For years fans clamored to see Omaha boxer Terence “Bud” Crawford get in the ring with Manny Pacquiao. But the fight never happened, and likely never will.
Bob Arum — whose company, Top Rank, handles promotion for Crawford and formerly did for Pacquiao — shed some light this week on why the bout never materialized. During an interview with Fight Hub TV posted to YouTube, Arum admitted that he “killed the fight.”
“I know how it would end,” Arum said. “Not that I knew it would end in serious disability for Manny. That I wouldn’t know. But as a fight, it would only end one way…
“Forget my emotions, I wouldn’t want to see him take that kind of damage because it might affect (the quality of) his future life.”
The possibility of a Crawford-Pacquiao fight seemed strongest in 2016. Arum at the time had mentioned Crawford as a possible candidate to fight Pacquiao in his return from a temporary retirement.
Instead Pacquiao fought Australian Jeff Horn in July 2017, losing the WBO welterweight title via unanimous, yet controversial, decision. Crawford also fought Horn about a year later — his first bout as a welterweight — and defeated him by technical knockout to take that title.
Crawford referenced that fight with Horn in a tweet he sent to Pacquiao in October.
@mannypacquiao you said I was scared of you? Stop it you and I both know that you didn't want to fight me that's why you fought Jeff Horn. I had to go behind you and clean up what you couldn't do because you thought it was sweet and take the easy route you forgot
— Terence Crawford (@budcrawford402) October 20, 2018
“You said I was scared of you? Stop it, you and I both know that you didn’t want to fight me that’s why you fought Jeff Horn. I had to go behind you and clean up what you couldn’t do because you thought it was sweet and take the easy route, you forgot.”
The 40-year-old Pacquiao has fought twice since facing Horn. He most recently retained his WBA welterweight title by defeating Adrien Broner on Jan. 19.
Crawford is scheduled to defend his WBO welterweight title against Amir Khan on April 20.