Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank says he intentionally chose not to make the fight between Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) and Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) in the past, because he felt that the Filipino star wound end up losing that fight.
Arum believes that there would be only winner and that would be Crawford. It’s a fight that Crawford wanted and needed to take his career to the next level, but Arum decided not to make it.
Pacquiao left Top Rank after losing a controversial 12 round unanimous decision to Jeff Horn in July 2017.
It’s unknown if Arum truly believes that Crawford would have beaten Pacquiao, because he’s still never matched the Nebraska native against anyone good during his time with Top Rank. Crawford’s biggest victories have come against smaller, flawed fighters for the most part like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Felix Diaz, Ricky Burns, John Molina Jr., Henry Lundy and Dierry Jean.
When Crawford has fought bigger guys, they were limited fighters that lacked talent. Crawford’s wins over bigger guys have been against these fighters: Viktor Postol, Jose Benavidez, Julius Indongo and Jeff Horn. Arum hasn’t put Crawford against the following talents: Ivan Baranchyk, Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, Errol Spence Jr., Jose Ramirez, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Kiryl Relikh, Manny Pacquiao and Maurice Hooker.
“Well, I killed the fight,” Arum said to Fighthub about his decision not to make the fight between Pacquiao and Crawford. “Yeah, because I know how it would end,” Arum said in giving his reason why he didn’t want to make that fight involving Pacquiao. “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.”
Now that Pacquiao is with Premier Boxing Champions, it’s not even open to debate whether he’ll ever fight Crawford. even if Arum now wanted the Pacquiao-Crawford fight, it probably will never happen. Pacquiao has enough fighters in Al Haymon’s PBC stable to keep him busy for a long time to come.
Some boxing fans think Arum didn’t do Pacquiao any favors in having him fight Jeff Horn his hometown in Brisbane, Australia. That move was perceived badly by a lot of boxing fans, because Pacquiao was the star and he matched up against a non-star in his home country of Australia. That was a bad move. What was interesting is that when it came time for Crawford to fight Horn, he didn’t have to fight him in Australia. The Crawford-Horn fight took place in the United States in Las Vegas, Nevada last summer. Crawford didn’t have to go all the way to Australia to fight Horn like Pacquiao did. Crawford is nowhere near the PPV guy Pacquiao is. The only PPV fight Crawford has had was his match against Viktor Postol in 2016. That fight brought in a little over 50,000 buys. Those are horrible numbers, even for a fighter just starting out in the PPV business.
“Forget my emotions, I wouldn’t want to see him [Pacquiao] take that kind of damage because it might affect his future life — quality of his future life,” Arum said.
Crawford is 31 now, and still not a star. Although he has a lot of boxing fans in Nebraska, he still isn’t a star in the rest of the U.S. Arum was able to get Amir Khan to agree to fight Crawford on ESPN PPV on April 20. The problem is, Khan has been over-the-hill since 2012, and there’s a lot of interest from boxing fans in paying to see Crawford-Khan on ESPN PPV. That’s not a PPV fight. Khan is shot to pieces. He almost lost his last fight against journeyman Samuel Vargas. Crawford needs a fighter like Pacquiao to agree to fight him, but right now that’s not happening.