Crawford: I’m ready to fight Pacquiao
By Chris Williams: It looks like Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is on the verge of cashing out with the aging lion Manny Pacquiao by feeding him to WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (27-0, 19 KOs) to tear himself bits next April. I knew it was going to happen and it looks like I could be right.
Instead of the 83-year-old Arum having Pacquiao ride off into retirement with a relative sure thing win by putting him in with the likes of Brandon Rios, Amir Khan or Tim Bradley for a good payday, it looks like Arum is going to feed the Filipino to Crawford for him to be the sacrificial lamb that is fed to the hungry lion.
Arum says its Pacquiao’s call whether to fight Crawford. Do you believe that? I don’t. If that were true, then why is Arum even mentioning the subject? What happened to Khan? That was a fight that would have made big time money in the U.S and in the UK on PPV. Why is Arum choosing not to make that fight with Pacquiao? Oh, I forgot. Khan isn’t with Top Rank, so that probably makes him less desirable than feeding Pacquiao to Crawford.
“You’re here but you’re not pay-per-view yet; unless maybe, which is the talk now, that you are next for Manny Pacquiao on pay-per-view in April, in what is said to be his final fight,” HBO’s Max Kellerman said to Crawford after the fight.
“I’m ready. Bob [Arum], make it happen,” Crawford said. “I’m ready. I’m going to let my handlers talk to Bob Arum and team Pacquiao, and let’s see if we can make that happen. You just got to watch and see. It’s going to be a thing to see,” Crawford said.
This is going to be bloody for Pacquiao. He’s not getting an easy fight to test out his surgically repaired right shoulder. I can’t believe Arum is going to have Pacquiao fight Crawford immediately coming off of a torn right rotator cuff. It’s predictable, but laughable at the same time. What fighter takes a dangerous fight like that coming off of a torn rotator cuff injury. It just looks like Arum is cashing out with Pacquiao by putting him in with one of the most difficult opponents he can find. Arum might as well really cash out with Pacquiao by tossing him in the ring with Gennady Golovkin or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at 154 in a sink or swim fight. If I was Pacquiao, I’d tell Arum that I want the big money cash out fight, not the small money against Crawford.
“Arum says Pacquiao’s last opponent is down to Crawford, Khan or Bradley if he beats Rios. I’m down for Crawford or Khan. Either way. #boxing.” Dan Rafael said.
I don’t believe for a second that Bradley or Khan are seriously being considered by Arum. I see it as Crawford 100%. It helps Arum if he matches Crawford with Pacquiao, because he’s one of his Top Rank stable fighters. It would be a self serving move by Arum if he matches Crawford with Pacquiao because it would increase his value and popularity. That means that Crawford would likely generate more money each time he fights in the future for Top Rank, and might even become a PPV attraction in his own right someday; although I seriously doubt that will happen. If Gennady Golovkin can’t draw flies on HBO PPV, the surely it’s a lost cause in Crawford one day becoming a PPV guy. Some fighters just aren’t mean to be PPV attractions, and I see that as being the case for guys like Crawford, Rios and Bradley. You could match those guys with Pacquiao 100 times on PPV, and I still don’t think the boxing world would be ready to buy a PPV fight with one of them as the A-side in a PPV fight.
Earlier tonight, Crawford blasted apart a little lightweight named Dierry Jean (29-2, 20 KOs) on HBO in a showcase fight to make Jean look good and to try and present him as a viable opponent. Showcase = easy setup fight. This wasn’t supposed to be competitive, and it wasn’t. It was put together to make Crawford look good, and didn’t really accomplish that goal.
I was bored through much of the fight. If they wanted a competitive fight, Arum would have selected Amir Iman, Ruslan Provodnikov or Viktor Postol for Crawford. Anyway, Crawford stopped Jean in the 10th round. He didn’t even land a punch in the final sequence. He ran Jean to the ropes, and he tripped and fell into them. The referee Tony Weeks stopped it anyway. He might as well have. The fight wasn’t interesting anyway.