MANILA, Philippines—The much-anticipated bout between Manny Pacquiao and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford gained traction after representatives of the two fighters reportedly negotiated a match for June 5 in Abu Dhabi.
As per The Athletic, no deal has been finalized but Crawford’s promoter Top Rank has told ESPN and pay-per-view distributor In Demand to reserve the date in case the papers are signed.
Crawford has floated the idea of fighting Pacquiao for most of 2020, with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum also fueling that fire.
Pacquiao, who’s the WBA welterweight champion in recess, was never the one to pick an opponent but he reportedly asked for a $40 million purse if he fights Crawford, who is the current no.3 pound-for-pound boxer in Ring Magazine’s ratings.
Although Crawford (37-0) is one of the best fighters of his generation, his mainstream appeal has relatively remained at the bare minimum.
As per The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, a win for Crawford could potentially propel him to the top of public consciousness and be in that caliber of Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in terms of mainstream popularity.
Crawford, once the undisputed super lightweight champion, rarely broke out of the boxing circle and his most notable crossover spot was being in the NBA All-Star weekend as part of the Celebrity Challenge in 2018.
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