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Manny Pacquiao vs Terrence Crawford: Top Rank Wants to Protect 'Ace in the Hole?'

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Did Manny Pacquiao and Freddie roach target unbeaten, red hot Terrence Crawford for PacMan's presumed retirement party in April?

“We did say yes to the boy from Omaha,” Roach told On The Ropes Boxing Radio yesterday.

(Image courtesy of Round by Round Boxing)

“And I heard he said yes, too, but I think Bob might be protecting him a little bit right now because he might be his next ace in the hole, might be the next future fighter.

Crawford, of course, faces Hank Lundy in the main event of an HBO tripleheader on February 27.

Boxing is a business, and promoters, like fighters, aim to generate income. So what was Arum's motive?

Why did Arum and Top Rank move to make Pacquiao vs Bradley instead of Pacquiao vs Crawford? After all, Pacquiao has already (unofficially) defeated Bradley twice.

Morever, a Crawford win over Pacquiao would have served as the perfect 'changing of the guard' and would have given Terrence tremendous momentum going forward. 

If you're Top Rank, that situation is ideal because the outgoing cash cow is replaced by a new one.

Remember how Pacquiao's stock surged after he defeated an outgoing Oscar De La Hoya? And Oscar's stock surged when he stopped Julio Cesar Chavez.

Boxing history is replete with 'changing of the guard' scenarios which always greatly benefit the winning fighter and his promoter.

And sometimes, even in defeat, a losing fighter can greatly raise his stock against an outgoing star. For instance, Vitali Klitschko leaped into prominence after losing to Lennox Lewis.

Perhaps Top Rank thinks Crawford isn't ready and that pairing the red hot 140 lb champion with Pacquiao would result in a thorough beat down?

“Crawford is a very good fighter. I like him a lot and so forth. But I just don’t feel he has the experience to beat Pacquiao right now."

"And we did say yes to that fight also, and they told us it wasn’t available. So we went to Bradley," added Roach.


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