Philippines, 29 May 2024
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Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, in an exclusive interview with Philboxing contributor Peter Maniatis, said that eight-division world champion and the current WBA welterweight super champion Manny Pacquiao is ready to face WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in a unification fight.

“I've talked to Manny via Zoom, first time I talked to him face to face in a while, Manny was getting ready to go bed, it was morning in California, and he is ready to go [against Crawford],” Arum said in the Maniatis interview.

“Manny is ready to do that fight and we'll try to do that out of the [United States],” Arum added.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that knocked down the the sports industry all over the world and drastically changed people's lives and lifestyles, Arum would be hard pressed to find a suitable venue for such a mega-fight.

Arum also said that Pacquiao wants the Crawford fight to happen within the year. “Manny wants the fight to happen this year because he's running for political office next year, for the presidency,” Arum said.

The Philippine presidential election would not happen until May, 2022. So if Pacquiao is indeed running for the Philippines' highest office, he'll probably use next year to start his preparations.

Pacquiao has been rumored to face, among others, Conor McGregor, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence even before the pandemic came. Ditto with the long sought rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. This time however it seems the hottest talk of the hour is a fight against Crawford. Let's see how it goes.

Pacquiao and Crawford were both under Arum's Top Rank banner for many years until Pacquiao signed with rival promoter Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions to fight Adrien Broner in January and then Keith Thurman in July, all of last year.

Crawford, 32, undefeated with 36 wins, 27 inside the distance, is one of boxing's top pound for pound fighters but who is still looking for that highly recognizable name to beat to propel him to real boxing superstardom. There are two names that fit the bill: Pacquiao and Spence. Crawford claimed he's been pursuing a Pacquiao fight since 2017 while a Spence fight had been difficult to make because of the not so cordial relationship between Arum and Haymon.

Pacquiao, 41, who had been believed to be on the verged of retirement many times only to come back each time to surprise everyone with scintillating wins against top caliber and much younger opponents, shows, even at his advance age, that he is not afraid to face anyone, even against the world's top pound for pound fighters. This only adds to the Pacquiao mystique and to his legendary boxing career that now span for more than a quarter of a century.

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