By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – There is only one opponent promoter Bob Arum has discussed with Freddie Roach for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight.
Roach said Wednesday before a question-and-answer session in Manhattan with Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland that Arum called him two weeks ago to talk about a Pacquiao-Terence Crawford fight. Roach trains Pacquiao and Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs), who’ll fight Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) in an HBO Pay-Per-View main event February 25 in Frisco, Texas.
“The last time I talked to Arum,” Roach said, “he called me up and he told me that Crawford is the guy we’re trying to make and so forth. And he said, ‘You’re gonna have to fight him sooner or later. You might be better off fighting him now. What weight do you want?,’ and so forth. So I said, ‘If we do fight him, we’ll fight him at 47 [welterweight]. Bring him up in weight, maybe slow him down a little bit.’ I know he does have a little bit of trouble making 40 [super lightweight], but I think he’ll be maybe not as quick and as good a fighter at 47.”
The 29-year-old Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is the WBC and WBO 140-pound champion. Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, told The Manila Bulletin for a story posted Monday that the Filipino superstar wants a $20 million guarantee to fight Crawford.
“[Arum] asked me to get ahold of Manny,” Roach added about their conversation two weeks ago. “I tried to get ahold of Manny, but Manny’s on vacation with his kids. He takes them to a new country every year and so forth, so I can’t find him right now. But now [Arum] tells me that Mike Koncz [gave] him another opponent. So I guess he’s been talking to Arum, also. But Arum only gave me one name and that was the only name he gave me, was Terence Crawford.”
Arum told The Manila Times earlier this week that Pacquiao could face Australia’s Jeff Horn in his next fight, somewhere outside the United States. He also informed The Manila Times that a Pacquiao-Crawford fight only was possible for later this year.
“There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first six months of the year, definitely,” Arum told The Manila Times. “Only if the fight will be in the United States, but we’re not planning the next fight in the United States, so we’re not planning on Crawford now.”
This was the first Roach had heard about a Pacquiao-Horn fight. The 28-year-old Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), while unknown among American fight fans, is the WBO’s No. 2-ranked contender to Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title.
“He didn’t call me about that one,” a laughing Roach said.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.