What Will Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao Do Now?
Boxing fans have been clamoring for WBO World Welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) to step up and face a big-name opponent at 147 pounds. It was rumored that the opponent would be Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) on June 5 in the Middle East. But alas, it looks as if the fight is not happening. According to Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, the proposed Crawford v Pacquiao fight is in serious jeopardy of not happening. Negotiations have come to a halt, and the match is all but a goner.
So now the question is, “what are the options for both Crawford and Pacquiao since they will not fight one another?”
NOT GOOD FOR “BUD”
It is a big blow for Crawford. At 135 and 140 pounds, “Bud” was a beast. He ran through the lightweight division, then became the undisputed champion at junior welterweight. However, at welterweight, his career has stagnated. Since stopping Jeff Horn to capture the WBO 147-pound belt in June of 2018, his opponents have been subpar. Title defenses against Jose Benavidez Jr, Amir Khan, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Kell Brook do not cut the mustard.
A fight against Pacquaio would have been the biggest fight of his career. It was the high-profile/big money fight that he not only desired but badly needed. He has already drawn the ire of boxing heads for dismissing a showdown against unified IBF/WBC world 147-pound champion Errol Spence Jr. If you are thumbs down about a fight against Spence Jr, Pacquiao would be an adequate substitute that would have been satisfactory.
Crawford needs a significant fight at welterweight ASAP. Former two-time 147-pound world champion Shawn Porter is ranked number one by the WBO at welterweight. He has repeatedly called for a fight with Crawford. Former unified WBA/WBC Welterweight champ Keith Thurman has also barked about wanting to face Crawford.
Neither Crawford nor Thurman has a fight currently scheduled. Would it not make sense for Crawford to attempt to make a fight with either of those men? That would surely make sense to reasonable folks. It would behoove Crawford and his promoter, Bob Arum, to entertain those possibilities.
NO BIGGIE FOR MANNY?
A Crawford fight falling through is not as big of a hit for Pacquiao. The truth is, Crawford needed the match more than Pacquiao.
The legacy of Pacquiao is already cemented. His resume laps Crawford’s by miles. If he were to retire right now, no one could scoff. This fight was little more than icing on his cake for Pac Man. Do not be surprised if news breaks soon that he will now step in the ring with the former multi-divisional world champ, Mikey Garcia.
Boxing fans will be disappointed that this fight will not happen. But the more intriguing question is, what is the fallback? It is going to be interesting to see what Pacquiao, and especially Crawford, decide to do next.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.