Errol Spence Jr. rarely passes on the opportunity to take a jab at rival Bob Arum.
Heading into his preparation for a potential star-making fight against Manny Pacquiao, the WBC and IBF welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOS) took another swing at the Top Rank boss, this time for the Hall of Fame promoter failing to get a fight made for Terence Crawford to be fighting Pacquiao instead.
“Bob talks a lot of sh-t saying all of these things but [PBC head] Al [Haymon] gets the job done,” Spence told Barbershop Conversations. “I told [Haymon] I wanted [the Pacquiao] fight and it worked out in my favor.”
Prior to the May announcement of the Pacquiao-Spence FOX Sports pay-per-view, Arum and company had been working on securing capital in order to score a deal for Crawford and Pacquiao to duke it out in Dubai.
The funds never fuller materialized, and Pacquiao's boat eventually docked at Spence’s footsteps, who announced his fight against the Filipino with a #BlameBob hashtag.
“Terence Crawford has been trying to get that [Pacquiao] fight for how many years now?” Spence wondered aloud. “It’s excuses after excuses that Bob comes up with. Pacquiao doesn't care who he fights. Pacquiao is a warrior. Pacquiao is a guy who will fight anybody. If the money is right and everything is lined up correctly, Pacquiao would have fought [Crawford]. But it didn’t line up that way for whatever reason. I just say ‘blame Bob’ because he’s the guy that’s orchestrating it all, and it didn’t happen in their favor.”
Pacquiao, 42, and Crawford, 33, both had a chance to meet much sooner in their careers for a potential fight when they fought under the Top Rank promotional banner.
In January 2019, Arum told FightHub TV that he wanted to steer Pacquiao and Crawford away from each other to save the future Hall of Famer from a debilitating beating.
“I know how it would end ... not that I knew that it would end in serious disability for Manny — that I wouldn’t know — but as a fight it would only end one way,” Arum said. “Forget my emotions, I wouldn’t wanna see him take that kind of damage because it might affect his quality of his future life.”
In late 2018, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) split from Arum and signed a deal with PBC.
He’s since scored wins over the likes of Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com