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Arum says Pacquiao could face Crawford, Khan or Brook next

Manny PacquiaoBy Scott Gilfoid: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has listed the three opponents he’ll be making his decision about in picking out his fighter Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent for his fight in February or March or 2016. The list consists of these three names: Terence Crawford, Amir Khan and Kell Brook.

Whether Pacquiao fights any of those guys will be determined on if his shoulder heals up properly by next year. Pacquiao is still doing rehab right now, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to return to the ring in early 2016 like Arum wants him to.

Arum says he’s not able to schedule the 36-year-old Pacquiao’s next fight until he meets with his doctor for him to evaluate the condition of his surgically repaired right shoulder. Pacquiao had surgery on the shoulder last May to repair a torn rotator cuff injury.

It’s not the easiest injury to bounce back from, especially when you’re trying to come back after only 9 months. In baseball, it takes pitchers one to two years to come back from an injury like that. You would assume that things are no different for a fighter.

If Arum rushes Pacquiao back, he could be less than 100% when he does return to the ring. That’s not a good thing if Arum puts Pacquiao in with someone good right off the bat, which is what he plans on doing. Arum isn’t interested in having Pacquiao take a tune-up for some reason.

I guess the money wouldn’t be very good if Pacquiao fought a 2nd tier fighter. By having Pacquiao fight the best possible opponent like Arum’s Top Rank fighter Crawford, the money will continue to be good for Pacquiao without any letup. A tune-up bout for Pacquiao would likely be a very hard fight to sell to the public. How do you justify selling a fight between Pacquiao and a 2nd or 3rd tier tune-up opponent? This is why I think Arum isn’t interested in tune-up opponents for Pacquiao, even though it makes the most sense for him to do that.

“I can’t arrange Manny’s next fight until the doctor sees him,” Arum said via “Three names. Amir Khan, Kell Brook and Terence Crawford. Mayweather said he’s going to retire.”

I hate to say it but I think Khan is going to get passed over by Arum for this fight. Poor Khan, it’ll be the 4th time that he’s been passed up for a big money fight. Mayweather passed Khan over three times for fights. Now I suspect it’ll be Pacquiao who passes him over.

Having Brook among the names is a surprise. I still don’t think Arum will make that fight. Crawford, who I feel that Arum will be putting in with Pacquiao no matter what. I don’t believe that Khan or Brook are serious choices for Pacquiao.

I don’t see Arum letting either of those two non-Top Rank fighters face Pacquiao. I think he’ll go with Crawford for an in house fight rather than deal with fighters that are promoted elsewhere. I think it’s more important than ever for Arum to match Pacquiao against Crawford now because Pacquiao is down to one to three fights left in his career.

If Arum doesn’t match Pacquiao against Crawford now so that he can give him his golden touch to him to make him a more popular fighter, and thus a more valuable asset for Arum’s Top Rank stable, then Arum could potentially miss out on making this fight ever if Pacquiao’s surgically repaired shoulder falls apart in his first fight back. With the way that Pacquiao is being brought back into the ring quickly in less than one year, I can see him having problems with his shoulder during his next fight.

It won’t help Pacquiao that Arum doesn’t plan on letting him take a couple of tune-ups to ease his way back into serious competition after the injury. They don’t usually bring an athlete back to full competition in their first outing after an injury like that. In baseball, they bring the pitcher along slowly by letting him work in the minor leagues, or they have them pitch an inning or two. If it was football or basketball, you could expect them to only let the player in the game for a short period of time. I mean, they wouldn’t throw him out there for an entire game in a sink or swim mode.

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