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Crawford Hopes For Unifications With The 'Real' Champs at 147

By Keith Idec

When Terence Crawford says he wants to fight any of the other recognized welterweight champions, he doesn’t mean Manny Pacquiao.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Crawford wanted to fight Pacquiao. That’s when they both were promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and opposing Pacquiao would’ve assured Crawford of a career-high payday.

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s former trainer, never appeared all that interested in Pacquiao boxing Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), who has evolved into one of boxing’s elite talents. Roach no longer trains Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) and Pacquiao technically regained a welterweight title in his last fight, but Crawford doesn’t seem as interested these days in facing the 39-year-old Filipino legend as he once did.

“He’s not a champion in my eyes,” Crawford said during a recent conference call. “He don’t have the super belt. That's the champion in my eyes. I look at the number one champion in the division. I don’t look at the WBC silver and the interim belts and all that. I look at the super [champion] and the actual champion of the division.”

terence-crawford (4)_8

In Pacquiao’s case, Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), one of Crawford’s targets, is the WBA’s “super” welterweight champion. The often-injured Thurman hasn’t fought since defeating Danny Garcia by split decision in their 12-round, 147-pound title unification fight 19 months ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

 Pacquiao captured the WBA’s “world” welterweight title when he knocked out Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs, 1 NC) in the seventh round July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Crawford now owns the WBO 147-pound crown Pacquiao lost to Australia’s Jeff Horn in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown. The 31-year-old Crawford stopped Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in the ninth round of his last fight, June 9 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, to become a champion in a third weight class.

Even if Crawford wanted to fight Pacquiao in 2019, Pacquiao’s victory over Matthysse might’ve made a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr. viable again.

The 41-year-old Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) hasn’t fought since his 10th-round stoppage of UFC superstar Conor McGregor 13½ months ago at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Boxing’s biggest star retired for the third time following that pay-per-view extravaganza, but Mayweather claimed last month in an Instagram post that’ll he’ll come back again for a rematch with Pacquiao.

Top Rank no longer promotes Pacquiao, yet remains Crawford’s promoter.

Crawford is scheduled to make the first defense of his WBO welterweight title Saturday nigh in Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s hometown. He’ll face 10th-ranked Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0, 18 KOs) in the main event of broadcast from CHI Health Center (ESPN; 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by cally93 on 10-12-2018

[QUOTE=1hourRun;19184169]I mean I would think considering much of the welterweight crop has been at this division for years. In contrast Terence just fought a champion ( Jeff Horn) ; who some argue was lineal with his victory over Pacman in…

Comment by Dramacyde on 10-12-2018

I like Bud but I think Porter give him all types of problems.

Comment by Illmatic94 on 10-12-2018

[QUOTE=KayDub;19184500]He took 2011 off due to injury. Injured before Garcia. Injured before Porter. Injured before Collazo. GTFO of here.[/QUOTE] He should be stripped. The division is clogged up. Pacquiao is WBA champ to me. not Thurman.

Comment by marikudo on 10-11-2018

[QUOTE=Terrell1555;19184643]This is exactly why I call him Qwackman after his numerous Ducks him ducking Crawford was so blatant an obvious! You want to be a great fighter on his way out and take money fights fine. However if that was…

Comment by Pigeons on 10-11-2018

[QUOTE=JakeTheBoxer;19184621]No hate mate, I just wanna se bigger things, like Crawford fighting Spence, Porter, Thurman.[/QUOTE] Bob's gotta send him across the street. Al has all the leverage in that one.

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