Pacquiao possible for undercard assignment on Horn-Crawford on 4/14
By Chris Williams: Bob Arum of Top Rank hasn’t said yet whether Manny Pacquiao will be the main event on the April 14th Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford card on ESPN pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden in New York.
If Pacquiao, 39, ends up on the undercard, it would be massive drop off from the former PPV star. Going from being a big money PPV guy just 3 years ago to fighting on Crawford’s undercard, it would shocking fall. What makes it hard to stick Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) in the main event on the April 14th card is Arum could match him up against the faded former light welterweight champion Mike Alvarado instead of a good fighter.
Alvarado saw his career go downhill over 2,000 yesterday’s ago. It’s been a long time since Alvarado was a relevant guy. Having Pacquiao in the main event on the April 14th card would make sense if Arum would match him up against a fighter the boxing fans interested in seeing. If Arum is going to waste Pacquiao by matching him against an over-the-hill fighter like Alvarado, then of course that’s not a fight that can be advertised as the main event on a PPV card.
Having Pacquiao-Alvarado being sold as a PPV feature bout is like repellent to keep the fans away. But at the same time, Crawford vs. Horn is almost as bad. That’s a terrible fight. Horn, 29, is only known by the hardcore boxing fans in the U.S, and they only know him from his controversial win over Pacquiao last July in Brisbane, Australia.
Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) didn’t impressive anybody with his victory over the 39-year-old Pacquiao. Horn got away with a win, and he roughed Pacquiao up for 12 rounds with a lot of head-butting and shoving. That was a fight that begged a quality referee to step in and disqualify Horn for his roughhouse tactics. The casual fans in the U.S don’t know who Jeff Horn is.
So if Arum is going to try sell a PPV fight with Crawford vs. Horn as the fight that’s advertised, I see it being a failure in terms of bringing in a lot of PPV buys. If Arum were clever, he would get a decent opponent like Adrien Broner or Lucas Matthysse and match one of them against Pacquiao for the main event, and then stick Crawford-Horn as the co-feature bout. You’ve got to do that if you’re thinking clearly. I would never in a million years try and sell Horn vs. Crawford as the main event on PPV. That’s a disaster. The knowledgeable boxing fans know that’s a mismatch, and it’s one that is compelling enough to want to purchase it because there’s no drama. You know who’s going to win. It’s a slam dunk for Crawford. Asking boxing fans to pay to see a mismatch in the main event between Crawford and the co-feature between Pacquiao and Alvarado is a wrong-headed idea.
Pacquiao doesn’t need a tune-up against Alvarado. That’s crazy. If Arum is serious about wanting to make that fight, then someone with Top Rank company needs to be courageous and tell Arum that idea is a failure waiting to happen. I wouldn’t make that move if I was Arum. Of course, I would have dumped Alvarado years ago when his career went belly up. I wouldn’t have kept him on board all these years.
Putting Alvarado in with Pacquiao is an insane move. If Arum wants boxing fans to purchase his April 14th card on ESPN PPV, then he needs to get someone good for Pacquiao to fight, and then stick Crawford and Horn in the co-feature. The boxing fans will purchase the card based on who Pacquiao is fighting and see the Horn-Crawford fight as baggage that goes with it. I don’t see more than a handful of fans that will be eager to purchase the April 14th card because they badly want to see Horn and Crawford go at it, because it’s a mismatch and Crawford has dull, counter punching style. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Crawford is not. He’s not even close to being like Mayweather.
If Pacquiao ends up on as an undercard fight on the Crawford vs. Horn card, he only has himself to blame. He could always say no to Arum if he wanted, and reject the idea of fighting Crawford as well. It’s believed that Arum wants to match Pacquiao against Crawford if the two fighters win their next fights on April 14.The image of Pacquiao being matched against Crawford is a disturbing one in which the Filipino star being relegated to being a stepping stone for a fighter that might not ever become a PPV star in his own right. An inventive promoter could a lot more out of the final year or 2 of Pacquiao’s career than feeding him to a guy like Crawford. It’s a bad style match-up for Pacquiao to be put in with a defensive-minded counter puncher like Crawford, and it’s not a fight that will bring in a lot of buys on PPV. Arum could do a lot better if he let Pacquiao end his career fighting guys like Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Brandon Rios, Sergey Lipinets, Mikey Garcia and Vasyl Lomachenko. Those are all guys that Pacquiao would have at least a decent chance of beating. Putting Pacquiao in with Crawford is going to hurt his career, and prevent him from getting the most use out of the remaining time he has in the sport.
Horn vs. Crawford is almost finalized, according Arum.
”I don’t do percentages. Close is not there,” Arum said to ESPN.com. There is signed contracts. But we’re working hard to get the thing done and, hopefully, we’ll get it done pretty soon.”
The Crawford vs. Horn fight will be finalized at some point unless the Australian wants to vacate and take on Anthony Mundine. I don’t think Horn is going to do that. Crawford needs Horn’s WBO welterweight title as a lure to get the other top welterweights Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman to fight him in a unification fight. It’s a big question mark whether any of those fights will ever happen. If they, Crawford is going to take major head shots that he never had to take before fighting the mediocre fighters that he has been dining on at 140 in beating guys like Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz, John Molina Jr., Dierry Jean, Hank Lundy, Thomas Dulorme, and Viktor Postol. None of those guys would last for more 6 rounds against Spence and Thurman.