By Jeff Aronow: Bob Arum of Top Rank is saying that they’re looking to put together a fight between Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao. Arum told IFL the Pacquiao vs. Crawford unification fight is possible, but they just need a foreign country to come up with the money to pay the site fee.
Whether there’s a country willing to put up a hefty site fee between the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion Crawford (36-0, 27 K.O.s) and WBA champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 K.O.s) is unknown at this time.
With the global pandemic, this would be a horrible time to put on a fight between Pacquiao and Crawford and ask boxing fans to pay to watch on on pay-per-view in the U.S.
Even at a significantly reduced price, a fight between those two, fans would likely resist ordering it. To be sure, it’s not that boxing fans wouldn’t have idle curiosity in seeing the 41-year-old Pacquiao fight Crawford, it’s just the timing would be wrong.
Pacquiao vs. Crawford is a fight that Top Rank might need to put off for a year or two. If the pandemic is still wreaking havoc in 2021, it would be an insane idea to attempt to peddle a fight between Crawford and Pacquiao on pay-per-view.
Pacquiao vs. Crawford needs a country to pay a site fee
“Crawford and Pacquiao is a real possibility, and that’s one of the things we’re working on,” said Arum to IFL TV. “Now it would be a possibility if some country or sports authority from a country put up the money for a site fee. Because without a site fee, given the situation now, you couldn’t do it.
“Who’s going to pay for it. You’re going to have to realistically lower the pay-per-view in the United States, which in my opinion were too high, to begin with. That’s what I’ve been told.
“In the United States, where you charge $80, you’re not going to get it in this climate. So we’re going to have to lower the prices, and that’s going to require a big site fee from wherever to do a Pacquiao-Crawford fight. If we secure that site fee, I think Pacquiao wants to fight Crawford, and Crawford wants to fight Pacquiao,” said Arum.
If Arum is going to lower the price for the Pacquiao-Crawford, he might be able to get away with selling it during the crisis. It would have to be at a dramatically reduced price that would make the fight not worth putting on. If the site fee that they get from a foreign country like Saudi Arabia is enough to satisfy all those involved, then it wouldn’t be as big a deal if the pay-per-view sales in the U.S. are dreadfully bad.
Pacquiao is no longer a big PPV star, and Crawford has NEVER been able to bring in buys. It would be a poor fight to stage on PPV now even in the future. Pacquiao is better off fighting Keith Thurman in a rematch or taking on Errol Spence, but those fights would need to take place after the economy rebounds.
Arum: Crawford vs. McGregor is “nonsense”
“Crawford-McGregor is nonsense,” said Arum. “The public at this stage is no going to spend money on nonsense, and Crawford-McGregor or Pacquiao-McGregor, they’re not real fights.
“McGregor is a terrific MMA fighter, but any decent welterweight or any decent fighter would beat McGregor in a boxing ring, and McGregor would beat any decent fighter in the octagon. So it’s two different sports. That is completely dead, yes,” said Arum when asked if he’s still interested in matching Crawford with McGregor.
“You take the tennis player Federer, who is a tremendous tennis player. And you take a golfer Tiger Woods. He’s a tremendous golfer, and he won the last Masters.
“If you have Federer play Tiger Woods in golf, would Federer have a chance? If you take Tiger Woods on a tennis court with Federer, would Tiger Woods have a chance? It’s a different sport. MMA and boxing are different sports,” said Arum.
Any boxer against McGregor would be a horrible fight, especially if you’re going to try and sell it to fans. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have Crawford or Pacquiao fight McGregor if the UFC start proved himself by beating a top 147 or 154-pound fighter first. Put McGregor in with someone like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Israil Madrimov, or Jarrett Hurd.
If McGregor can beat one of those guys, then go ahead and match him against Crawford or Pacquiao. But as of now, McGregor has had one fight in a boxing ring against Floyd Mayweather, and he looked frightful.
What’s sad is McGregor went into the Mayweather fight with a reputation as having excellent boxing skills for an MMA fighter. Against Mayweather, McGregor looked inept from start to finish.
Kell Brook an option for Crawford’s next fight
“I would love that, but right now, no one knows when you’ll be open in the U.K. just like no one knows when we’ll be open in the States,” said Arum about a fight between Crawford and Kell Brook in the U.K.
“Yeah, Crawford has a lot of guys to fight, and I don’t think Spence will go in right away against Crawford. I think that’ll be delayed until early next year, and Terence always wants to fight the best available guy.
“If that is Kell Brook, we’d do the fight in the U.K. Terence had a good experience and won his first title there, and he would not be averse to going over there and fighting Kell in the U.K.,” said Arum.
Kell Brook is probably going to be Crawford’s next opponent, which will be an upgrade for him. Though Brook has seen better days as a fighter, he’s world’s better than the fighters that Crawford has fought during his career.
The best name on Crawford’s resume is Amir Khan, and he didn’t look so great beating him with a low blow stoppage in 2019. Brook wants the fight with Crawford, and it should be an easy match to put together. For Top Rank’s sake, they’d better hope that Brook doesn’t have much left in the tank. The Brook that fought Errol Spence Jr. in 2017 would have a real shot at beating Crawford.