Arum on Crawford's Rise, Potentially Facing Pacquiao

By Jake Donovan

Terence Crawford still has to get through the first defense of his super lightweight title versus Dierry Jean this weekend, but talks are already surfacing of what’s next in store for the unbeaten rising star.

The reigning Fighter of the Year jumped off to a strong start in 2015, knocking out Thomas Dulorme in April following a successful blitzing of the lightweight division. However, a lack of notable fights and available TV dates resulted in his having to settle for just two fights on the year.

Still, he plans to go all in versus Jean in what serves as the third hometown appearance in his last four fights, as the two headline at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska (Saturday, HBO, 9:30 p.m. ET). Given his star potential, how Crawford (26-0, 18KOs) looks far exceeds simply maintaining his winning ways, as big plans are in store for 2016.

“First, he has to win on Saturday. But assuming all goes well, we have to get him a marquee fight,” Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum told of the plan to advance Crawford from unbeaten two-division champ to future boxing superstar. “(Yuriorkis) Gamboa was sort of on that level. But we need to start working towards that big marquee fight.

“A fight with Manny Pacquiao is that marquee fight.”

Even in the wake of his 12-round loss to Floyd Mayweather and a 3-3 mark over his past six starts, the wildly popular Filipino remains the most recognizable name in the sport today among boxers who plan to keep fighting. However, it won’t remain that way for much longer, as Pacquiao is already eyeing an exit from boxing to make a run as a Senator in the Philippines.

There exists a short list of names for who will serve as that potential final opponent. Crawford is on that list, and such a fight serves as a potential passing of the torch moment for Top Rank.

Of course, the unbeaten southpaw has to beat Pacquiao in order to achieve that mark. In fact, he has to win this weekend before entertaining such an idea. His showdown with Jean is a less daunting task on paper, but more so than the fight itself is the local support he gains.

The college football crazed region is once again rallying behind its one-man pro sports franchise, with a sold-out crowd expected for the third time in as many home games for Crawford.

It began with his 9th round knockout win over Yuriorkis Gamboa last June, selling out the CenturyLink Center for the first title fight in Omaha in more than 40 years, and the first time ever that HBO televised a boxing event live from Nebraska. His subsequent performance proved it wasn’t too much of a good thing, as the very same venue was sold out beyond capacity for his 12-round win over Raymundo Beltran last November.

Certain fighters are bred for stardom. Arum has seen it all through 50 years in the game, and knows what he has in his latest potential superstar, which makes a Pacquiao-Crawford matchup as the fight to sell.

“I saw it with Donald Curry in Ft. Worth, with Marvelous Marvin Hagler in New England, with Ray Mancini in Youngstown, Ohio,” Arum said of past stars whose local fans helped initiate the transition from great fighters to must-see attractions. “Terence Crawford has made that happen in Nebraska.

“When the day comes where he goes to Las Vegas for a big fight, you're damn well sure that 4,000 fans will follow him to see him fight there.”

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mr.Daddy on 10-24-2015

Crawford is an exciting and entertaining fighter, and I wish him only the best.

Comment by aboutfkntime on 10-24-2015

[QUOTE=MisanthropicNY;16164068]Pacquiao is fighting Crawford or Kell Brook next... he just got robbed against Mayweather... Mayweather fought Berto like a loser would do... Pac is fighting a high profile fight next.. like the winner would do..[/QUOTE] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG]!/httpImage/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.JPG[/IMG]b

Comment by MisanthropicNY on 10-24-2015

[QUOTE=Dragon Lord;16163783]Bradley vs Rios winner will be next fight for Pacman. Crawford will not go near Manny at this time.Arum's still milking the cow.[/QUOTE] Pacquiao is fighting Crawford or Kell Brook next... he just got robbed against Mayweather... Mayweather fought…

Comment by hectari on 10-24-2015

[QUOTE=Mr.DagoWop;16163639]Pacquiao is shot. His PED's have lossed their effectiveness and he hasn't had a knockout since 2009 against a DRAINED Miguel Cotto. Crawford will knock Pacquiao out.[/QUOTE] I knew you weren't Italian you exposed yourself with this comment, and your…

Comment by Manic Shot on 10-24-2015

Bradley vs Rios winner will be next fight for Pacman. Crawford will not go near Manny at this time.Arum's still milking the cow.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (12)
Top Headlines Euro News: Kabayal vs. Dimitrenko, Culcay vs. Rodriguez, More Bobby Gunn Continues Run on Big Bare Knuckle Fight Card Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter Purse Bid on Friday Jaime Munguia: Facing Canelo Would Be a Dream Fight For Me WBA's Mendoza Hopes For The Best With Celestino Caballero WBC Prez: Adonis Stevenson Must Face Gvozdyk, But... Photos: Leo Santa Cruz Putting in Work For Abner Mares Clash Canelo Set To Return To The WBC's Rankings in June Golovkin-Derevyanchenko: IBF Ruling is Expected Soon Naoya Inoue vs. Jamie McDonnell Showdown Lands on ESPN+ Photos: Naoya Inoue, Jamie McDonnell - Size Up in Japan Tiara Brown Inks Promotional Pact With Lou DiBella Stevenson-Jack Broadcast Peaked at 611,000 Viewers on Showtime Luis Nery vs. Jetro Pabustan is Finalized For June 9 in Tijuana Crawford vs. Horn: Pedraza, Shakur Stevenson Plan To Impress David Benavidez - Legal War Looms Between Sampson, Top Rank Whyte Questions The Courage of Pulev, Pressures Him To Sign Naoya Inoue Says The Goal is To Blast Out Jamie McDonnell Bellew: I Punch Harder Than Fury, He's Fighting a Cruiserweight Callum Smith: I'd Rather Wait and Fight Groves, Not Eubank Jr. Eric Molina Suspended By UK Anti-Doping For Failed Test Gilberto Ramirez vs. Roamer Angulo Lands on BoxNation News: Darragh Foley, Armin Mrkanovic, Thomas vs. Bunting Alex Saucedo Expects Big Crowd For Home Fight With Lenny Z Mayweather Certain Stevenson Will Fade in Jack Rematch, Too Bradley: Mikey Garcia is a Dangerous Fight For Lomachenko Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton Could Go To Neutral Territory Trainer: McDonnell Very Prepared, in Form For Naoya Inoue Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. is Alleged To Have Beaten Man at Gas Station Wilder Dares Joshua To Back Up "F*** Him Up Bad" Boast Jono Carroll Believes He Has The Edge Over Declan Geraghty Errol Spence: Tank Davis Would Smoke Lomachenko! Luke Campbell Hopes a Rematch is Finalized With Yvan Mendy Virgil Hill Discusses The 175 Landscape, Stevenson vs. Jack Coach: Pacquiao Punished Buboy, He'll Be Ready For Matthysse Tyson Fury Plans To Pursue a Medical Career After Boxing Celestino Caballero To Be Released From Prison Carlos Cuadras Leaves Rehab, Ready To Get Back in The Mix David Benavidez vs. Anthony Dirrell Ordered By The WBC Manager: GGG Avoided Derevyanchenko on 5/5 & They Know It

Latest Active Forum Threads