By Keith Idec
Manny Pacquiao reportedly is willing to fight Terence Crawford next, but only if promoter Bob Arum guarantees him a $20 million purse.
Crawford has sought a fight against Pacquiao for more than a year, but thus far the Filipino superstar has avoided facing the undefeated WBC/WBO super lightweight champion. Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s longtime adviser, told the Manila Bulletin for a story posted Monday that Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) is willing to face Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) if the price is right.
“If it’s Crawford that Top Rank wants for Manny Pacquiao, then we’ll fight Crawford,” Koncz said. “But we want a guarantee of $20 million.”
The 38-year-old Pacquiao accepted a lower guarantee for his November 5 victory over Jessie Vargas largely because, other than his incomparable pay-per-view fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao’s pay-per-view numbers have decreased in recent years. According to contracts filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Pacquiao’s guarantee for the Vargas fight was $4 million, though he presumably made much more from his share of pay-per-view revenue, ticket sales and other revenue streams.
Koncz also told the Manila Bulletin that Pacquiao’s next fight must take place in April because that’s when the Philippine senator will have a break from his full-time job as a politician. The Philippine Senate is scheduled to take a break from mid-March until May 2, according to Khan.
Arum told BoxingScene.com last month that he was considering pushing back Pacquiao’s return until June. Koncz said fighting in June won’t work for Pacquiao because the Philippine senate will be in session by then. Pacquiao trained for the Vargas fight while the Philippine Senate was in session in the fall, but it was difficult even for the energetic Pacquiao to maintain such a hectic pace.
“It was a demanding schedule,” Koncz said, “because after his Senate work, he had to go to the gym and train.”
Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, expects to visit Pacquiao in the Philippines soon. He plans to have a deal consummated for Pacquiao’s next bout before he returns to the United States.
The 29-year-old Crawford, who dominated John Molina Jr. (29-7, 23 KOs) en route to an eighth-round technical knockout December 10 in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, hopes Pacquiao finally is willing to fight him.
“That’s up to Bob Arum, my managers and my coaches,” Crawford told HBO’s Max Kellerman in the ring after stopping Molina. “Of course I would love to fight Pacquiao, but it’s a business.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.