Pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford is yet to defend the WBO welterweight world title against Ezekiel “Kell” Brook on November 14, but talks of his possible next opponents are already swirling.
Top Rank Chief Executive Officer Bob Arum told ESPN in an interview that he has a shortlist of fighters Crawford (36-0, 27 knock outs) may fight after Brook, among them are IBF and WBC champion Errol Spence Jr., and WBA welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao.
Bob Arum AFP FILE PHOTO
“The next fight is going to be, as far as I can control things, we’re not going to fool around, it’s going to be Pacquiao or Spence,” the 88-year old Arum was quoted in the article published Saturday (Philippine time).
Arum said he looks to make either the Crawford-Spence or Crawford-Pacquiao fight happen in the first half of 2021.
Arum, in the ESPN report said that a deal was made for the 33-year-old Crawford to fight the 41-year-old Pacquiao earlier this year in Qatar, adding that both Crawford’s and Pacquiao’s camps were satisfied with the prize money. But Qatar’s ministry of health did not allow the bout to happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is set to face Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Conor McGregor in the Middle East next year.
Paradigm Sports — the promoter that handles both eight-division world champion Pacquiao and Irish former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor — said the Pacquiao-McGregor fight could roll out in the first half of 2021.
Paradigm Sports CEO and founder Audi Attar told the Arabian Business in October that the Pacquiao-McGregor fight will happen after McGregor’s return to the Octagon for a rematch with Dustin Poirier in January.
“The McGregor-Pacquiao boxing match will be planned after McGregor-Poirier II for the early part of 2021. The Middle East is one of a few locations being discussed to host the fight, Attar said.”