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Arum holding October 15 date for Pacquiao comeback


By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is holding October 15 for a possible comeback for his top fighter Manny Pacquiao. Arum has three potential opponents he’s interested in matching Pacquiao against on that date: Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner.

You would have to assume that the 84-year-old Arum’s interest would be for Pacquiao to fight Crawford, and if not him, then Garcia as the Plan-B option. Broner would probably be the Plan-C guy.

Pacquiao is still retired as of now and focusing on his political career as a senator in the Philippines. Arum could be just wasting his time by holding down October 15, hoping that the 37-year-old Filipino star will come back for a fight against Crawford, Garcia or Broner. Those are not huge fights.

The Crawford fight might be a good one for Arum and his Top Rank company, because he promotes Crawford. It would mean that Arum’s hands would be the only ones on the gear shift for the promotion. It would help Arum if Pacquiao were to take the fight against Crawford because it would likely turn the American fighter Crawford into a potential star. But then again, it might not. Tim Bradley has fought Pacquiao three times and he’s not a PPV star.

“Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told the Review-Journal he has Oct. 15 saved for a potential Pacquiao return and also has a list of possible opponents,” said Gilbert Manzano of the Review Journal. “Arum named rising star Terence Crawford, WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia and the flamboyant Adrien Broner as candidates to meet the future hall of famer.”

If Pacquiao were to make a comeback, it’s highly doubtful that he would do it to face the likes of Crawford, Broner or Garcia. Those are not huge fights. None of them have large fan bases like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao needs an opponent that could carry his own weight rather than him being the one that does all the heavy lifting by being the only draw.

Crawford, Garcia and Broner lack the star power to help Pacquiao in any significant way for a PPV fight on HBO. The only way I see Pacquiao coming back to fight Crawford, Broner or Garcia would be if he wanted to do Arum a favor by helping him with a big promotion. Aside from that, I don’t see it as being worth it for Pacquiao to comeback for any of those small fights. The thing is, even Pacquiao did do Arum a favor by fighting Crawford, I think it wouldn’t end.

I think Arum would save another date in the future, hoping that Pacquiao will return to the ring and fight someone else that he’s picked out for him. The only time I think Arum would stop if Pacquiao no longer was capable of bringing in a lot of PPV buys. But as long as Pacquiao is still bringing in the PPV numbers, I think Arum would find another one of his Top Rank stable fighters that he would want him to fight.

What’s interesting is that Arum gives options for Pacquiao to choose from, and we see Pacquiao wind up fighting a Top Rank guy. We saw that last time when Amir Khan, Crawford and Bradley were potential options for Pacquiao. Instead of selecting Khan, Pacquiao went with Arum’s fighter Bradley for a third fight. In hindsight, it was a bad decision by Pacquiao because he likely would have made more money if he selected Khan or better yet, a popular fighter like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

If Pacquiao was still fighting, I think he would fight one of the gang of three that Arum has picked out for him, but I don’t see him coming back just so that he can fight one of them. I’m surprised that Arum would even bother mentioning those fighters. Those are such low level fights that it’s just not worth if for Pacquiao to fight any of them.

I know Arum is really high on Crawford right now, but honestly, I don’t see him ever being any more popular than Bradley. Arum has Crawford fighting on HBO PPV next month against WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol on July 23, but I suspect that fight will bring in dreadful PPV numbers. It’s not going to help Crawford being on PPV because it just means fewer people will see him fight.

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