Beristain thinks Pacquiao shouldn’t fight Crawford or Lomachenko
By Chris Williams: Trainer Nacho Beristain thinks it’s a bad idea for Manny Pacquiao to fight Terence Crawford or Vasyl Lomachenko at this point in his career, according to ESPN Deportes. Beristain says the 39-year-old Pacquiao should think carefully before he makes the decision to fight either of those guys.
Pacquiao looked like his old self last Saturday night in defeating Lucas Matthysse to win the WBA World welterweight title in Malaysia, but he wasn’t facing Crawford or Lomachenko in those fights.
”I would not like those fights that talk of Lomachenko or Crawford,” said Beristain to ESPN Deportes. “I’ve always hated that a promoter wants to take advantage of the remains of a fighter who must go to the museum of glory to serve as a step to another.”
Lomachenko and Crawford are both promoted by Bob Arum of Top Rank, the longtime former promoter for Pacquiao. Arum wants Pacquiao to fight Lomachenko or Crawford. Arum would likely be ecstatic if Pacquiao were o fight both guys, as it would increase he popularity of his fighters, even though the Filipino fighter is well past his prime. Right now, Arum still doesn’t have a replacement fighter to step in as a pay-per-view money maker since Pacquiao left his promotional company.
Crawford and Lomachenko have a lot of hardcore boxing fans, but they’re not popular enough for them to move to the next level as big money pay-per-view fighters. If they can each defeat Pacquiao, then they might be able to take their careers to the next level by using him as a stepping stone. Obviously it’s more than a little sad that Pacquiao would be reduced to the level of a stepping stone for Lomachenko and/or Crawford, as neither of them is likely going to accomplish the things that he did during his career.
Beristain thinks Pacquiao would have at least a chance if he fought Lomachenko, but even that fight he thinks would be bad for him. Whatever chance that Pacquiao would have to beat Lomachenko would likely go out the window after he drains down to 135 in order to fight him. According to Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimis, they want Pacquiao to move down in weight two weight classes from welterweight to fight Lomachenko at lightweight. There will be no catch-weight for Pacquiao. That would give Lomachenko a huge advantage to go along with his youth advantage.
“I see very difficult that a fighter like Pacquiao who wins as many titles as he did, and they want to take advantage to beat him with Crawford. Maybe with Lomachenko have some opportunity, but I do not like that fight,” Beristain said.
Beristain says he would like to see Arum match Lomachenko against Crawford rather than Pacquiao. Beristain sees Lomachenko vs. Crawford as a good fight. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Arum will ever match Crawford and Lomachenko against each other. He’s not mentioned wanting to put that fight together for some reason. With Lomachenko and Crawford still young at 30, it would hurt the loser of that fight’s popularity perhaps permanently.
With Pacquiao being old and no longer one of Arum’s fighters, it’s less of a problem if he loses. Arum matched Pacquiao against fellow Top Rank fighter Jeff Horn last year, and he lost to him in a controversial decision. It would be nice if Arum matched Lomachenko and Crawford against each other. Lomachenko likely would never agree to a size mismatch like that. In Pacquiao’s case, he started his pro career at light flyweight (108 lbs.) at a lighter weight than Lomachenko, who started his career out at 126. You would think that it would be less of a need for Lomachenko to have Pacquiao come down in weight so far when he’s not a natural welterweight.
It would be nice to see Crawford fight someone bigger than himself like Jermall Charlo or Gennady Golovkin. Those would be fun fights to watch. Would Arum let Crawford fight Golovkin or Charlo? I seriously doubt it.