Crawford, Mikey Garcia lead race for Pacquiao fight

MANILA, Philippines – Scratch Errol Spence Jr and Danny Garcia out of the race for a Manny Pacquiao fight this year.

Reason: They will be fighting each other instead.

A day after Garcia announced he is slated to fight either Pacquiao – the World Boxing Association welterweight champion – or Spence, the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council titlist, reported that Spence would skip a tune-up fight and stake his WBC belt against mandatory challenger Garcia, probably in September.

Spence and Garcia were supposed to clash on January 25, but the former – who got into a horrific car accident and was charged with Driving Under the Influence last October 10 – effectively killed the deal.

With Spence and Garcia out of the tracks, Mikey Garcia and Terence Crawford assumed the lead among Pacquiao’s chasers who also include tailenders Shawn Porter and Amir Khan.

Both Crawford (36-0, 27 knockouts) and Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) have expressed interest to tangle with Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) anywhere as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic eases up.

Bob Arum, big boss of Top Rank which promotes Crawford, is keen on holding Pacquiao-Crawford in the Middle East, even enlisting the services of Daniel Kinahan, a Dubai-based Irish boxing power broker, to increase his chances of sealing the bout between Top Rank’s former cash register and its current top fighter.

Mikey Garcia, a four-division world champion, is also focused on a collision with Pacquiao.

"That’s the fight I would pursue the most," Mikey told Matchroom Boxing earlier. "That would be a terrific fight, first of all, and exciting fight. Pacquiao is a living legend, he comes to fight, and he’s the greatest."

The wild chase for a Pacquiao fight is understandable as whoever steps into the ring with the Fighting Senator is guaranteed the biggest purse of his career. –