THE camp of Manny Pacquiao is in talks with financiers in the Middle East to pit the Pinoy ring icon against undefeated World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford, according to Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
“The Pacquiao group is working with people in the Middle East who are real people that are going to finance this,” Arum told boxing-social.co m in a recent video. This was also reported by boxing writer Anthony Cocks of ringnews24.com yesterday.
“If they come up with the money to finance this fight, we’ll do the fight in this country in the Middle East,” added the veteran American promoter, who handles Crawford’s fights.
He described the working arrangement his outfit would have once Pacquiao’s backers formalize the contract.
“Top Rank would be used by the country to work all the details of the promotion and all that type of thing, but the people in the country would be the actual promoters of the fight and it would a big opportunity for Terence Crawford to fight Manny Pacquiao,” Arum noted.
Pacquiao, 42, who was stripped of his World Boxing Association super welterweight belt by the WBC for being inactive for over a year, recently announced that he would be willing to stake his reputation against the dangerous and undefeated Crawford, who has 37 wins, 28 of them by knockout.
Pacquiao, however, is asking for a steep asking price: $30 million (roughly P1.45 billion) while Crawford, 33, will get $10 million (P486 million).
Arum has said that putting up those kinds of figures for a promotion in the US would be hard since paid fans are still not allowed to watch fights.
He said he had a fallback plan in the event the Pacquiao-Crawford tiff does not materialize.
“If that doesn’t come to fruition, then I will continue my talks with Shawn Porter and hope to do Terence against Shawn Porter,” Arum said. “Either of them in my opinion are interesting fights.
“But obviously, Pacquiao is Pacquiao, and if Pacquiao can get into the ring with Crawford, obviously that’s the way Terence would want to go.”
Crawford last fought on Nov. 14, 2020, retaining his WBO welterweight title with a third-round technical knockout victory over Kell Brook at the MGM Bubble in Las Vegas.
The fighting Filipino lawmaker has not entered the ring since scoring a close split decision win over erstwhile unbeaten Keith Thurman in wresting the WBA super welterweight strap on July 19, 2019 at the MGM Grand Arena.
Arum’s disclosure adds another wrinkle over the next probable foe of Pacquiao, who remains a top ring draw because of his all-out and relentless boxing style that guarantees an exciting action-packed encounter.
Veteran Mikey Garcia announced last week that he would be Pacquiao’s next opponent, disclosing that his handlers were close to finalizing the match that has been program sometime in May when the latter goes on recess from his senatorial duties.
Arum was not mentioned in the discussion since Garcia is handled by British promoter Eddie Hearn.