Pacquiao vs Crawford: It's all about the BenjaminsWritten by Lee Cleveland
Will fight legend and WBO Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao face rising star and WBO Super Lightweight champion Terence Crawford this fall?
FightSaga recently published an article suggesting that fight won't be as easy to make as many think.
(Pacquiao vs Crawford: Will the money be there?)
And two days later, Top Rank's Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao and Crawford, confirmed our suspicions. Indeed, Manny's asking price is what prevented Pacquiao vs Crawford from happening in 2016.
“Manny wants that fight if the money is commensurate with the risk,” Arum told BoxingScene.com this week.
“Now, he didn’t wanna do that fight and make the same money that he would make on a Vargas fight. You can’t blame him. And now that Crawford is becoming known more, I think that we could anticipate that a Pacquiao-Crawford fight would do a lot more business than Pacquiao-Vargas did. [More money is] one of the things that clearly should motivate Manny.”
But how much more, Bob?
As it relates to the Vargas payday, Manny won't settle for just a $1 or $2 Million lift.
“If it’s Crawford that Top Rank wants for Manny Pacquiao, then we’ll fight Crawford,” longtime Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz told BoxingScene.com's Keith Idec in January.
How about a guaranteed $20 Million?
Yes, that's the asking price. Take it or leave it, Bob.
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.
We don't know how much Top Rank is planning to offer Manny but his request is certainly justifiable. Manny can fight three or four more times against less threatening opponents and earn $8-10 Million per bout. Why take a big risk without a substantially fatter pay check?
Moreover, Team Pacquiao surely understands Top Rank is trying to 'pass the torch' by making the fight. When a surging young lion defeats a great old king, the former usually becomes an immediate star, or an athlete of great interest at the very least. And should Pacquiao vs Crawford be Manny's last fight, Team Pacquiao would want substantially more money.
And don't forget
Of course, on the other end and as it relates to Manny vs Terence, Team Crawford would want - and deserve - a raise for facing the great PacMan.
Top Rank is confident Pacquiao vs Crawford will happen but Arum might have to reach into his coffers to make it come to fruition because Crawford's following isn't massive and Pacquiao's stock has dipped since the Floyd Mayweather disappointment.
If that's the case, it would put Top Rank in quite a pickle because Pacquiao's chances of defeating Terence are formidable to say the least, so the investment could backfire if that proverbial torch isn't passed.
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.