Arum: Pacquiao’s next opponent could be Khan or Crawford
By Tim Fletcher:
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum appears to have whittled down the list of potential opponents for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight in April from three to two. The 83-year-old Arum previously listed Tim Bradley among the three possible options for Pacquiao’s last fight of his career on April 9th. But with Arum not mentioning Bradley now, it’s possible that he’s removed him from the list if he was ever seriously on the list to begin with.
It’s hard to imagine that Arum would try and ask the boxing public to pay to see a third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley when their second one last year was a mismatch with Pacquiao easily winning a 12 round decision.
It would be like asking the fans to pay to see a second fight between Pacquiao and Chris Algieri. Few people would want to see that mismatch again. But with Arum, it’s hard to know what’s going through his head. He might want to ramrod a third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley down the throats of the boxing public, assuming that people would want to see it.
“His [Pacquiao] next potential opponent could be anyone between Crawford and Khan,” Arum said to The Manila Times. “But everything is still under negotiation. We’ll make a formal announcement soon. Crawford and Khan are both competitive boxers.”
Pacquiao’s opponent is expected to be selected by the middle of this month. With the fight being his last one, it’s expected that it’ll be announced early in order to create more interest in it. That’s also a sign that it’s not going to be a big name, because the bigger names don’t need much time for the fight against Pacquiao to be promoted.
The Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight had little over a month to market it. The whole thing was rushed due to the prolonged negotiations. If Arum selects Crawford for Pacquiao, then the fight is going to need a good four months to market it in order to convince the casual boxing fans to purchase the fight.
By announcing the fight now, Arum will give HBO and Top Rank plenty of time to introduce Crawford to the casual fans. A fight against Khan won’t need as much time because he’s already well-known by the boing public and he’s good at driving interest for his fights with his marketing skills.
Pacquiao isn’t expected to make a comeback when he retires from the sport. That’s why it’s in Arum’s best interest to get the best possible opponent. Arum doesn’t have any other big names in this Top Rank stable that can take over as his new PPV star.
Pacquiao hurt his right shoulder in his last fight against Mayweather in May. He had surgery on his shoulder, and he’s supposed to be at 100 percent when he returns to the ring. But being 100 percent doesn’t mean that he’ll be ready to fight at the level that he was previously. It might be a little premature for Pacquiao to be coming back against a tough opponent in his first fight back. Pacquiao will have to do his best because he’s not going to be give any tune-up fights.
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