Pacquiao against Crawford likely in Bahrain, says Arum

Roy Luarca
Pacquiao against Crawford likely in Bahrain, says Arum
Bahrain may be the fight venue for the planned welterweight unification bout between Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford


MANILA, Philippines – As top fighters line up for Manny Pacquiao, so does the probable venues.

With his ward Terence Crawford among those tipped to tangle with the eight-division world champion, renowned promoter Bob Arum told iFL TV on Tuesday, June 2, that Bahrain is in strong contention if ever the welterweight unification pushes through.

“We hope we get Crawford and Pacquiao in action this year and through our friends at MTK, we are in serious talks with Bahrain for doing major fights there,” said Arum, big boss of Top Rank promotions. “I would love to do some big, big events in Bahrain.”

“Everything is likely, everyone wants to do these big events until it comes time to put up the money! But I think with Bahrain, we’ve got a good shot at getting it done,” added Arum, who’s anchoring his bid on the recent partnership forged between MTK Global and KHK Sports, a Bahrain-based sports media project led by Sheik Khalid bin Hamad  Al Khalifa.

Though Bahrain is only slightly bigger than Singapore, it has a robust economy fueled by petroleum and gas.

Ample funding is necessary as Arum intends to ask for a site fee, which will be proportionate to the expected gate receipt losses if Pacquiao-Crawford is held outside of the United States.

As to the COVID-19 pandemic, June 3 figures show Bahrain has 12,311 confirmed cases but only 19 deaths.

The unbeaten Crawford (36-0, 27 knockouts), the World Boxing Organization champion, is keen on battling Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), the World Boxing Association king, claiming he has been chasing the Fighter of the Decade (2001-2010) since 2015.

Pacquiao, now 41, is also interested in tangling with Crawford.

Unlike Crawford, however, Pacquiao has other marquee chasers like four-division world champion Mikey Garcia, former two-division world champion Danny Garcia, former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter, and World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titlist Errol Spence Jr.

Not really a crowd-drawer, Crawford knows a fight with Pacquiao will give him the biggest paycheck ever. Be it in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Macau, wherever. –


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