Terence Crawford is more encouraged about the possibility of finally fighting Manny Pacquiao than he has been in recent years.
The unbeaten WBO welterweight champion realizes he can’t fight Pacquiao within the next few months because a complicated, expensive event like theirs will take time to put together in a damaged, post-pandemic economy. Still, simply knowing Pacquiao actually wants to fight him now has made Crawford confident that it could happen.
“We’ve been in contact with Bob [Arum], and Manny and them,” Crawford said Monday on “The Ak And Barak Show,” which streams daily on DAZN and SiriusXM. “They want the fight. We want the fight. So basically, we’re trying to figure out the money situation. You know, with this pandemic going on right now, it’s kinda hard to put on a big fight and no audience, and not knowing how you’re gonna get your return back. So, you know, we’ve gotta figure out all the details with that first before we can do that.”
Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com recently that he has been in contact with investors overseas interested in financing a Pacquiao-Crawford fight. Arum added, though, that talks hadn’t advanced to bring Pacquiao-Crawford somewhere outside of the United States and the Philippines due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), a three-division champion from Omaha, Nebraska, has been vocal about not wanting to accept less money if his next fight takes place without an audience. If he fought Pacquiao outside of the U.S., the site fee Arum gets for that fight could offset some or all of the ticket revenue they’d lose by not holding it in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao is 41, yet the Filipino legend is rejuvenated following three consecutive victories over Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman. The 32-year-old Crawford isn’t concerned that waiting longer to put their pay-per-view bout together will harm its marketability because Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) dropped and out-pointed the previously unbeaten Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) in his last appearance, 10 months ago at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“He can’t even fight right now, you know, so it’s not just me,” Crawford said. “If that fight presents itself, it’s gonna be more money than I ever made in my career to date, probably. You know, so I think that fight can get made, worked out however it will be. You know, but at the same time, you know, he’s dealing with the same issues that I’m dealing with. Every top fighter is dealing with the same issue. You know, it’s not like I’m the only one dealing with this.
“You know, when you look at all these other fighters and who they gonna fight, how they gonna get paid, you know, that’s the big dilemma right now. The fighters in England and overseas, you know, they can’t come over here to fight, so they stuck over there. So, what about them? You know? So, it’s all messed up right now.”
The fighter most prominently mentioned as Crawford’s next opponent is England’s Kell Brook (39-2, 27 KOs). Crawford has made it clear, however, that there other opponents, Pacquiao obviously among them, that he would prefer over facing the former IBF welterweight champion.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.