This Saturday’s Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 heavyweight championship rematch is an example of two fighters who want to fight and made sure that no promotional or network boundaries would prevent them from proving who the best heavyweight in the world is.
WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford who is widely considered by many boxing pundits as the best pound for pound fighter in the world, has always stated that he is willing and open to fight any of the PBC [Premier Boxing Champions] Al Haymon fighters including IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr.
Bob Arum who promotes Crawford, has shown getting a deal done with a rival can happen, with the Wilder vs. Fury 2 fight as a prime example. Arum promotes Fury and Wilder is an Al Haymon PBC fighter.
Fury fights on ESPN and Wilder is normally tied to Showtime or FOX networks because they are aligned with Haymon. The two fighters agreed to terms and the super-fight got made with no issues.
This shows that the rival promoter or network excuse is just that an excuse. It ultimately comes down to how bad the fighters want to fight each other.
Crawford told Michelle Joy Phelps of Behind The Gloves that if he had a choice of fighting UFC star Conor McGregor, Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao next, he would go for the future hall of famer Pacquiao.
“Manny, for sure,” answered Crawford. “It would be like the passing of the torch. He’s the last great fighter in this era left. Floyd [Mayweather] retired. [Miguel] Cotto retired. Erik Morales, [Marco Antonio] Barrera, whoever you name, they all retired. He [Pacquiao] is the last man standing right now.
When asked if he thinks Pacquiao, who is 41 years old, should still be fighting at this stage of his career, Crawford said Pacquiao showed against 30-year-old Keith Thurman that he can still compete with the younger guys in the division.
“He’s proven to have a lot left to give, and he can keep up with the young lions. It’s not my place to say if it’s smart or not because he just beat one of the top welterweights in the division, so, he [Pacquiao] belongs there.” said Crawford.
Pacquiao never fought Crawford when he was still with Top Rank promotions. The 8-division world champion left Top Rank after his controversial loss to Jeff Horn in 2017. He would eventually sign a deal with Premier Boxing Champions to fight Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman for the WBA welterweight title.
Bob Arum who was the legendary promotional force behind Pacquiao’s rise in popularity in the USA, feels a fight between Crawford and Pacquiao can be made but it all depends on if the Filipino Senator wants it.