By Kenneth Friedman: Bob Arum believes he has a way of putting together the long-anticipated fight between WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and WBA champ Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao after the current crisis ends. Top Rank promoter Arum says Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) and his team reached out to him about making the fight with Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs).
With everything that’s happened recently with the pandemic, Arum hasn’t been able to pursue the big fights for Crawford against Pacquiao as well as IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs). If not for the pandemic, Crawford and Spence would be fighting later this year.
Instead, that fight will need to wait until 2021, at the very least. Boxing needs to restart before Arum can start planning to put Crawford in with Spence and Pacquiao.
Manny is coming off of what some fans view as a career-best win over WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman last July. If Crawford could face Pacquiao next, he would be catching him at an ideal time.
Pacquiao vs. Crawford can happen
“If we hadn’t had this [global pandemic] situation and if we’d continued doing fights in March and to this day, we’d be talking about a Crawford-Spence fight towards the end of the year,” said Arum to Top Rank Boxing. “So I’m optimistic that it’ll happen next year once this situation clears itself up and once we’re operating as usual again.
“Pacquiao and his people have reached out to me on the possibility of a Crawford fight, and we were hoping to schedule that fight outside of the United States. We’ll have to see. But it’s certainly an interesting fight, and once this clears up, I think we have a way where it can happen.
Crawford reminds Arum of Donald Curry
“The fighter he reminds me the most of is Donald Curry,” said Arum when asked who Crawford reminds him of. “Crawford was such a great welterweight, a good puncher with a lot of skills. A lot of people thought that Curry during his heyday was going to eclipse the great Sugar Ray Leonard. Whenever I see Crawford fight, I always think back to Donald Curry.
“It’s very hard to compare the welterweight fighters from today [from the ones in the past] because the one’s today have the benefit of better nutrition, better training, more advanced training than the welterweights than Ray and Curry’s era,” said Arum.
The 5’9 1/2″ Donald Curry (34-6, 25 KOs) was a bigger fighter than Crawford and had more punching power. During the prime of his career in the 1980s, Curry held the IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight titles. However, he didn’t last long as an elite fighter, as he was dethroned by Lloyd Honeyghan in 1986 in an upset sixth-round stoppage. Curry’s career was never the same after that defeat.
Arum: Pulev will beat Joshua, then face Fury
“The one area that you can make a contrast is in the heavyweight division. People have asked me how I thought Ali was the greatest of his time with Tyson Fury. I said, ‘That’s an unfair question to ask because we never saw Muhammad Ali with an athlete as good and as agile and as big as Tyson Fury.
“When Ali was fighting, he was considered a big heavyweight when he was barely 6’3″. He never fought great athletes 6’6″, 6’9”. How would he have fared against a guy with that bulk and that size and that athletic ability?
“The fight I’m looking forward to is [Tyson] Fury against [Kubrat] Pulev after Pulev knocks Joshua out,” said Arum. “So I’m not counting on Joshua for Fury because after Pulev gets finished with him, there won’t be a Joshua,” said Arum.
A win for Kubrat Pulev over IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would be a huge upset. Most fans believe that the 38-year-old Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) has virtually no chance of beating Joshua at this point in his career.
Perhaps if Pulev had caught Joshua in 2019 before he fought Andy Ruiz Jr. for the first time, he would have stood a better chance of beating him. At that time, Joshua was carrying around a lot of muscle weight, and he was brawling more. Joshua’s seventh-round knockout defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June of 2019 woke him up, resulting in him becoming more of a boxer.
Inoue vs. Casimero possible in Japan
“I would say no,” said Arum when asked if bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue will be fighting in Las Vegas, Nevada next. “They have very relaxed rules in Japan, and now their number of cases and situation in Japan has really picked up. So Japan now is under a state of emergency.
“One thing we were considering was having John Riel Casimero go over to Japan and do that fight in Japan. At one point, it appeared possible, but it no longer possible. Inoue won’t be able to come over here anytime soon. But unfortunately, that fight is on the backburner.
“Casimero has stayed over in the United States, so perhaps we can do another fight for him because he’s a champion for one of the organizations [WBO] that Inoue is not a champion of,” said Arum.
IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue and WBO champion John Riel Casimero could be fighting after the sport restarts. Inoue is coming off of a grueling 12 round decision win over Nonito Donaire in a fight that saw both fighters badly hurt. For his part, Casimero destroyed former WBO champion Zolani Tete.
Ramirez vs. Taylor coming soon
“We’re looking forward to a Jose Ramirez vs. Josh Taylor fight,” said Arum. “They both have interim fights. We’re looking forward to [Miguel] Berchelt vs. [Oscar] Valdez. That is going to be a classic.
“Lomachenko and Lopez, we’re really looking forward to that. We don’t know what the situation is there. We’re going to have to be really innovative because we can’t get the exact fights that we want while we’re doing this during this uncertain period,” said Arum.
WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez still plans on defending his WBC title against mandatory Viktor Postol when the sport restarts. After that fight, we could see a unification between Ramirez and IBF/WBA champion Josh Taylor.