By: Hans Themistode
The wait continues for Terence Crawford.
For years now, the former three-division world champion and current WBO welterweight belt holder has waited patiently for an opportunity to face a big-time opponent. Up until recently, it appeared as though he was just a few contract details away from getting exactly what he hoped for.
Sources close to the situation revealed that Manny Pacquiao, 42, was on board with facing Crawford on June 5th, later on this year. For Crawford, things couldn’t have worked out any better as he long expressed a desire to face the future first-ballot Hall of Famer. In fact, as first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, Pacquiao signed his agreement and was fully prepared to face the pound-for-pound star. However, the funding for their showdown, which was set to take place in Abu Dhabi, has apparently fallen through.
For Pacquiao, he was last seen in the ring roughly two years ago dethroning previously unbeaten Keith Thurman in July of 2019. Despite his inactivity, boxing’s only eight-division champion has found himself in the midst of several fight rumors. In addition to a showdown with Crawford, Pacquiao originally stated that he was “leaning” towards a contest with former four-division titlist, Mikey Garcia.
Those thoughts, at least for now, have fallen by the wayside.
With the most significant contest of his career officially off the table at the moment, Crawford is expected to take on former two-time world champion Shawn Porter. Long before negotiations began between both Crawford and Pacquiao, Porter threw his name into the mix.
At the moment, the Cleveland Ohio native is currently ranked number one in both the WBC and WBO sanctioning bodies. While he could use his high ranking to pursue a rematch with unified champion, Errol Spence Jr., a contest Porter would lose by split decision in September of 2019, Porter has instead chosen to go down the path of Crawford.
Bob Arum, current promoter of Crawford, acknowledged that the two likely matchups for Crawford would in fact be Porter and Pacquiao with the latter serving as the preferred opponent.
Crawford was last seen in November of 2020, bullying former champion Kell Brook to the tune of a fourth-round stoppage win.