A fight between superstar and living legend Manny Pacquiao and current pound-for-pound best (in the opinion of many) Terence Crawford could have happened this year, only for the fight to fall through due to the coronavirus. Now there is a good chance the fight will happen next year. But is this really such a good idea? Is this a fight we want to see?
As great as Pacquiao is – still, even in his last fight, in the July 2019 win over Keith Thurman, Pac Man was fast, full of zest and capable of defeating a man much younger than himself – how many more times can he go back to the well? Can a 42 year old Pacquiao, 62-7-2(39) compete with the speed, the impeccable timing, the sheer spite of Crawford’s punches? If he can, if he can somehow defeat Crawford, well, we will need a special ‘Greater than Great’ category for Manny to be enshrined in.
In brutal honesty, Pacquiao, a pro for over a quarter of a century, would be facing not only defeat, but pain and embarrassment in a fight with Crawford. Crawford might not be a killer puncher, he might not be the biggest welterweight, but he punches hard enough, sharply enough, to hurt anyone he’s in there with. Pacquiao, who took some shots in the Thurman fight, would have his chin tested and tested hard if he fought Crawford.
Is the fight worth the risk for Pacquiao? What would Crawford, 37-0(28), gain from a dominant, perhaps sad to watch win over the all-time great who is loved by millions? Crawford should be fighting Errol Spence next (assuming Spence gets past Danny Garcia on December 5) and he should be doing everything in his power to try and make this fight.
This is the fight we all want. This is the kind of fight that gives our great sport that reaffirming quality – yes, the very best do fight the very best. We simply do not need a Crawford-Pacquiao fight. Of course, Manny has every right to do what he wants to do – he has more than earned that right. But if it’s a farewell fight he wants, maybe Pacquiao would be better off pulling in a huge pile of money in a fight with Conor McGregor. Not too many hardcore boxing fans want to see this fight either, but here at least Manny would get the win.
This wouldn’t be the case if the 42 year old went in there with Crawford.