Pacquiao-Crawford possible outside the US, says Arum

MANILA, Philippines – If ever the planned unification collision between Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford pushes through, it's going to be held outside the United States.

Legendary promoter Bob Arum, who initially was against pitting Pacquiao – Top Rank Promotions’ former cash cow – against Crawford, its current stalwart, had changed his mind and now considers Pacquiao-Crawford a “real possibility.”

The 88-year-old Arum, already enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, did a Q&A with Top Rank in-house talent Crystina Poncher on Wednesday, April 22 (Thursday, April 23, Philippine time) and spoke about the long-awaited fight between Pacquiao, the World Boxing Association welterweight champion, and Crawford, the World Boxing Organization titlist.

“Well, Pacquiao and his people have reached out to me about the possibility of a Crawford fight. We were hopefully thinking about scheduling that fight outside of the United States,” said Arum.

With the resumption of sports events in Las Vegas and the United States still uncertain because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arum and other major promoters are considering staging big fights elsewhere.

Arum, however, made it clear earlier foreign countries interested to hold Pacquiao-Crawford must be ready to pay a hefty "site fee."

Until last month, a Pacquiao-Crawford is out of Arum’s radar. The main reasons he cited were Pacquiao “is an old man” and he still has a “soft spot for Manny,” hinting Crawford is likely to dominate and hurt the 41-year-old eight-division world champion.

Now, Arum is saying: “We’ll have to see but certainly a very interesting fight and once this (coronavirus) clears up I think we have a way where it could happen.”

Arum’s new stance jives with that of Top Rank president Todd DuBoef, who announced two weeks back that Crawford (36-0, 27 knockouts) wants to fight either Errol Spence, the World Boxing Council king, or Pacquiao (67-7-2, 39 KOs).

A clash with Pacquiao will certainly bring in more money, so Arum is looking at staging Crawford-Spence next year instead. –