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Can Bob Arum make Crawford vs. Pacquiao a reality?

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

June 11th, 2020

Boxing is set to resume business, and fans are desperate to see the biggest fights. One of those fights is a welterweight unification bout between Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford.

Arum is working hard behind the scenes

Crawford’s promoter and Top Rank president Bob Arum has hit the media trail in recent weeks, and he has suggested he is doing what he can to make the fight happen. Arum floated the idea that the fight could take place in Bahrain, and both parties are receptive. While that sounds good and nice, it’s not true.

Arum is a master of the smoke-and-mirrors game and is using one of the oldest plays in the game. He has no intention of working with another promoter and risking his newest star against one that left him behind.

Arum is making it seem like he is putting in work to make Crawford/Pacquiao happen, while he secures Crawford a softer title defense.

Pacquiao is still under contract with Haymon

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons said in February that Pacquiao was still under contract with Al Haymon. After he defeated Keith Thurman, Pacquiao has been linked to bouts with fellow Haymon fighters Errol Spence, Mikey Garcia, and Danny Garcia.

Pacquiao’s goal in signing with Haymon was to lure Floyd Mayweather out of retirement for a rematch — something he could not do at Top Rank.

Arum hates to split promotional duties and revenue. It is the main reason it took so long for Pacquiao and Mayweather to fight. Arum did not want to work with Haymon until Haymon exhausted his roster to keep Pacquiao busy. If it took Arum five years to make the biggest fight in modern boxing history, there is no chance he feels pressured to make Crawford/Pacquiao.

Crawford vs. Pacquiao has fallen apart before

This isn’t the first time this fight has fallen apart on Arum’s watch. When both fighters were under contract with Arum in 2017, Pacquiao allegedly demanded a $20 million payday to face Crawford.

Now 41 years old and out of the ring for nearly a year, it wouldn’t be surprising if Pacquiao is less receptive to a Crawford fight than he was three years ago.

Crawford could be in for a disappointment 

Unfortunately for Crawford, he seems to be the only one trying to score the massive fight he has been waiting for. The same barriers that prevent the Pacquiao fight now also exist for fights against Spence, and Top Rank’s roster at welterweight is appalling.

Should Arum pull this off, it’ll be considered a promotional miracle and would surely have to happen by accident. It’ll be wise to not invest in tickets to Bahrain anytime soon.


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