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Arum: Pacquiao will decide if he wants Crawford or not

By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says Manny Pacquiao will be watching this Saturday’s fight between WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) and Dierry Jean (29-1, 20 KOs), and will make the decision himself if he wants to fight Crawford or not. Arum believes that Crawford can increase his chances for a fight against Pacquiao if he wins and performs well. The fight will be televised on HBO Championship Boxing.

Arum says it’s Pacquiao’s decision whether he wants to face Crawford or not, but a lot of boxing fans believe that Arum will be the one that will make the decision about who he’ll be fighting.

Many fans believe that Arum has already made the decision to match Pacquiao against Crawford simply because Crawford is in his Top Rank stable, and by fighting Pacquiao and taking his scalp, it will in theory increase Crawford’s popularity and value for Arum.

I don’t believe it myself. I think Crawford could KO Pacquiao at this point, and it won’t do much for his popularity. Crawford needs to improve his fighting style to make it more exciting for him to become a big name, and he needs to become more of a trash talker. He doesn’t boast enough about himself. What Crawford needs is a good PR guy that can remake his image outside if the ring, and he needs a good trainer that can change his fighting style from that of a counter puncher to that of a come forward type fighter.

“It’s all up to Manny,” Arum said to the “I want to see a good performance from Crawford. He’s fighting a good fighter, and Manny is the kind of proud guy who looks for the toughest opponent. So if Crawford gives a great performance, it enhances him as a Manny opponent.”

I think it’s a lock. Crawford gets the fight against Pacquiao whether he looks bad against Dierry Jean or looks good. I know Lucas Matthysse’s name was recently mentioned, but I see that as being just a name that was thrown out there.

I see Arum putting Crawford in with Pacquiao and then hoping that he’ll become a star overnight in the same way Pacquiao became a star overnight with his win over Oscar De La Hoya. Unfortunately the circumstances are completely different. Crawford does not have the exciting fighting style that Pacquiao had when he fought De La Hoya in 2008. Crawford also doesn’t have a huge Filipino fan base like Pacquiao had that was already embracing him.

Dierry Jean is kind of the forgotten man in this fight. No one is giving Jean, a lightweight, any chance of beating Crawford. The reason for that is because Jean has never beaten anyone good, and he lost badly to Lamont Peterson in 2014. There’s really no reason for Jean to have been given this title shot, and it’s pretty surprising that the World Boxing Organization even sanctioned this fight instead of telling Top Rank that they’ve got to go back to the drawing board by finding someone ranked in the top 15 at 140 for Crawford to fight.

“Who wouldn’t think about it? That’s the fight we want,” Crawford said to the “Right now, we just want to focus on Jean, but [Pacquiao] …that’s a big opportunity for me, and if I was ever given that opportunity, I’d do my best to seize it.”

If Pacquiao faces Crawford for his final fight of his career, I don’t see that fight bringing in even 300,000 buys on HBO PPV. It’s worse than the Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux fight. Who is going to pay to see Pacquiao fight Crawford? I don’t think that fight sells, and I was Pacquiao’s promoter, I wouldn’t even consider making that fight.

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