Arum : Khan won’t be Pacquiao’s next fight
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is saying that his fighter Manny Pacquiao WON’T be fighting Amir Khan next in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for hi next fight. The $38 million offer that came from someone in the UAE turned out to be a valid one. Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz reportedly just found out on Tuesday about the offer not being a real one.
The 85-year-old Arum is now giving Pacquiao another option for his next fight, which will be taking place in June or July. Arum isn’t saying who it is. He’s going to have Koncz speak to Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) about the opponent before he goes forward with the fight. The option that Arum has for Pacquiao is a predictable one.
Arum had been trying to put together a fight between Pacquiao and little known but highly ranked #2 WBO contender Jeff Horn before an offer from the UAE for the Pacquiao vs. Khan fight popped up. It’s quite possible that Arum will start with the Horn negotiations once again.
“Michael is on his way back to meet with Manny but it’s kaddish for the UAE deal. It’s dead,” Arum said via ESPN.com. “I’m talking to him about another proposal for another fight, not Khan. Khan won’t be Manny’s next opponent.”
It would be great if Arum were to try and get a popular fighter for Pacquiao to face for a change. I don’t think that’s going to happen though. What’s unclear is why the Pacquiao-Khan fight still can’t take place anyway. It’s still a fight that HBO might be interested in putting on pay-per-view. With Arum putting Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga on PPV, it would make sense for him to match Pacquiao vs. Khan on PPV as well.
Pacquiao has been rumored to have been offered $5 million for the Horn fight. If that offer is real, it’s a huge drop off from the days when Pacquiao was making big money. Pacquiao’s popular seems to have dropped in his last two fights following his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015.
You can make a HUGE argument that the match-making that Arum has been doing for Pacquiao lately hasn’t helped his PPV numbers. Pacquiao has been matched against Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas in his last two fights. Those were not great match-ups. Those were fights that were much doomed to low PPV numbers the moment they were made. Both fighters are in Arum’s Top Rank stable though.
“UAE would not happen until November, if it happens at all, but I doubt it will,” Arum said.
Some boxing fans think that Arum never wanted Pacquiao to fight Khan in the first place. These fans think that Arum was stuck on wanting to match Pacquiao against Jeff Horn, and he wasn’t give up on that fight. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s who Pacquiao ends up fighting.
If Pacquiao loses to the 28-year-old Horn, then it turns the Australian fighter into an immediate major player in the welterweight division. I don’t see Horn ever fighting any of the popular guys, but I can see him defending the WBO welterweight title against Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas. That belt seems to be switching hands with Top Rank fighters lately.
Horn would become at least known to the U.S casual boxing fans if he beats the 38-year-old Pacquiao, who you can argue would be a stepping stone for Horn. If that’s the best deal that Arum has for Pacquiao, then he might get stuck fighting him rather than a more popular fighter that the U.S boxing public has heard about. It would be nice though if Arum found a good opponent for Pacquiao to fight that the fans in the U.S care about seeing him fight.
Arum’s fighter Terence Crawford still doesn’t have an opponent for his next fight on May 20th. I would be willing to bet that Crawford is one of the options, if not the only option, that Arum offers Pacquiao as a replacement for Khan. Pacquiao vs. Khan would likely bring in my PPV buys on HBO, but it doesn’t look like Arum is interested in making that one. Pacquiao vs. Crawford might do similar PPV numbers as the recent Jessie Vargas fight. It might bring in 300,000 buys for Pacquiao.
I don’t see the upside in Pacquiao fighting Crawford. I can see how it would potentially help Crawford and Arum if he wins, because it would make Crawford a slightly bigger name and hence more valuable in the future as a draw. But as far as Pacquiao goes, there’s no real advantage for him in fighting Crawford. He might lose to Crawford because he runs around the ring a lot, and he’s hard to hit. It’s a bad match-up. Crawford vs. Errol Spence is a better match-up. Spence is good at pressuring runners and forcing them to fight. Crawford is not showing interest in moving up to welterweight though, and I can see why. He would have problems against Spence and Keith Thurman.
If Jeff Horn isn’t the option for Paquiao’s next fight, then it’s quite possible that it’ll be one of Arum’s other Top Rank stable fighters. After all, Arum tends to match Pacquiao against a lot of his own fighters. As far as I can tell, Pacquiao has fought 11 out of his last 14 fights against Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters. The guys that weren’t in Arum’s Top Rank stable were as follows: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Chris Algieri and Ricky Hatton. Coming events cast their shadows before. Arum will probably offer Pacquiao a fight against one of the following fighters from his Top Rank stable:
Those are all terrible options for Pacquiao, but if that’s all that offered to him by Arum, he’ll have to make a choice. It’s unclear whether Pacquiao would just sit on the shelf and not fight at all if he rejects those options. It would be nice if Arum were to match Pacquiao against one of these fighters: