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Bradley favors Crawford over Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao Terence Crawford Timothy Bradley

(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada) By Dan Ambrose: Former world champion Tim Bradley says he’s picking WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford to defeat Manny Pacquiao if the two of them face each other next on November 5. Bradley thinks the combination of Crawford’s size, power, boxing IQ and ring movement will be enough for him to defeat the 37-year-old Pacquiao. However, Bradley sees it as a tough fight for Crawford because Pacquiao isn’t one-dimensional like Crawford’s opponent from last Saturday night former WBC 140lb champion Viktor Postol (28-1, 12 KOs), who Bradley beat by a 12 round unanimous decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“He looked sensational. He has so many dimensions to his game,” said Bradley about Crawford to Hoopjab. “It’s a tough match [Crawford vs. Pacquiao]. I’m going to go with my boy, Terence. I think the IQ, and the movement. I think he will definitely give Manny problems with all that movement. I would favor my boy, Terence. With his size, I would favor him in a fight. With Manny, you can never count that guy out. He’s a beast,” said Bradley.

It’s still unknown at this point whether Pacquiao will agree to fight Crawford for his next fight. It’s been the 84-year-old promoter Bob Arum who has been planting the idea of Pacquiao facing Crawford potentially in November. Pacquiao hasn’t been saying this himself. It’s thought by some that the only reason that Arum had talking about the possibility of the fight taking place between Manny and Crawford was to try and pump up the pay-per-view sales for the Crawford-Postol fight.

There wasn’t much buzz about the Crawford vs. Postol fight in the last week before their fight last Saturday. Arum might have helped the PPV numbers by constantly saying that Crawford could wind up facing Pacquiao next. Whether Arum was serious or not is unknown. All we do know is that Arum has been silent about the Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight ever since last Saturday. Perhaps that’s not a fight that he was ever serious about making.

If I was in Arum’s shoes, I wouldn’t want to put the two of them together, because if Pacquiao loses the fight, he would retire and I would be losing my only PPV attraction. I would realize that Crawford doesn’t bring in money, so I wouldn’t want to waste Manny by putting him in with him, because even if Crawford wins, he still likely will never be a PPV attraction. He doesn’t have the exciting fighting style or the personality in my opinion to be a PPV star. He also doesn’t have a built in fan base like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the U.S.

Crawford has a fan base in Omaha, Nebraska, a small city in the U.S. The population of Omaha is less than a million. It would be a bone-headed move by Arum if he were to match Pacquiao against Crawford, because he would potentially be losing his only PPV attraction. You’d like to think that Arum is smart enough still to realize that it would be stupid move on his part to make that fight. We didn’t see Arum matching Oscar Valdez with Vasyl Lomachenko when the two of them were in the featherweight division at the same time, so I suspect that he won’t make the wrong move of matching Crawford against Pacquiao, because he stands to lose a lot more from that fight.

When asked if Crawford can handle moving up to 147 to fight at welterweight, Bradley said, “Easy. Terence probably walks around at 152. That will be an easy fight for him. He’ll be stronger at 147. He kind of reminds me of Andre Ward, and reminds me of Floyd Mayweather. He knows how to fight backing up. He sets traps. He’s super smart. I’ve been in with Manny. He isn’t like Postol. He isn’t just going to stand there and [and throw repetitive jabs and right hands].”

I personally wouldn’t want to see Pacquiao fight Crawford, because the aging Filipino fighter would have to chase him around the ring and he doesn’t have the style to beat guys that run and hold like Crawford. The guys that do have the style to destroy a fighter like Crawford is welterweight Errol Spence, a fighter that is very similar to middleweight Gennady Golovkin. Spence thrives on cutting off the ring against runners and clinchers like Crawford. Spence would chop Crawford up without any problems, because there would be no escape for him. Holding wouldn’t work against Spence because he batters his opponents with a free arm when he’s being held. If Crawford tries to clinch, he’ll get bludgeoned repeatedly by one of Spence’s free arms until he’s forced to let go. Believe me, Crawford would only clinch once against Spence and would never do it again after the first time.

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