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Bob Arum: Crawford could fight Pacquiao or Porter next

Manny Pacquiao Terence Crawford

By Sean Jones: Bob Arum says he met with Shawn Porter’s dad Kenny Porter to start preliminary discussions for a fight against Terence Crawford in the spring.

Former IBF welterweight champion Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) is one of two options on the table for WBO 147-lb champion Crawford’s next fight.

Arum says Manny Pacquiao is also interested in facing Crawford next, and that’s the fight has a better chance of happening.  That match-up is preferable for Crawford because it’ll bring in more money than a Crawford-Porter fight would, says Arum.

Manny Pacquiao wants big money

Pacquiao reportedly wants $40 million to fight Crawford, and that might be too high of a figure for Arum to agree to.

“We told Bob [Arum] I get $40 million and Crawford gets $10 million,” Pacquiao said to the Daily Tribune in the Philippines.

The question is, will a fight between Pacquiao and Pacquiao bring in $50 million in 2021? Crawford isn’t a pay-per-view star, and this would arguably be a step backward for Pacquiao from his last fight against Keith Thurman.

Manny Pacquiao Terence Crawford

In terms of popularity and an ability to sell a fight, Crawford isn’t on the same level as Thurman.

Crawford isn’t a big draw, and it’s clearly too late in Pacquiao’s career for him to be getting that kind of money unless he was fighting a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Gone are the days were Pacquiao routinely brought in over 1 million pay-per-view buys. At this point, Pacquiao vs. Crawford would be lucky if it brought in 300,000 buys.

Arum starts preliminary discussions

“Shawn’s father, Kenny, came to see us, and we had preliminary discussions, and let’s see if it can happen,” said Arum to Fighthype about early talks about a fight between Shawn Porter and Crawford.

“There’s also Manny Pacquiao, who has said that he wants to fight Terence Crawford. Let’s see if that can happen, but as far as Crawford is concerned, he’s in a good position,” said Arum.

Porter was complaining recently about only getting a $1 million offer for the Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) fight, and that tells you the interest on Arum’s part in that fight is low.

Whatever amount that Porter has in his head that he wants for the Crawford fight might not be realistic. Arum wants to wait until crowds return in the late spring, but it’s still not a fight that will bring in a huge group.

If Arum wants to pack a stadium like the newly created Allegiant in Las Vegas, he will need Errol Spence or Pacquiao as the opponent for Crawford. Porter isn’t a big enough draw.

Porter is more of a B-side opponent for the top guys, Spence, Pacquiao, and Crawford. Even if Porter were facing Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman, he’d likely be the B-side.

Pacquiao more likely for Crawford

“Obviously, Manny because there’s more money in a Manny fight,” said Arum when asked which of the two fights are more probable for Crawford.

“I’m a big Shawn Porter fan; he’s a lovely kid and a brave warrior. No one in the welterweight division that goes in with Shawn Porter gets an easy fight.

“Absolutely, that’s what I would hope for, yeah,” Arum said when asked if he’s counting on Crawford facing Pacquiao or Porter next.

Manny Pacquiao Terence Crawford

Unless Arum can bring in the kind of money that Pacquiao is asking to fight Crawford, it doesn’t look realistic. At this point, it might not be practical for Pacquiao to get even $20 million for a fight against Crawford.

You have to figure that if Pacquiao wants $20M, Crawford would want similar money to make the match happen.

If Crawford insists on getting $15 million for a Pacquiao fight, will the match generate $35 million to cover their purses?

In this day and age, probably not. Crawford isn’t a big enough star, and the 42-year-old Pacquiao is no longer the marquee guy he once was a decade ago.

Arum wants Crawford to fight in the late Spring

“I would hope to do that fight in late spring so I can count on at least some spectators,” Arum continued. “I can’t keep doing these fights with no spectators.

“And I talked to the governor in Nevada, and he thinks we’re going to be opening up slowly in May.

“Certainly by June, maybe we can do an Allegiant Stadium or T-Mobile or MGM Grand at 60 or 70% [capacity],” said Arum.

Crawford can definitely fight in the spring, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be against Pacquiao or Porter.

The lowball offer that Porter is talking about getting for the Crawford fight tells you all you need to know about the level of interest they have in him as Terence’s opponent.

Crawford vs. Porter likely won’t sell a ton of buys on pay-per-view, and it never will. Moreover, it’s a risky fight for Crawford to take, as he’s someone that needs to have space between him and his opponents to get his shots off.

With Porter, he would smother Crawford all night, lean on his chest, and beat him up. Counter-punchers are helpless when they’re trapped in an inside fight.

All the counter-punching and switch-hitting that Crawford likes to do would be extinguished by Porter, who would smother him all night and beat him up in close.

Arum likely knows that, which is why he’s not excited about making that fight. Porter is all wrong for Crawford, and he always will be.  Even if they made this fight in ten years from now, Porter would take away all Crawford’s weapons by staying in close and terrorizing him.

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