Top Rank promoter Bob Arum isn’t ready to match his two fighters Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford against each other for now. Arum wants to match Pacquiao against little known Australian fighter Jeff Horn, who is one of his fighters in his stable. Horn is known to dedicated fans but not the ones that with only a passing knowledge about boxing.
Arum could put Pacquiao and Horn in together in June. Arum is also still interested in matching Pacquiao against super featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko in the 2nd half of 2017. Crawford is a possibly in late 2017 as well, but it appears that Arum is saving that fight for 2018. It’s possible that Arum is going to save Crawford until the very end of Pacquiao’s career for a final fight.
The fact that Arum isn’t willing to match Pacquiao and Crawford right now can mean a number of things. It could mean that Arum doesn’t have faith that Pacquiao can beat Crawford. It also could mean that Arum doesn’t want to lose his only cash making fighter in Pacquiao by putting him in with Crawford and watching him lose. It would work in Arum’s favor if Crawford beat Pacquiao and immediately became the new PPV star for Top Rank, but it might not work that way though.
Crawford could beat Pacquiao and still be no more popular than he is today. I think Arum suspects that will be the case. Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez both beat Pacquiao, and neither of them made the leap to PPV status in their own right. Now that Pacquiao is 38 and clearly not the same fighter he once was, Crawford is not going to get a lot of credit for beating him. In other words, Crawford isn’t going to become a big star if he takes Pacquiao down to finish him off to send him into retirement, especially if Crawford boxes him for 12 rounds instead of slugging with him.
Arum said to the manilatimes.net this about Pacquiao’s next fight:
“There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first six months of the year definitely,”Arum said. “Only if the fight will be in the United States, but we’re not planning the next fight in the United States, so we’re also not planning on Crawford now. Jeff Horn is a good possibility. I will be flying soon to the Philippines once I finalized every detail.”
Arum wants to have Pacquiao’s next fight take place outside of the U.S in the UK, Middle East, Australia or Mexico.
Pacquiao asked for $20 million for the Crawford fight to fight him in the first quarter of 2017. Did the $20 million request scare Arum off of making the Pacquiao-Crawford fight or is the 86-year-old promoter more interested in making money in sure thing fights for Pacquiao against guys like Horn and Lomachenko?
Arum might realize that Crawford has still not become a star in the making yet at 29. It might not be worth it to use up Pacquiao by having him fight Crawford and get finished off as a PPV fighter for good. If Crawford doesn’t have the popularity to slide into Pacquiao’s spot to become the next PPV attraction for Top Rank, it would be a move on Arum’s part to have Pacquiao walk the plank by fighting the Omaha native. The results of the Pacquiao-Crawford fight would see Arum lose his only PPV money maker in Pacquiao without Crawford being able to step into the void to fill his spot.