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Terence Crawford ready to beat Pacquiao

crawford5By Chris Williams: WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (27-0, 19 KOs) is waiting for the word about whether he’s going to get the fight against Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) for April 9th next year.

Crawford’s manager Brian Macintyre is looking forward to the fight because he feels that his guy will definitely beat the soon to be 37-year-old Pacquiao. 83-year-old Bob Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Crawford, refuses to say who he wants Pacquiao to fight for his April bout, but with the way that Arum’s face lights up each time he mentioned Crawford’s name, you have to wonder if that’s the guy he’s hoping Pacquiao will select.

“If they’re ready, we’re ready, Macintyre said to about Crawford being ready for Pacquiao if/when he makes the selection to choose Crawford for the April fight. “Terence is in the gym and you know he respects Manny as a warrior, but he’s ready to beat Manny. And if it’s Lucas Matthysse or Viktor Postol, it doesn’t matter. Terence wants them.”

Matthysse would be a bad pick right now, given that he was stopped in his last fight by Postol last October. While Matthysse is still ranked #4 by the World Boxing Organization, you would like to think that Arum could do better than to match Crawford against a guy coming off of a knockout loss.

By making Crawford vs. Matthysse, Arum would be counting on the hardcore and casual fans either not knowing that Matthysse was just stopped by Postol or not carrying. I know I would care, and I wouldn’t want to watch it from a fan’s perspective. Arum would be much better off matching Postol against Crawford. I don’t think Arum wants to do that though, because both of them are doing well in traveling in different paths.

If Postol or Crawford loses, then Arum will potentially be losing one of his revenue streams, and I doubt he’ll want to do that now that Pacquiao is about to retire. Arum isn’t going to have a money fighter to replace Pacquiao after he retires from the sport next year, which is why I see Arum nudging Pacquiao in the direction of fighting Crawford next. That way Crawford can send Pacquiao into retirement with a loss, and hopefully take over for him as Top Rank’s pay-per-view fighter.

Personally, I think it’s pretty hopeless of Crawford taking Pacquiao’s spot as a PPV attraction. Beating Pacquiao won’t turn Crawford into a PPV fighter. It didn’t turn Brandon Rios or Tim Bradley into PPV attractions and I don’t see it turning Crawford into one. Arum would be better off matching Pacquiao against the fighter that will bring him and Top Rank the most money possible for his April fight, and I don’t see that being Crawford.

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I think Amir Khan is the biggest money fight out there for Pacquiao unless Arum wants to talk to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya to try and convince him to match Pacquiao against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez if he gets by WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto this Saturday. Arum is already talking about potentially matching the 5’6” Tim Bradley against Canelo next, and Pacquiao is slightly taller than Bradley at 5’6 ½”.

If Arum is on board with Bradley fighting Canelo, then he should be eager to let Pacquiao fight him. I think the only reason Arum won’t push for that is because I believe he needs Pacquiao for Crawford in order to increase the value of Crawford with his Top Rank stable. If Arum matches Pacquiao against Canelo for his fight, Pacquiao will make huge money, but it won’t help Top Rank turn Crawford into a star.

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I think they need Pacquiao to turn Crawford into a star. The money obviously will be much, much less for Pacquiao to fight Crawford rather than Canelo, but it will increase Crawford’s value to Top Rank moving forward.

I’m not sure how much more it will increase Crawford’s value. If it means an extra $1 million per fight for Crawford, then over the years, it’ll be worth it for Top Rank and Arum to have Crawford fight Pacquiao in his last fight. But it’s definitely not going to help Pacquiao to fight Crawford rather than Canelo, because the money will be much less.

Crawford is popular in his home state of Nebraska but nowhere else. He’s not even fighting outside of Nebraska nowadays. You can imagine what kind of audience Crawford would draw if Arum put one of his fights in Las Vegas, Nevada. My guess is they would be lucky if 2,000 fans showed up to see Crawford fight. I don’t see Crawford as having the fan base to pull in fans anyplace other than Nebraska.

That’s why it’s potentially a really bad deal for Pacquiao to fight Crawford for his last fight of his career rather than the likes of Canelo or Amir Khan. Of course, if Arum is going to make it worth it for Pacquiao to fight Crawford by giving him extra in terms of money that he would be getting if he fought someone popular like Canelo or Khan, then I could see it as a good move for Pacquiao to fight the Nebraska native. But if Arum isn’t going to give Pacquiao the difference in money he’ll be losing by fighting Crawford, then I see as a terrible business move for Pacquiao to fight Crawford.

I think Tim Bradley is a bad choice for Pacquiao as well, and I would have never recommended that Pacquiao fight Bradley a second time or Brandon Rios or Chris Algieri. Those were really bad choices for Pacquiao, as was Joshua Clottey too.

Arum needs to try and turn Crawford into a star by matching him against Viktor Postol and Ruslan Provodnikov in back to back fights. If Crawford is still unbeaten at that point, then Arum should match him against Amir Imam and then Bradley if he hasn’t retired by that point.

If Arum wants to increase Crawford’s popularity in a hurry then he should look to match him against Canelo or Gennady Golokvin. Yeah, Crawford would likely be massacred by both guys, but at least the casual boxing fans would know who he is. They’re not learning anything about Crawford from Arum matching him against the likes of Dierry Jean.

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