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SPORTS SHORTS 95: NEGOTIATIONS ARE UNDERWAY FOR A MANNY PACQUIAO VS. TERENCE CRAWFORD WORLD TITLE FIGHT ON JUNE 5 IN ABU DHABI


PhilBoxing.com





Negotiations are now going on for Manny Pacquiao to make a boxing ring comeback after an absence of 23 months to challenge WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford on June 5. The fight discussions were first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic.

* * *

As reported, Pacquiao would be fighting Crawford, ESPN's No. 1 and The Ring's No. 3 pound-for-pound boxer in a pay-per-view fight in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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"Discussions have taken place for a very long time," the undisclosed ESPN source said. "And while the fight is not yet close to being finalized, if it does take place, Abu Dhabi is the targeted location, and June 5 is the targeted date."

* * *

In his last fight, in July 20, 2019, the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) defeated Keith Thurman via split decision to win the WBA "Super" welterweight title, making him a 12-time world champion. Due to pandemic inactivity, the WBA then made Pacquiao its "champion in recess."

* * *

The 33-year-old Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) was the undisputed junior welterweight champion before moving up to the welterweight division. There were talks of a Pacquiao-Crawford fight but the WBO champion Crawford from Omaha, Nebraska faced Kell Brook instead.

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He had a slow start before devastating former IBF welterweight titleholder Kell Brook of Sheffield, England in a fourth-round TKO on November 14, 2020 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was Crawford's eighth straight knockout win.

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Pacquiao has been knocked out only once in his past 43 fights, since December 1999. He was stopped by Juan Manuel Marquez by 6th round KO on December 8, 2012.

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For Crawford, he has long dreamed of a match with one of boxing’s biggest legend and seems it's on track to reality. Top Rank has booked June 5th for their possible clash. At the moment, the leading contender to host the match is Abu Dhabi. During this pandemic, the Middle East have came to terms of landing major fights.

* * *

Pacquiao could be the popular opponent Crawford needs to boost his career. With his excellent ability, his best wins were against Yuriorkis Gamboa, Viktor Postol, Jeff Horn, and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. A win over former world No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter like Pacquiao could fortify his pro record.

* * *

The news of Pacquiao facing Crawford comes at a time when a month earlier former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia disclosed to the boxing world that a match between him and Pacquiao was negotiated.

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“We’re finalizing all of the details. We hope to get the exact date and location in the next few days. We’re trying to get everything done for May,” Garcia revealed last March.

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Pacquiao did not officially announce the fight with Garcia, but he appeared to be inclined with their showdown. "We’re leaning towards Mikey Garcia,” said Pacquiao during an interview over ABS-CBN.

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Top Rank boss Bob Arum revealed that Crawford’s next fight will be known this week. The veteran promoter said it would be a “big fight,” for Crawford. He named Pacquiao as one of the probable opponents but stated that former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter is also a candidate.

* * *

Crawford said repeatedly that he would have no problem fighting Porter, but he also divulged that he preferred a lucrative encounter with Pacquiao. But he said he is preparing for both Porter and Pacquiao.

* * *

Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the greatest of all time, and is a sure first ballot Hall of Famer. It's been 13 years since he retired Oscar de la Hoya and 12 years since he made Ricky Hatton sleep that ended his career.

* * *

Pacquiao at age 42 years is still a good opponent for Crawford if their proposed June 5 encounter would really happen. The American world titlist is still at the peak of his career and a dangerous foe for the Filipino senator. But knowing Pacquiao, he does not back off from any serious challenge.

* * *

A welterweight super fight between Crawford and Pacquiao is “definitely not going to happen” before the Filipino retires from the sport. That’s the view of DAZN promoter Eddie Hearn, who has downplayed the possibility of the match taking place when he appeared on the Ak and Barak Show. He did not elaborate.

* * *

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors, 130-77. In one quarter, Toronto led by only one and after three they led by 53. In a span of 24 minutes, they outscored the Warriors by 52 points, or an average of 2.2 points per minute.

* * *

For five years, the Warriors were the best performing third-quarter team in NBA history. They outscored opponents by a total of 1,640 points in third quarters during Steve Kerr's first five years as coach. But this game, the Raptors outscored them 46-14 in that quarter.

* * *

In NBA history, the 53-point win was the 28th victory with that difference. It was the biggest blowout of this season, breaking the 51-point Dallas Mavericks win over the Los Angeles Clippers, and it is likewise the largest margin of victory in Raptors history.

* * *

It was the biggest in the NBA since 2018. At a certain point of the game, the Raptors led by 61 points. It is the largest lead for any team this season.

* * *

Italian swimming star Federica Pellegrini qualified for a fifth Olympics on Friday by attaining the 200m freestyle qualifying standard. She is the world record holder and 2008 Olympic champion at the distance and she eased to a time of 1min 56.69sec, inside the standard time of 1min 56.90.

* * *

"It's not been an easy few months, but now I can breathe easier," said a teary-eyed 32-year-old who tested positive for Covid-19 in October. This Tokyo Olympics, the six-time world champion in 200m and 400 freestyle can become the first swimmer to compete in five Olympic finals over the same distance.

* * *

She won the silver medal in 2004 Sydney, gold medal in 2008 Beijing, was fifth in 2012 London and sixth in 2016 Rio Olympics.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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