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Pacquiao fight at stake for Crawford vs. Postol winner

Manny Pacquiao Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol have a great deal at stake for their fight this Saturday night on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of the fight could wind up in the ring facing PPV star Manny Pacquiao on November 5. The 37-year-old Pacquiao retired recently after beating Tim Bradley last April by a 12 round decision.

Pacquiao won a seat in the senate in the Philippines, but he still wants to fight and has a little time to go through a brief training camp. His promoter Bob Arum isn’t sure if Pacquiao will fight at 140 or 147 when he does come back. However, Arum has been talking a great deal about the possibility of Pacquiao fighting the winner of the Crawford-Postol fight.

It obviously will be a disappointment to Arum if Pacquiao turns up his nose to fighting the winner of the Crawford vs. Postol fight.

The other fighter in the Pacquiao sweepstakes besides the winner of the Crawford vs. Postol fight is WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs). He’s seen as the No.2 backup in case Crawford loses on Saturday night.

Postol isn’t seen as having much of a chance at getting the Pacquiao fight no matter what he does against Crawford. Arum will likely match Pacquiao against Vargas if Crawford loses to Postol, because Vargas arguably has a better chance of bringing fans in to purchase the fight on PPV than the Ukrainian Postol.

The reality is that none of the three candidates that Arum has hand-picked for Pacquiao to select from are big enough names to bring in a lot of PPV buys, which is why it seems like such a bad idea for Pacquiao fight any of those guys. Pacquiao would be better off ignoring Arum’s three choices and instead look to fight Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

Even if Pacquiao wants to say no to facing the winner of the Crawford-Postol fight, his 84-year-old promoter has created so much interest in him facing the winner of that fight that it may be impossible for Pacquiao not to take the winner.

Crawford vs. Postol start time: 9:00 p.m. ET.

Where to see the Crawford-Postol fight? HBO pay-per-view.

Location of the fight: MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The winner of the Crawford and Postol fight will be seen as the No.1 fighter in the light welterweight division. That doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot because the top guys have already blown town with Adrien Broner, Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia all having moved up to the welterweight division. The winner of the Postol vs. Crawford fight will be proclaimed as the top dog at light welterweight by their promoter Bob Arum. He’ll conveniently not point out that the best guys have already filtered up to the welterweight division where the money is better and the talent deeper.

Being the No. 1 fighter at 140 no longer means anything at this point. But that won’t prevent Arum from crowing about having the No.1 fighter in a barren division. It’ll be up to the casual and hardcore boxing fans to figure out that the 140lb division isn’t what it used to be. If someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr. was still around, he would likely whip both Crawford and Postol on the same night if he was interested in moving down to 140 and taking a small payday against Arum’s fighters.

It’ll be interesting to see if Pacquiao just willingly agrees to fight Crawford if he beats Postol on Saturday night. Arum has said that Adrien Broner asked for more than what he was willing to pay. Arum further said that he didn’t speak to manager Al Haymon about a match-up between his fighter Danny Garcia and Pacquiao despite Garcia saying that he was offered the fight. When Arum was asked whether he would be interested in matching Pacquiao against WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman, he said that if Thurman wants the fight, then he should tell Haymon.

Apparently, Arum didn’t talk to Haymon about a fight between Pacquiao and Thurman. That’s a fight that would likely easily surpass a fight between Pacquiao and Crawford, Postol or WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas. As a promoter, it would make sense for Arum to have spoken to Haymon about having Danny Garcia or Thurman fight Pacquiao rather than only asking about the struggling Broner.

To some, that would appear to be a cherry picking move by Arum looking to match Pacquiao against Broner rather than Thurman or Danny Garcia. The time for Arum to have matched Pacquiao against Broner would appear to have passed anyway, because he’s now in jail after being charged with contempt of court for being late for court earlier this week. Arum should have matched Pacquiao against Broner last April instead of putting him in with his own Top Rank fighter Tim Bradley. The fight bombed in bringing in around 300,000 PPV buys.

Arum has made it a point in almost every interview that’s he’s given that the winner of the Crawford vs. Postol fight could be in the ring with Pacquiao. I doubt that Pacquiao has told Arum to say these things. I believe the elderly promoter is likely doing that on his own both to drum up badly needed interest from boxing fans in paying to see the Crawford-Postol fight on PPV and also to put pressure on Pacquiao to take on the winner. Arum would be greatly helped if Pacquiao were to fight the winner so that the value of Crawford or Postol is increased for his Top Rank stable.

You can argue that the co-feature bout between featherweight contenders Oscar Valdez (19-0, 17 KOs) and Matias Adrian Rueda (26-0, 23 KOs) might be the most interesting fight on the card. Valdez and Rueda are fighting for the vacant WBO featherweight title that was recently made vacant by Arum’s fighter Vasyl Lomachenko moving up to super featherweight.
Other fights on the undercard are as follows:

Jose Benavidez Jr. (24-0, 16 KOs) battling Francisco Santana (24-4-1, 12 KOs) in welterweight action in a fight that is scheduled for 10 rounds. This isn’t that great of a fight because these guys aren’t major players at 147 and likely won’t be. Benavidez is one of Arum’s fighters, but he’s not been tested as of yet. In the fights that he’s had, he’s not looked particularly impressive.

Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk (10-0, 10 KOs) will be fighting Tommy Karpency (26-5-1, 15 KOs) in a 10 round fight. This isn’t such a great fight. Karpency was knocked out in the 3rd round last September by WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.

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