World Boxing Association "regular" welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has rejected any talk that he avoided a potential fight with Terence Crawford.
The two boxers were promotional stablemates under the Top Rank banner for several years.
Pacquiao's contract with Top Rank expired last year, and the boxer is now promoting himself through his own company, MP Promotions.
When the two boxers were under Top Rank, company CEO Bob Arum had interest in matching them.
But there was a big problem, according to Arum.
There was enough money in the fight, at least back then, to place in on pay-per-view - with respect to a successful outcome from a revenue standpoint.
Pacquiao wanted a significant amount of money for the fight, and Crawford was looking for a career-high purse.
Because of the financial difficulties, Top Rank was keeping them apart in order to build the contest up.
According to Pacquiao, there were no issues on his end with having to face Crawford when the two were being promoted by Top Rank.
“He is just afraid and the promoters are preventing him from fighting me for a long time,” Pacquiao was quoted as saying by The Manila Times, during the media launch of the ISPS Handa and Emmanuel & Jinkee Heart Foundation Inc. at the Makati Shangrila Hotel in Makati City.
Pacquiao was responding to Crawford’s comments, that appeared on BoxingScene.com, that belittled his title reign.
“He (Pacquiao) is not a champion in my eyes. He doesn’t have the super belt. That’s the champion in my eyes. I look at the number one champion in the division,” Crawford said.
“I don’t look at the WBC Silver and the interim belts and all that. I look at the super and the actual champion of the division.”
Pacquiao is looking ahead to a showdown with former four division champion Adrien Broner in January.
And last week Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title with a knockout of Jose Benavidez in the twelfth round.