Will Bob Arum push Terence Crawford to be Welterweight #1?
Back in 2008, Bob Arum swallowed his humongous pride and allowed then Filipino prize ward Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao to agree to a one sided 15/85 purse split in order to secure a high profile potential “passing of the torch” type of fight against then already American aging boxing superstar Oscar De La Hoya.
His gamble paid off handsomely as Pacquiao, then just a lightweight virtually mauled De La Hoya (who came down from as high as 160 lbs to battle the Filipino to an agreed weight of 147 lbs, the welterweight limit) and forced him to quit on his stool after seven hellish rounds of beating.
The victory made Pacquiao the new boxing superstar even before he confirmed it with another smashing super lightweight and welterweight title wins over Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto the following year.
Bob Arum is again at the same juncture with his new long time prize ward Terence Crawford who he steered to the domination of the lightweight and super lightweight divisions before securing him a world title in the welterweights.
Crawford, already considered by the Ring Magazine and other rating bodies as the top welterweight fighter in the planet today, needs just one big fight and win against one of the big names in the division to affirm that billing and launch him to full superstardom.
But Arum seems unsure of how to proceed with Crawford in attaining that.
After both fans and some experts including former boxing champion (Juan Manuel Marquez and trainer Robert Garcia) have voiced their preference for Pacquiao to forgo a fight with Mikey Garcia and instead face either Crawford or Errol Spence, Arum came to douse any hopes or expectations about a Pacquiao-Crawford fight.
Arum said in a recent interview: “Manny Pacquiao won’t fight (Crawford) Yeah, I don’t want Manny to fight him because it’s a devastation and I still have a soft spot for Manny. And guys like Sean Gibbons and so forth don’t want Manny to fight him because they feel the same way. So rule out a Pacquiao fight.”
How did Arum know about that?
Manny does not want a fight with Crawford or Arum does not want Crawford to fight Manny?
Most of all, Arum should know that Pacquiao has built his accomplishments and legacy as the only eight division world champion by taking on and not avoiding the best.
In no instance did Pacquiao say he does not want to fight this or that fighter.
Pacquiao took on Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner who many said would still be very dangerous for him, coming as he did from a bruising loss and long layoff.
Pacquiao even took on Keith Thurman, a fighter most top welterweights including Errol and Terrence avoided and who had previously beaten Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.
Even when he was still with Arum which was a long time, he fought whom Bob told him to fight, not just once or twice at that. From Barrera to Morales to Marquez and Bradley, toss in Oscar, Ricky and even Margarito, all current or future Hal of Famers.
Arum had both Manny and Terrence in his stable at one considerable length of time and with his penchant for in house fights, he could have pitted them especially after Pacquiao had regained the crown he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Crawford was already an established super lightweight force as was Bradley and Chris Algieri before. But he didn’t. Afraid for Manny? Or Terence?
With Errol still iffy due to his uncertain health and medical condition following a hard car crash, Pacquiao is the only available big name fighter, the biggest in fact, that Arum can make use of to truly make Crawford the undisputed welterweight number one and a certified boxing superstar.
Boxing is a hurt business and it has little place for bleeding hearts, Arum knows that very well.
And Arum would want us to believe that pairing Terence with light welterweights Jose Ramirez, Josh Taylor and/or Regis Prograis would do him wonders better than a fight with old man Pacquiao who he said still has a soft spot in his heart?
Thanks but no thanks for your concern, Mr. Arum.
But our Manny Pacquiao is built of more stern stuff and you know that very well.