Manny Pacquiao to face Terence Crawford or Mikey Garcia after Horn?Written by Lee Cleveland
Should fight legend Manny Pacquiao defeat big underdog Jeff Horn on July 1, who would the former face this fall?
"There’s a chance Manny could be fighting Mikey Garcia or Amir Khan or Terence Crawford [after Horn]," said Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, in a recent interview with Fox Sports Australia.
Freddie Roach, head trainer of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), is expecting a very big fight in the fall.
If Roach is serious about those candidates, the Horn fight makes sense because it serves as a stay-busy fight for Manny.
"Manny needs a fight like Jeff Horn to get ready for a bigger fight. Activity has always been the key for Manny and when he’s busy he’s always at his best," Roach added.
From a promotional standpoint, both match-ups make sense because Pacquiao, Garcia and Crawford are handled by the same promoter, Top Rank. As a result, the company could keep negotiations in-house and wouldn't have to split revenue with another promoter.
And yes, hardcore fight fans would salivate over the prospects for Manny vs Crawford or Garcia - But would either match-up generate enough interest among casual fans to pay Pacquiao's bottom-line?
Terence Crawford and Mikey Garcia are risky opponents, and Team Pacquiao would seek - and deserve - a purse comparable to the risk.
Don't underestimate the dollar
Remember all of the back-and-forth negotiations between Team Pacquiao and Team Horn earlier this year? The fight was on, off and then on again. In fact Manny, himself, tweeted he was fighting Amir Khan instead but that fight would fall apart because the money wasn't there.
Amir Khan is a relatively big name who can generate international interest - especially among casual fans, the British and Middle Eastern Muslims. Name recognition in boxing, like politics, means a lot and Amir Khan is easily one of the biggest names in boxing.
If there weren't adequate funds for Manny vs Khan in April, May or June in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, one must seriously question if the money will be there for Manny vs Crawford or Garcia.
Perhaps a first round knockout over Horn would thrust Manny into the mainstream spotlight again? Maybe Crawford and Garcia will do something spectacular from now until November to captivate casual fans? At this moment, unless they are willing to fight the great Pacquiao for pennies, those match-ups won't be easy to make in 2017.
Should Manny defeat Horn, don't be surprised to see a deal struck for Pacquiao vs Khan in December as it may serve as Manny's most lucrative option.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.