Fantasy Fight: Crawford vs Pacquiao
Former eight division world champion Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao recently returned from his short-lived retirement on Nov. 5, 2016, coasting to a unanimous decision victory over Jesse Vargas to win the WBO welterweight title at the Thomas & Mack Center in Paradise, Nevada. Pacquiao will next defend his WBO and lineal welterweight titles against lesser known Australian Jeff Horn.
Perhaps a more intriguing bout to fantasize about, however, would be a showdown between “PacMan” and 29-year-old WBC, WBO, Ring Magazine and lineal junior welterweight champion Terrence “Bud” Crawford.
Crawford is one of the very best young prospects in the sport of boxing, as the Nebraska native possesses a 30-0 professional boxing record with 21 of those victories coming by way of stoppage.
According to The Ring, “Bud” is ranked No. 5 in the pound-for-pound rankings.
While Crawford is certainly on the rise and there’s no question that he’s a talented fighter, he’s yet to face the cream of the crop in terms of his opposition.
He fought three times in 2016, scoring TKO victories over Hank Lundy and John Molina Jr., while scoring a unanimous decision victory over Viktor Postol.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, is undoubtedly one of the best fighters of his generation, and he’s won five of his last six bouts to date. During that stretch, the Filipino has picked up victories over the likes of Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley, Chris Algieri and Vargas with his only loss in the time period coming against retired former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.
Both Pacquiao and Crawford are promoted by Top Rank’s Bob Arum, and Crawford even expressed interest in the fight, although “PacMan” obviously elected to go in a different direction.
From a stylistic standpoint, the potential fight is quite an intriguing one to say the least, as it would pit a young lion against an ultra-experienced champion.
Both men typically fight from the southpaw stance, although Crawford has proven to be comfortable fighting from the orthodox stance as well.
“Bud”, while using smooth technique, is also a hard-hitting fighter with tremendous speed.
Pacquiao is also known for his speed both in his hands and his feet. Using elite level footwork to dart in and out of the pocket, “PacMan” is notorious for rattling off brutal combinations with his lightning quick hand speed.
The Filipino has also shown power of his own, as 38 of his 59 career victories have come by way of knockout.
The weight at which the fight would take place at is also a question. Crawford, who typically competes at junior welterweight (140 lbs.) is actually the larger man in terms of height and reach as opposed to Pacquiao, who typically competes at welterweight (147 lbs.)
“Bud” stands at 5’8” and possesses a 70” reach, while “PacMan” stands at 5’5” and possesses a 67” reach.
While Crawford could certainly move up to welterweight, Pacquiao has fought at junior welterweight, so it’d be interesting to see what kind of agreement they come to.
There are certainly some details to work out before Pacquiao and Crawford stand across from each other in the squared circle, but as fight fans, we can only hope that they do in 2017.
If this bout does indeed come to fruition, who would you pick to come out on top?