One of the biggest knocks on the career of Terence Crawford since moving to welterweight and capturing the WBO championship has been his level of competition. Crawford has positioned himself as one of the sport's great pound-for-pound fighters, but that positioning is largely based on his obvious skills rather than a compelling resume. It does not help that PBC controls almost every available top welterweight opponent for Crawford, a Top Rank fighter.
That could be changing, however, with Top Rank's Bob Arum saying a fight between Crawford and WBA (super) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. The fight has been long-talked about, including when Crawford and Pacquiao were both under the Top Rank banner, but appears closer than ever, with Arum even discussing potential dates for the fight, though with a sort of cautious optimism.
"The Pacquiao fight, obviously we'd like to do it," Arum told BoxingScene. "Whether we can do it, how we can do it, that's what we're figuring out now. Obviously, if it can happen it'll happen, and if it can't happen, it won't happen. But nothing is concrete on that. We hope we can do it. We're trying, but this is not a usual situation."
While Pacquiao is on the back side of his career at 41 years old, he is riding a three-fight winning streak, including a rousing July 2019 win over Keith Thurman to defend his championship.
Kell Brook remains a potential opponent for Crawford should the fight with Pacquiao not come to fruition. One sticking point would be the financial end of the fight, though Arum said he is exploring options outside the United States that could pay a significant site fee to offset the lack of live gate revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But a mid-November date seems to be set for Crawford no matter the opponent.
"We told Terence that he's scheduled to fight in November," Arum said. "If it can't be Pacquiao for various reasons, then we'll match him with somebody else. But we told Terence to prepare for mid-November, whether it's the 14th or the 21st."