By Gav Duthie: It looks likely that for his final fight in the ring Manny Pacquiao will face former two time foe Timothy ‘Desert Storm’ Bradley in a rubber match. The other name in the frame is rising star Terence Crawford.
All 3 fighters are promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank. For me despite his recent loss to Floyd Mayweather he is the second best boxer of this generation and needs to sign off in style to cement his legacy. Floyd fought Andre Berto in his last outing but seeing that he had already beaten Pacquiao he didn’t need a big finish, Pacquiao does.
As an 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao has arguably made Bob Arum more money than any boxer before him, doesn’t he deserve to choose his last opponent rather than the usual recycling of Top Ranks standard boxer reel.
This piece is not a criticism of Bradley, I would like to make that clear, he is a great boxer and when Pacquiao retires I consider ‘Desert Storm’ the worlds #1 welterweight until proven otherwise. The point is that no fan sees the need for a trilogy contest. Neither of the two fights previous were particularly exciting and the general consensus was that Pacquiao won them both.
A future superstar no doubt about it but I would avoid this one if I were Manny. Firstly, he wouldn’t get huge credit for the win because Crawford has never fought as a welterweight before and only twice at 140lbs. Secondly if it were close I would worry Pacquiao would lose a decision because he has no future income potential. Crawford will be Arum’s main man post Pac-Man.
This is probably the biggest fight in terms of box office numbers and marketability. They are arguably the two quickest fighters in the sport and it would present an entertaining fight.
Arum is without a doubt an unbelievably successful promoter. He has outlasted the likes of Don King and is still kicking even with the emergence of Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon. Despite this I rarely hear fighters praise his contribution to their careers like they do for Haymon. Arum and Pacquiao have such a long relationship I feel he is obligated to get him the fight he wants. Personally I don’t think Khan for an opponent is any better than Crawford or Bradley but if that’s what he wants he should get it.