Should Manny Pacquiao face Terence Crawford next?
By Hector Franco
A few weeks ago in Las Vegas, Terence Crawford staked his claim as the best junior welterweight in the world. He was able to outbox, out maneuver and out think his opponent Viktor Postol to a one-sided decision victory. This win has seemingly opened up the road for Crawford to face future Hall-of-Famer Manny Pacquiao.
Earlier this year, before Pacquiao faced Timothy Bradley there were talks of a fight between Crawford and the Filipino Senator. The fight didn’t come to fruition. With Pacquiao now coming out of his short-lived retirement and set to return on November 5th, a fight with Crawford is once again a possibility.
For Crawford, a fight with Pacquiao is filled with nothing but positives. He will get his chance to face a fighter that is considered one of the best of his era and still able to perform at a high level as demonstrated by his performance against Timothy Bradley in April. The Omaha native will also have the advantage of facing a fighter who has boxing in his rear view. With Pacquiao officially becoming a Senator this past May he will no longer be able to have anytime training at the Wild Card Gym in California. Most of his training will be done in the Phillippines.
Since 2010, Pacquiao has had his training camps in the Philipines split with time in California. This change for many observers has resulted in Pacquiao having subpar training camps. Thus resulting in performances that left fans feeling that Pacquiao could have done better. It looked like he was going through the motions. As a Senator, can Pacquiao still have training camps where he gives 100%? Let’s not forget, Pacquiao is 37 years old. Even Pacquiao’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach per boxingscene.com, feels that a fight with Crawford shouldn’t be next for the Pacman.
There are some positives for Pacquiao to face Crawford. The fight itself would be highly anticipated by all boxing fans. It would be viewed as a passing of the torch moment in the sport. A fight where fans can find out where Crawford stands as one of the best in the world. The former 8-division champion would be given an enormous amount of credit for facing a fighter in his prime with the kind of skill’s Crawford possesses.
The negatives for facing Crawford for Pacquiao may outweigh the positives. With Crawford's last performance against Postol, he demonstrated an ability to fight off the backfoot as a southpaw for 12 rounds. With the imminent feeling of a Floyd Mayweather rematch on the horizon, Pacquiao could wait to face Floyd in a rematch rather than Crawford who would present a similar boxing style for more than twice the money. Another factor in this equation is that the business for Pacquiao isn’t quite what it used to be. Besides the Mayweather fight last May, Pacquiao hasn’t broken a million PPV buys since December 2012. An immediate Crawford fight in November may not garner as much attention needed to make a profit in a PPV event.
At this point, if Pacquiao wants to continue fighting his only other option besides Crawford, is a bout with WBO welterweight champion, Jessie Vargas. Potential fights with Adrien Broner and Danny Garcia didn’t pan out because of promotional and money issues. Certainly, Vargas hasn’t proven that he would deliver a bigger audience than Crawford, but it does give Pacquiao an opponent who stylistically would be better suited for him at this stage. A PPV with Pacquiao-Vargas and Crawford on the undercard could help make a Crawford-Pacquiao fight bigger if both men were to perform well.
Ultimately it’s up to Pacquiao as to whom he faces next. He knows better than anyone else if he will be able to prepare for a challenge like Crawford. So, should Pacquiao face Terence Crawford next? He may want to see how his training camps will be run as a Senator first, but even if Crawford isn’t next for Pacquiao it seems that they are on a collision course to meet in the future.
(Featured Photo: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)