Chances are, the names on Terence Crawford’s wish list are identical to every other welterweight in the world.
Unlike most other welterweights, he’s in prime position to force public demand for such fights.
“[Manny] Pacquiao, then [Errol] Spence,” Crawford (36-0, 27KOs) told ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe of the two fights he’d like to see happen in the near future and in that order. “I say Pacquiao because he don’t have that much longer in the sport. I would want that name on my resume.
“Then Spence because that’s the fight that everyone wants to see.”
Fans have called for a showdown with Spence from the moment Crawford moved up from 140 pounds to capture a welterweight title. The pairing of pound-for-pound entrants and unbeaten welterweight titlists remains the fight most often mentioned by true boxing fans as well as many boxers themselves.
Interestingly, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs) made his way back into the conversation following his return to glory. The Filipino southpaw entered his fourth welterweight title reign following a 12-round win over Keith Thurman last July, upgrading his secondary version of the World Boxing Association (WBA) belt for the real thing in their title consolidation clash.
His third reign ended with a controversial 12-round loss to Jeff Horn, whom Crawford manhandled in nine one-sided rounds in June 2018 to become a three-division world champion. Neither that nor anything else the switch hitter from Omaha, Nebraska has accomplished to date has been enough to entice Pacquiao into a fight, a dilemma with which he’s been pressed as far back as when he first entered the 140-pound division five years ago.
“Me, I’ve been trying to fight Pacquiao since 2015. That’s not a secret that it’s a big fight I’ve been looking forward to,” notes Crawford. “Back when I was trying to fight him, he was fighting guys like Brandon Rios, Jessie Vargas, Tim Bradley two more times. I don’t know what it was. I just think they didn’t like my style or whatever it was.
“Now that he’s at the last leg of his career, maybe it is about the money. For Pacquiao to get in the ring with me or Errol Spence, he’s going to have to get paid for it.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox