By Radio Rahim
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum is in the process of securing the next opponent for WBO/WBC junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford (29-0, 20KOs).
Crawford is set to return on December 10th in an HBO televised fight from Omaha.
There have been industry rumors that Arum is speaking with manager/adviser Al Haymon to land a fighter, who is under the Premier Boxing Champions banner, for Crawford's next fight.
According to Arum, he is in talks for an opponent under the PBC banner.
"Yeah, we're talking to [PBC] now," Arum said.
Promoter Lou DiBella, who works with PBC, has been campaigning hard for his boxer, Olympic gold medal winner Felix Diaz, to fight Crawford on that date. Whether or not it's Diaz will remain to be seen, but there have been some whispers that John Molina is being considered. Molina won an upset decision over Ruslan Provodnikov earlier this year and he was a frontrunner to face WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia next month - before Garcia settled on Samuel Vargas.
If Crawford wins his next fight, and Manny Pacquiao defeats WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on November 5th, the two of them could be on a collision course for 2017.
"Right now the biggest fight for Pacquiao is Vargas. He's ten years younger, he's punching like a mule, he's very determined, he's going to bring the fight to Manny. Manny hasn't trained like a normal person," Arum said. "If he gets by Vargas, I would think that the opponent that everybody wants would be Terence Crawford, but Terence Crawford is going to have a tough fight December 10th."
Arum had offered Pacquiao the option of facing Crawford next month. That fight was rejected by Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach, and longtime adviser Michael Koncz - as both of them had concerns with Crawford's style after watching him outbox Viktor Postol in July.