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Donaire: Crawford needs Pacquiao to become a star

Manny Pacquiao Terence Crawford Timothy Bradley

By Patrick McHugh: WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire believes that light welterweight champion Terence Crawford is at the point where he absolutely needs a win over a big name like Manny Pacquiao for him to become the new star in the sport of boxing. Donaire sees it as a passing of the torch. He notes that Pacquiao become a huge PPV attraction in his own right after he beat an old lion in Oscar De La Hoya in 2008, and now it’s Crawford’s turn in needing a big name for him to get to the next level.

Donaire doesn’t think Pacquiao should take the fight with Crawford in his next fight. He thinks he should fight WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas in his next fight.

“It comes down to the torch. In order to do that, he has to beat guys that people know with the name,” said Donaire to about Crawford needing a name like Pacquiao to become a star. “It’s like when Pacquiao beat [Oscar] De La Hoya. Pacquiao skyrocketed. That’s pretty much what Terence needs to be able to be able to be known as one of the top guys now that people will watch [on PPV]. He definitely needs to do that to increase his name,” said Donaire.

Speaking about Pacquiao, Donaire said, “He should start with Jessie [Vargas]. Jessie is an incredible fighter too, and get to that level. Crawford is very young and very hungry. He’s not to that level yet where he’s been for years to become number one,” said Donaire.
Crawford needs the Pacquiao fight, but he might not get it.

Pacquiao has a lot of self-respect, and he’s also a senator in the Philippines. It wouldn’t be a good career move for Pacquiao to take a tricky fighter like Crawford because of the chances of him being made to look bad. Pacquiao does well against guys that stand and fight. Crawford isn’t one of those types of fighters. He’s a crafty defensive wizard that is perfect satisfied in moving for 12 rounds to frustrate his opponents.

Crawford has one important person on his side in Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in his hopes of getting a fight against Pacquiao. Arum wants the same thing that Crawford does, because his success translates to the success of his promotional company Top Rank.

With Pacquiao heading towards a permanent retirement in the near future, Arum needs someone that can become his next money guy to keep money flow to his company. Without Crawford being able to step into the lurch to be his new money fighter, Arum is going to be soon out of luck. He doesn’t have anyone else in his Top Rank stable that is suitable to be his next PPV fighter. Crawford is the only guy. But for Crawford to become a PPV star, he needs Pacquiao’s scalp.

Pacquiao can make an old man [Arum] happy if he bends over backwards and gives Crawford the fight and the chance to beat him and likely make him look as bad as he made De La Hoya look bad in 2008. Arum can put Crawford against anyone else at 140 to turn him into a star because the division is filled with no names.

Arum can’t match Crawford against the top welterweights in the division because those guys are big punchers and they would have an excellent chance of knocking Crawford out no matter how much movement he used. The top welterweights know how to cut off the ring in the same way that Gennady Golovkin does to get their pounds of flesh. Arum’s last and only hope to make Crawford the next money guy to keep the Top Rank revenue flow going is to have Pacquiao take one for the team to take on the totally defensive-minded Crawford.

By asking Pacquiao to fight Crawford, Arum is basically asking him to fight the light welterweight division’s version of Guillermo Rigondeaux in Terence Crawford. There is no difference at all between the way that Rigondeaux and Crawford fight. The only difference is that HBO seems more willing to televise Crawford’s fights than Rigondeaux’s despite the two of them being the same in terms of their styles of fighting. It could be that fans are more willing to accept Crawford than Rigondeaux because he fights in a popular division at 147 rather than the 122lb division for Rigondeaux. If Pacquiao does agree to fight Crawford, he would be seen as doing it to please his aging promoter Arum.

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