Why No Pacquiao Crawford?
By: John Freund
Every boxing fan knows that we don’t always get the fights we want. And if we do get them, they often happen way later than they should (Pacquiao-Mayweather, Jones-Hopkins II, Jones-Trinidad, about a million other examples…).
There are varying reasons for this, but the two most likely culprits are that one fighter doesn’t want to step into the ring with another (see Bowe-Lewis), or that a promoter wants to build anticipation and hype for a Superfight (see Canelo-GGG, hopefully!).
But in the case of Pacquiao-Crawford, neither of these two issues should be in play.
First, let’s state the obvious: They both want to fight each other. Crawford, along with every other boxer looking to make a name for himself, wants to square off against the legend Pacquiao. You can’t be David if you don’t beat Goliath – and Pacquiao is the Goliath of the sport. So it goes without saying that Crawford is game. Likewise, Pacquiao has fought legends in multiple weight divisions, and has never been known to duck a big fight (despite what some Mayweather fans might say).
Okay, so they’re both game to fight each other. That leaves the second reason for the fight not to happen right away as the only plausible one; that being that the promoter – in this case Bob Arum – is trying to set up a Superfight at some point in the near future.
There’s just one problem with this line of thinking: Pacquiao-Crawford IS ALREADY A SUPERFIGHT!!
Crawford is a wildly popular fan-favorite who just destroyed the second best 140-pounder to establish his dominance in the jr. welterweight division. Many experts believe he is the next ‘big thing’ in boxing, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a red-blooded American either.
While it’s true that non-boxing fans probably don’t know the name Terrence Crawford, it’s not likely that will change between now and next year, when a supposed Superfight between Pacquiao and Crawford would take place. After all, Crawford just demolished Postol, his strongest competition at 140 lbs. There’s no one left at that weight class to provide him with a meaningful fight. Team Crawford has also given zero indication that he’s willing to step up in weight any time soon. A catchweight Crawford-Thurman battle would likely draw a lot of attention, but doesn’t seem to be in the cards as Thurman is busy calling out Garcia on Twitter. So how else can Crawford possibly mainstream himself and his brand, other than fighting Pacquiao?
As for Pacquiao, don’t be fooled by the word ‘retirement.’ Pacquiao last fought in April, meaning his November ‘return’ will be his second fight of the year, and somehow 2 fights per year in boxing has come to be prolific. So it’s not like Pacman needs a tune-up before fighting Crawford.
You have to wonder what Bob Arum is up to here…
There is always the possibility that either Pac or Crawford gets injured in their next fight, or that Pac actually decides to retire (he’s already taking flak in the Filipino press for shirking his Senatorial duties to focus on boxing).
So why not make the Superfight happen this year? Pacquiao will always be Pacquiao – even if he loses to Crawford. He’s still going to be a draw and make money for Arum as long as he’s willing to step into the ring. And if Crawford does beat Pacquaio, that could potentially elevate his brand into the mainstream, which would mean big dollars for his future fights (which Arum will be promoting, of course).
From a risk/reward perspective, it seems like no contest. Tons of risk to push this fight off until next year, with very limited reward.
Begs the question one more time – why no Pacquiao-Crawford?