulnerable against counter punchers and always has been. Juan Manuel Marquez arguably beat Pacquiao all four times he faced him, and Mayweather just finished dominating Pacquiao as well last May.

I figured that Arum would look to put Crawford in with Pacquiao, because if Arum doesn’t make that fight as soon as possible, he’ll lose his chance once Pacquiao retires. Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank expires at the end of 2016, and that might be the end of his career.

If Arum was to match Pacquiao against Amir Khan in February or March of next year, and then put him back in with Mayweather in September, then that would be it for Pacquiao. He’d likely retire after that. Arum will have lost his opportunity to put Crawford in with Pacquiao to have him get the Midas touch from Pacquiao to turn him into a better asset for Top Rank.

With Pacquiao fighting Crawford, he could turn him into potentially a very popular fighter and maybe even a PPV guy. Without a fight against Pacquiao, Crawford will likely just be some guy who fights all his fights in Omaha, Nebraska in front of friendly crowds, who cheer him no matter what he does in the ring.

Crawford could be doing his counter punching thing, which sometimes is dull to watch, and the fans will cheer him. But if Crawford gets the fight against Pacquiao and takes his scalp the way Mayweather did, then Arum will have a guy with more value for him and his Top Rank stable in Crawford. Pacquiao will likely take the fight with Crawford even if it’s not a smart move.

Pacquiao would likely get far less money fighting Crawford than he would in a fight against Khan. I don’t know why Pacquiao would agree to a fight against Crawford because he would potentially lose millions in terms of lost PPV buys by fighting him rather than Khan. If Pacquiao fights Khan, he could share with the PPV money from the UK that Khan would get.

Khan would likely do a much better job of selling the Pacquiao-Khan fight than Crawford would in selling a fight between him and Pacquiao. Khan has a gift for gab, and he’s someone that is willing to be interviewed night and day by the media.

Khan is a very good talker and he’s excellent and giving great sound bites for the media. Khan even comes up with different things to say, and that’s kind of a rare thing in this day and age where a lot of boxers repeat themselves. Crawford comes across as kind of insular, and not willing to talk a lot of trash like Khan.

Without a fight against Pacquiao, Crawford might not ever become a huge star, because he doesn’t have anything that really jumps out at you in terms of his personality, hand speed or punching power. Crawford doesn’t have the charisma of Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he doesn’t have his hand speed or the hand speed of Pacquiao. Crawford isn’t as fast as Tim Bradley. Crawford isn’t a huge puncher, although he does have good power. He’s not someone with crushing power, and I don’t expect him to be a KO artist when he moves up to the 147lb division. Crawford is just a simple counter puncher with good defensive skills.

Before Crawford can get to a potential fight against Pacquiao in the first quarter of 2016, he’s got a title defense of his WBO 140lb title that he needs to get out of the way. The opponent that Crawford will likely be facing is Dierry Jean.

“I’m hearing Dierry Jean, October 24, in Nebraska, and I think Jean makes him work, it’s a high volume fight, fan friendly, and I see Terence Crawford winning,” McIntyre said.

The Crawford vs. Dierry Jean fight will be televised on HBO. Jean, 33, has won his last four fights since he was easily beaten last year in January by former IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson by a 12 round unanimous decision. Jean moved down to the lightweight division after the loss, and he’s currently ranked #9 IBF, #11 WBO. It’s unclear why Crawford would want to fight a lightweight contender rather than one of the top 15 contenders in the 140lb division. After all, Crawford is now the WBO light welterweight champion after his recent 6th round stoppage win over Thomas Dulorme. This a very safe pick for Crawford in facing Jean because his top contenders are Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov. The outcome against either of those guys aren’t certain like they would be for Crawford in facing a lightweight like Dierry Jean.

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