Eight division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao wants American World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford to be his opponent next year before he retires from professional boxing.
Pacquiao’s long time business manager Eric Pineda said that the Sarangani congressman, who is seeking a Senate position in next year’s national election, wants to face the best fighter for his farewell fight sometime in April next year in a still undetermined place.
“Manny (Pacquiao) likes to fight Crawford because he wants the best fight before he retires. He doesn’t back down from any fight,” Pineda told The Manila Times during a phone interview on Monday. “He is not (Floyd) Mayweather who likes to choose easy opponents. Manny doesn’t fight patsy rivals.”
Crawford, 28, who is unbeaten in 27 fights with 19 knockouts, scored a 10th round technical knockout win against Dierry Jean last October 24. Besides the American, British Amir Khan and a possible third fight with Timothy Bradley could be the potential next opponent of Pacquiao.
But the team manager of the Mahindra Enforcers in the Philippine Basketball Association downplayed the possible third fight against the reigning American WBO welterweight champion Bradley, 32, who impressively sent Brandon Rios to retirement last Saturday via ninth round technical knockout win.
“There is nothing to prove in that third fight [against Bradley]even he won his last fight impressively. Manny isn’t interested to fight Bradley anymore because he already defeated him. Well, it is either anyone between Amir Khan and Craw¬ford for his last fight I guess.”
“Manny’s opponent will be announced soon. It’s near.”
Top Rank Promotions head Bob Arum, meanwhile, said that Pacquiao would review the tapes of Bradley-Rios bout, tapes of Crawford and Khan’s last bouts in order for him to choose his last opponent.
“Pacquiao will now review the tape of this fight, the tape of [unbeaten light-welterweight champion]Terence [Crawford’s] fight and he’ll make a decision,” Arum told reporter Lance Pugmire of Los Angeles Times last Sunday.
“I don’t make the picks, not for Manny, because people would say I’m pulling the strings and he’s a puppet, which he’s not.”