By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – As fans and media continue blaming Bob Arum for not making Manny Pacquiao versus Terence Crawford, Arum is confident he can finally make that fight for later this year.
Arum told BoxingScene.com that the fight will be worth more money for Pacquiao now that Crawford’s brand has been built through a series of dominant victories. According to the 85-year-old promoter, Pacquiao’s potential purse for fighting Crawford is what prevented the pay-per-view fight from happening over the past year-and-a-half.
The Filipino superstar instead has fought Timothy Bradley in an unnecessary rubber match and Jessie Vargas, then the WBO welterweight champion, and arranged a fight against unknown Australian Jeff Horn. Assuming the 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) defeats Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, Arum expects Pacquiao to accept a fight against Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) for some time in November.
“Manny wants that fight if the money is commensurate with the risk,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “Now, he didn’t wanna do that fight and make the same money that he would make on a Vargas fight. You can’t blame him. And now that Crawford is becoming known more, I think that we could anticipate that a Pacquiao-Crawford fight would do a lot more business than Pacquiao-Vargas did. [More money is] one of the things that clearly should motivate Manny.”
Arum didn’t specify how much money he offered Pacquiao last year to fight Crawford or how much more he’d offer later this year. Regardless, Arum made his offer to Pacquiao based on the type of pay-per-view business he thought the fight would do because, unlike bouts broadcast live on HBO or Showtime, his company, Top Rank Inc., absorbs almost all of the financial risks for pay-per-view events.
The 29-year-old Crawford called a shot at Pacquiao “the only fight” he wants in the immediate aftermath of his impressive victory over Felix Diaz (19-2, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. A shot at Pacquiao might not require Crawford to move up from 140 to 147 pounds because Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight champion, can make 140 pounds comfortably.
The Omaha, Nebraska, native, who owns the WBC and WBO 140-pound championships, also acknowledged following his technical knockout win against Diaz that his next fight probably will come against unbeaten Julius Indongo. Namibia’s Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) holds the IBF, IBO and WBA super lightweight titles and would give Crawford a rare opportunity to win all of boxing’s recognized world titles in his weight class.
“The guy I’d like to match him with is the guy who has the other two titles [Indongo], so it would be a nice fight for four belts on the line,” Arum said. “So we’ll see. And then, if he wins that I would go to Manny and try to make that fight. It’s the biggest fight for Manny.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.