Pacquiao-Crawford fight off due to money issues, says Arum
MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao’s proposed mega-fight against WBO World welterweight champion Terence Crawford fell by the wayside with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum saying talks regarding the bout’s money completely fell through.
In a report from BoxingScene, Arum said that a deal was agreed upon for Crawford’s defense of his title on June 5 in the main event of an ESPN pay-per-view event in Abu Dhabi, but the money that was supposed to be put up by a specific deadline did not arrive.
“Look, what happened to us in Abu Dhabi was we had signed contracts and everything and they were supposed to put up the money,” said Arum in Dan Rafael’s report. “Well, I’ve been waiting two weeks for the money. Nobody put up the money after promising they would.”
“Both (Pacquiao and Crawford) had agreed and we had a signed agreement from this group in Abu Dhabi subject to the money getting put up by the Abu Dhabi government.”
Arum said that without the money, the fight had to be called off.
Former Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz brokered the match and that investors already agreed to put up the dollar figure but Arum acknowledged that because of the COVID-19 pandemic a large crowd in the venue would be impossible.
“Sure, I’m disappointed about that,” said Arum. “Why do you think I’m so pessimistic? What’s happening is they (overseas investors) make these deals and they look good and so forth and then somebody says, ‘Hey, with the Covid (pandemic), who’s coming?’ (Because of the coronavirus pandemic) everybody is counting on money from outside the United States.”
But Arum believes a fight for the 33-year-old Crawford could still happen this year, though the opponent would be outside of Top Rank’s stable.
“We’re gonna have a fight. Crawford will be in the ring by September,” said Arum. “We have certain (names) but I’m not going to reveal it until I’ve got it done. It’s not a Top Rank boxer.”
Crawford (37-0) has won World titles in three weight classes including the undisputed championship in the super lightweight division.
Despite his notoriety, third in The Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings, Crawford has had difficulty finding opponents as the best welterweights in the world belong to the Premier Boxing Champions stable, including WBC and IBF champion Errol Spence and WBA champion in recess Pacquiao.