MANILA, Philippines — Top Rank chief Bob Arum said there had been talks to make a showdown between welterweight champions Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford happen.
Arum also said both warriors are interested in sharing the ring in a title unification bout that would likely be staged outside the United States.
“These are tentative talks. To make it happen, we’d have to do it outside of the United States, and outside of the Philippines, of course. And we’d have to make it work with a big site fee,” Arum told BoxingScene.com.
But despite the drawback caused by the deadly virus, Arum remains in high spirits that he will be able to pick up where he left off as far as the talks are concerned.
“But I am optimistic that I will be able to continue with these talks in the next month or so. I talked to Terence and [trainer/manager Brian McIntyre] about it. It appears to me that Crawford and Pacquiao wanna go ahead with that fight.”
The 41-year-old Pacquiao has been on a resurgence since dropping a highly-disputed decision to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane back in 2017, which also marked the last time the Filipino boxing legend fought under Top Rank.
The sport’s only eight-division champion has racked up three straight wins in impressive fashion.
He began his streak with a seventh-round stoppage of Lucas Matthysse in July 2018 followed by a 12-round domination of Adrien Broner six months later before beating a much-younger Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) title in July 2019.
Still, Arum wouldn’t bet against the 32-year-old Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), the WBO titleholder who is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters today.
“If I had to bet the fight, I’d bet Crawford,” Arum said. “But now I think Pacquiao is in there with a good chance. There’s no question that it’ll be an entertaining fight. Manny seems dedicated again. I’ve had that situation before, where guys get to be a little older, but somehow their skills aren’t diminished. Look at ‘Big’ George Foreman winning the [heavyweight] title at 45.”
The last time a major sporting event was held live and in the presence of crowds was back in early March.
“If somebody was willing to put up a big site fee, and do it without fans for the publicity, that might work,” Arum said. “Or maybe not do it without fans, but do it with safe-distance seating, which I’ve been exploring.”
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