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Bob Arum says Pacquiao vs. Crawford possible overseas with new site fee

Manny Pacquiao Shawn Porter Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: Bob Arum says a new site fee possibility emerged to stage a mega-fight between Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao overseas, and he says if it’s going to happen, he’ll find out this week.

If not, Arum says he’ll look to put together a match between Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) and #1 WBO Shawn Porter, who has been pushing hard for the fight.

Using Porter for Crawford would be the equivalent of Arum hitting the red nuclear button. It would likely end with Crawford getting roughed up and stopped by Porter

According to Arum, he has a “tremendous site fee” that he’s exploring for the Pacquiao-Crawford fight. Whether it’s a real offer is something he’ll find out this week.

For the average hardcore boxing fan, they’d prefer to see Crawford fight Porter or Errol Spence Jr, as they’re both younger fighters.

It’s not as interesting for many fans to see Crawford fighting the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who isn’t in his prime any longer, and he hasn’t fought in two years since 2019.

The site fee that Arum is talking about for the Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight would potentially make it well worth it for them to go in that direction if it’s a real offer and not a mirage.

It’s hard to imagine a country overseason getting excited about seeing Pacquiao fight Crawford. A far better fight would be for Pacquiao to face Errol Spence Jr because he would be taking on a pay-per-view fighter.

Crawford has brought in poor PPV numbers when he’s attempted to fight on pay-per-view in the past.

Crawford – Pacquiao possible overseas

“He [Kenny Porter] came to our office two weeks ago to talk about a Crawford – Porter fight, and then out of nowhere the idea of a tremendous site fee, a possibility of doing Pacquiao-Crawford came up,” said Arum to Barbershop Conversations.

Manny Pacquiao Shawn Porter Terence Crawford

“Obviously, it’s more money for Terence. Terence would prefer a Pacquiao fight than anyone else. Yeah, we’re going to see what happens, and we’ll know this week whether Pacquiao-Crawford can happen.

“If it doesn’t happen, since [Errol] Spence clearly doesn’t want to fight Crawford, I think Crawford-Porter would be a tremendous fight.

“Yeah, come on,” said Arum when asked if Spence doesn’t want to fight Crawford. “Crawford wants to fight Spence, but Spence has said loud and clear he doesn’t want to fight Crawford,” said Arum.

It would be astounding if the Pacquiao vs. Crawford overseas site fee offer turns out to be the real McCoy. Arum has been talking about wanting to make the fight between Pacquiao and Crawford for eons, and it’s forlorn already.

Fans are jaded when it comes to Arum talking about the Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight between it’s gone on too long. People have gotten their hopes up too many times, and nothing has happened.

Arum needs to come up with some new ideas for opponents for Crawford. How about putting the Crawford vs. Porter fight together already?

That’s a fight that Arum CAN make if he wants to. However, I can’t blame Arum for dragging his feet on making the match between them because Porter is all wrong for Crawford. We could see Porter do to Crawford what Oscar Valdez did to Miguel Berchelt last Saturday.

Pacquiao-Crawford would do big numbers

“Again, he has to make his own decisions,” Arum said about Spence showing little interest in Crawford fight.

Manny Pacquiao Shawn Porter Terence Crawford

“I’m sure if Spence wanted to fight Crawford, he would tell Al [Haymon] and Al and I would put it together. I mean, again, you can’t force a fighter to make any fight that he doesn’t really want to make.

“No,” said Arum when asked wouldn’t it be more money for Crawford if he accepted a 60-40 split with Spence rather than a $40 million vs. $10 million split for the Pacquiao fight for Crawford.

“I think Crawford-Spence would do extraordinary good numbers, but Pacquiao-Crawford has more money in it because of a site fee that distorts everything.

“In other words, maybe Crawford-Spence does better pay-per-view numbers than Pacquiao and Crawford, but again, that’s only a small part of the whole picture.

“Somebody is willing to spend big money to get the Crawford-Pacquiao fight and the site fee, that then distorts everything.

“Even though the pay-per-view numbers, the overall numbers are much bigger for the Pacquiao fight if the site fee materializes.

“You have to understand that the pay-per-view is only part of it. To make the pay-per-view really work, you have to have closed circuit.

“In the old days, we were doing between two and five million dollars button line from closed circuit, and I don’t really see closed circuit kicking in until the fall.

“Restaurants like the chain Buffalo Wings is under restrictions at various places. It has nothing to do with the quality of a fight.

“It has to do with the ability of these chains in the closed circuit. They can’t do it if they can’t get customers.

“We respect whatever position he takes,” said Arum about Spence choosing not to take the fight with Crawford now.

“He may feel it’s better for him to fight other people, it’s less risk, and maybe wait until down the road for a Crawford fight until all the economic engines are geared up, and the pandemic is in the rearview mirror,” said Arum.

Pacquiao vs. Crawford will do big site fee numbers if Arum’s offer becomes real and not just someone messing with him.

But as far as pay-per-view buys go, the fight would likely do fewer numbers than Pacquiao’s last contest against Keith Thurman.

Crawford doesn’t have much ability to sell fights, and he wouldn’t be able to do the job that Thurman did in singlehandedly marketing the fight with Manny.

Ugas not big enough name for Arum

“Let me be honest about it,” said Arum when asked if he’d look to set up a fight between Crawford and Yordenis Ugas. “Shawn Porter is a name and so forth.

“Ugas came into ‘The Bubble’ last night and nobody knew who he was. Belts don’t mean anything, this is an economic business,” Arum said when asked whether Crawford wouldn’t want Ugas’s WBA welterweight title.

“When we talk about unifications, that might make guys like you feel good. ‘Hey, he’s picking up another belt,’ but it also means an extra burden on the fighters because they’re paying increased sanctioning fees.

“I mean,  a unified champion has to pay four sanctioning fees. That’s a pretty big hit to have four belts.

“Last night, it was one organization, the green belt that they [Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez] fought for.

“If that was a unification fight, and they were fighting for two or three additional belts, all it would do is cost them money, cost the fighters money,” said Arum.

Yordenis Ugas would interest the U.S boxing fans for a fight Crawford about the same as his last two fights against Kell Brook and Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

Few American fans were interested in seeing Crawford fight Brook or Kavaliauskas, yet he still fought them.

So if Arum was willing to put together fights between Crawford and those two guys, he should have no problems matching him against Ugas. I mean, what’s the difference?

Vergil Ortiz could be an option for Crawford

“[Vergil] Ortiz is a terrific young fighter, and Oscar [De La Hoya] and the Golden Boy people have done a great job bringing him along,” said Arum in discussing a fight between Vergil and Crawford.

“Let’s see what happens in the Hooker fight. If Ortiz comes through, Ortiz against Crawford, particularly with his Hispanic following would do big business.

“But again, how can you talk about Ortiz with Crawford or anybody else until we see how he does against a professional experienced fighter like Hooker?” said Arum.

Vergil Ortiz Jr would be a tough fight for Crawford, especially with him about turning 34. Crawford is getting old, and the 22-year-old Ortiz Jr might bust him up and knock him out.

Obviously, that wouldn’t make Arum happy because he still hasn’t made the huge money in putting Crawford in a career-defining fight despite him being a highly rated pound-for-pound guy.

That junk doesn’t mean anything when it comes to marketability for a fighter, and neither does Crawford’s WBO trinket.

The fans don’t care that he’s a world champion. If they did, Crawford would have a huge national fan base rather than him only being popular regionally in Omaha, Nebraska.




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