By Edward Chaykovsky
WBO/WBC junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford may have to wait until the end of the year for a high profile fight with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.
It was announced on Tuesday night [Wednesday afternoon in America], that a deal was reached for Pacquiao to defend his title against undefeated 2012 Australian Olympian Jeff Horn (16-0, 11 KOs).
A lot of boxing fans were very sour with the selection. The fight they wanted, -was Pacquiao vs. Crawford or at least an opponent with top-level credentials on his back. Horn is virtually unknown to most fans outside of his country of Australia. And he's never face anyone even close to the level of Pacquiao.
Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, views Horn as a big piece of a four-fight puzzle.
Arum is hoping to have Pacquiao in the ring four times in 2017 as part of a farewell tour - with each contest being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The likely location of Pacquiao vs. Horn is Brisbane, Australia - but Arum is entertaining a few other offers from areas like Dubai.
Beyond Horn, there is a big offer on the table for Pacquiao to fight in Russia on a date in July, then in Europe on a date in September, and then he would likely fight Crawford in the fall - provided both boxers continue to win.
“We plan to have Manny fight four times this year – we have an offer in Russia in July, another offer in Europe for September and in the U.S. against [unbeaten two-belt junior-welterweight champion] Terence Crawford in November or December. That will be Manny’s last fight," Arum told the Los Angeles Times.
The television out to carry the fight in the United State is known. It would surely bomb if carried on HBO Pay-Per-View. Top Rank produced Pacquaio's last pay-per-view, in November against Jessie Vargas, and Arum might follow that same path once again or potentially take the fight to HBO's main rival, Showtime.