Manny Pacquiao (left) and Terrence Crawford could fight outside the US, if talks go on as planned. AP FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines—The planned unification bout between welterweight champions Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford is indeed a tantalizing prospect but Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said the match is far from a done deal.

Crawford, the WBO champion, has said in several interviews that he wants to fight Pacquiao and even suggested that the WBA champion intentionally ran away from him during a conversation with ESPN’s Max Kellerman.

In a report on ESPN, Arum said that the only thing he’s done so far is inform Crawford and his manager and trainer Brian McIntyre to prepare for a potential fight in the middle weeks of November but no opponent has been determined.

“Right now, all we’ve done is we’ve contacted Crawford and ‘BoMac’ [Brian McIntyre, Crawford’s manager/trainer], told them that they’ll fight in November, either the 14th or the 21st, and we’re looking at opponents,” said Arum.

“Obviously, if it’s Pacquiao and we can do the fight, which is a big ask because where am I going to put it? We can’t do it in the United States because there’s no crowds. So again, [some reports] that it’s Pacquiao and Crawford—it’s misleading.”

MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons also said in the report that the Pacquiao-Crawford fight was “news to me.”

Arum said that thought of the idea of making a bout between the two pound-for-pound greats when Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 knockouts) was still with Top Rank but the Filipino never seemed interested in fighting Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs).

Pacquiao’s last two fights were under the PBC banner. He defeated Adrien Broner and Keith Thurma  both in 2019.

Crawford last fought in on Dec. 14 taking a ninth round TKO over Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

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