Pacquiao tops Crawford hit list – Arum
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao remains to be the top priority for Terence Crawford, but if the coronavirus pandemic will not make the unification showdown feasible, promoter Bob Arum has 4 other fighters in consideration.
If not Pacquiao, Kell Brook, Yordenis Ugas, Shawn Porter, or Keith Thurman will tangle with Crawford when the unbeaten American defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown in the fall.
"We're going to have Terence fight in September or October, period," Arum told ESPN. "We're looking to either match him with Pacquiao, Kell Brook, Ugas, or Porter."
Pacquiao, of course, is the prime choice for both Arum and Crawford.
Arum and Pacquiao have been talking about a probable Fight of the Year.
The legend against the unscathed. A war between the former and current star of Top Rank. Southpaw versus southpaw. An eight-division world champion against a three-division ruler. Fighter of the Decade versus Fighter of the Year.
A sure blockbuster bout needing a live audience.
But if the coronavirus persists, even interested Middle East nations could not commit to stage Pacquiao-Crawford this year.
Arum knows the repercussions and has other major welterweights in mind.
Despite tasting his first defeat against Pacquiao last July, erstwhile unbeaten Thurman is a viable option.
It is the same with Porter, who lost his World Boxing Council (WBC) belt to International Boxing Federation (IBF) counterpart Errol Spence via split decision.
Then there is Ugas, a former world amateur champion who lost to Porter via decision, and Brook, the former IBF titlist who beat Porter but got stopped by Gennady Golovkin in a middleweight tussle and Spence in his welterweight return.
Thurman, Porter, and Ugas belong to Premier Boxing Champions, which Top Rank has a good working relationship with, while Brook is keen on challenging Crawford.
Below Pacquiao's stature despite his perfect record of 36-0, 27 knockouts, Crawford does not want a pay cut even if boxing is reeling on the ropes.
No wonder Crawford's radar is locked on Pacquiao. – Rappler.com