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Pacquiao’s next opponent to be announced on Friday

1-LR_MAYPAC-TRAPPFOTOS-FINAL PRESSER-9963By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is saying that Manny Pacquiao’s opponent for next April will be announced during the Nonito Donaire vs. Cesar Juarez card this Friday on truTV.

Unbeaten Top Rank fighter Terence Crawford will reportedly be attending the card, according to Dan Rafael. Tim Bradley, another one of Arum’s fighters, will be one of the broadcasters for the card.

Pacquiao’s 83-year-old promoter Arum is probably ecstatic right now. The fact that Arum is going to be announcing the news on his Top Rank truTV card on Friday suggests that it’s absolutely going to be one of his own Top Rank stable fighters Bradley or Crawford who will be facing Pacquiao rather than a non-Top Rank fighter like Amir Khan or someone else.

This means that Arum will likely have his fingerprints on all the levers of the promotion of Pacquiao’s final fight in April rather than him having to share the promotion with another promotional company. It also means that there will likely be less PPV buys for the fight than if Pacquiao were to face a highly popular fighter like Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for his final fight. Even Khan would probably bring in more pay per view buys for Pacquiao than a fight against Bradley or Crawford.

If Pacquiao selects the 32-year-old Bradley for his final fight, it’s going to be very difficult for Arum to sell this fight to the boxing public. I can see the hyping of that fight being taken over by Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach and Bradley’s trainer Teddy Atlas, with both of those guys doing all the talking. In the past, Roach has done much of the talking for Pacquiao in the run ups to his fights.

Atlas has a way with words, and could easily take over for Bradley to hype his fight with Pacquiao. I just don’t think that the boxing public can stomach a third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley. There’s no real selling point for the fight, because Bradley hasn’t beaten anyone good in years. I don’t think Bradley is improved at all with Atlas as his trainer. He just looks older.

Bradley’s recent win over a flabby and ring rusty Brandon Rios didn’t prove anything other than Arum’s Top Rank stable holding onto some dead weight with Rios. If Bradley had faced a quality welterweight, I think he would have lost badly. You put Bradley in with the likes of Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Kell Brook or even someone like Khan, and I think Bradley would lose. We saw how Bradley couldn’t even beat Diego Chaves last year.

If Crawford gets selected by Pacquiao for his final fight, then I’m sure Arum won’t mind too much. Crawford needs a big fight against a star like Pacquiao to increase his popularity with the casual boxing fans. Unfortunately for Pacquiao, it wouldn’t be a big enough fight to bring in a ton of PPV buys. The only way I could see fans wanting to tune in to see Pacquiao fight Crawford is if Top Rank sells it as Pacquiao’s final fight of his career. In other words, it would be one of those ‘going out of business’ type fights. However, those things don’t work in boxing, because you can’t attract huge PPV numbers simply by trying to sell a fight by saying one of the guys is retiring. That doesn’t work.

Fans want to see stars in relevant fights, not fights sold on the theme of one of them retiring and the other needing a fight in order to become a star in his own right. I don’t see Crawford as having the talent and charisma to bring in a lot of PPV buys and to take the baton from Pacquiao to become Top Rank’s next PPV attraction. I could be wrong, but I don’t see Crawford as ever becoming a PPV guy. Arum can certainly try and turn Crawford into the next Pacquiao if he wants to, but I see it doomed for failure. I just hope Crawford doesn’t end up fighting in Macau, China over and over again, because I think that will really stunt his career if that happens.

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