The WBC/WBO and RING Magazine super lightweight world champion wants it with anyone– including Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.
On Saturday night, in front of 11,270 frenzied fans in his native Omaha, Terence Crawford successfully defended his belts by showcasing the elite abilities that make him a Top Rank star, and among the best pound-for pound fighters on the planet signed by HBO.
John Molina had no shot from the opening bell – right up until his own was rung far too many times, by a man who made him look like a “Toughman” fight contestant. At 2:32 of the 8th round referee Mark Nelson halted things, as Molina was bludgeoned to the canvas following a nasty and creative right hook trilogy.
HBO ringside analyst Max Kellerman wasted no time figuratively asking “Bud” if he wanted to light up and smoke Pacquiao next. “I'm just a fighter – I don't make the fights, I just fight,” said Crawford, before adding a few things for clarity. “That's up to Bob Arum, my managers and coaches.”
But to be clear– he does indeed want to fight Pacquiao. Fighters know fighters, as another member of the HBO crew, ring legend Roy Jones Jr., asked Bud a week ago who he'd need to face for the recognition he lacks.
“I've been asking to fight Pacquiao, that's a fight me and my team have been calling for and asking for,” revealed Crawford to Jones. “When I beat Postol, they said he was a straight-up fighter and basic. Yet if I beat Pacquiao, I beat an old man. When can I get a break?”
Crawford hammered a dangerous “Hammering” Hank Lundy in January at Madison Square Garden in New York; melted Viktor “The Iceman” Postol before returning him to sender titleless in Las Vegas; and is now tuned up for 2017 after mugging Molina at the sold out CenturyLink Center.
In the biggest win of his career over Postol, Crawford was somehow the biggest loser due to a PPV disaster. He's put in A-list work, while still forced to pay B-fighter dues. And he's due.
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I stood next to Crawford (who was engaged in a private convo with ace Timothy Bradley), 29, as we all waited for Manny Pacquiao at the post fight presser following his win over Jesse Vargas on Nov 5. Manny never showed– and it was difficult for the “Fighter of The Year” candidate to hide his disappointment.
Watching Bob Arum from the podium and listening as he declared Pacquiao unfit for questions, it seemed Bob (celebrating his 85th birthday in Auckland, NZ, as Joseph Parker captured the WBO heavyweight title via narrow decision over Andy Ruiz) really wasn't interested in anyone talking about Pacquiao vs. Crawford– maybe because he doesn't want to make it and never has.
Beyond and before boxing, Bob Arum remains a savvy businessman first. In November 2009, Pacquiao showed up bruised with a busted eardrum after breaking Miguel Cotto. By bypassing the Vargas presser, Pacquiao essentially passed on Crawford.
It's a fight that Terence Crawford does not need and nor does boxing, for there's a fight – and a fighter – that can turn one of them (or both) into a legend. Only to make it would take an act of God.
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