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Crawford-Pacquiao, a possibility for June 5th. Thoughts?

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Post by 88Chris05 Thu 01 Apr 2021, 7:01 pm

I'm sure at least a few of you will have seen the rumours circulating about a deal being struck and to be imminently announced for a fight between Crawford and Pacquiao in June, to be hosted possibly in Abu Dhabi. Although I have seen one dissenting statement today from some top brass at Pacquiao's own MP Promotions who doesn't expect it to happen, so who knows?

But if the deal is finalised and the fight made, what are people's thoughts? I have a fair bit to say on this, but might be better to hand it over to you guys first.
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 01 Apr 2021, 7:08 pm

I had high hopes for Crawford but if this fight does go ahead it highlights the direction his career is going. He seems to be intent on fighting has beens rather than the current crop which is disappointing.

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 01 Apr 2021, 11:13 pm

Just a money-making scheme for Pacquiao before he retires. I can't see him beating either of Crawford or Spence unless on an injury or a freak KO. Crawford walks this fight and continues to ignore fans' wishes for him to fight Spence Jr, blaming everyone but himself.

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri 02 Apr 2021, 1:51 am

Well Crawford has been very vocal in saying he wanted the Spence fight - and to be honest I'm past caring who is to blame for it not happening yet. Suffice to say it's a joke that there haven't even been any serious negotiations for it.

But from his comments this last year or so it's also been very clear that he always had his eye on the Pacquiao fight too, knowing it would be much easier to make. I think he sees it as a right of passage to PPV stardom, which has eluded him so far. For all his titles and exemplary performances he hasn't attracted the purses and fanbases that Canelo, Lomachenko, Joshua etc. have. Even now Pacquiao can still put that extra zero on the end of the paycheque.

Even if it happens in June, that'll be almost two years that Manny's been out of the ring, and he's forty-two now. But he is a phenomenal athlete who isn't quite as reliant on timing as some other guys out there. There's still a suspicion amongst some that Crawford, whilst obviously not chinny, could be slightly vulnerable against genuine power. He's got some decent punchers on his record, but no really renowned ones. Granted, Manny hasn't had all that many stoppage wins at Welter, but he does still drop plenty of opponents along the way, and his lack of stoppages might well be partly down to how many of them have gone into cautious, sometimes even survival mode after they've taken a few big shots. Thurman and Algieri (both of whom went the distance but were dropped by him) have expressed their surprise at how deceptively hard he still hits, despite his advancing years and generally being the smaller / lighter guy in the ring.

And despite being forty-two, he's probably still the faster-handed fighter in this one. Crawford has decent speed but it's not his USP. To be fair, I do think he's visibly and demonstrably a better fighter now than then, but people will look back at the way Gamboa's (another smaller guy) speed caused him a few problems early on, and buzzed him too. At any rate, Crawford tends to be measured early on, looking to get a read on an opponent before stepping it up and putting a plan into action.

All of that suggests that the early rounds are the key for Manny and he's going to have to do something special in rounds 1-3 to have a chance. Not just winning the rounds, but trying to really shake Crawford with something big. If he could get a knockdown that would be a big bonus.

Obviously there's pressure on Crawford because, as one of the sport's tip-top fighters, he won't just be content to beat Pacquiao - he needs to do it in a way which gives Pacquiao a big shove towards the door to retirement, really. Anything less than that and he won't really embellish his pound for pound credentials. If he struggles here (or worse still, loses) then it'll just add credence to the suspicion that today's pound for pounders are a little underwhelming compared to other crops we've had in the past.

I think he'll want to make a real statement and he'll have a stoppage on his mind. One of Crawford's best qualities is that he carries his power late into fights - can't see him keeping Pacquiao down for a count but could potentially see him forcing the referee to have mercy on him. Could see Manny having his moments early and fighting very aggressively, knowing that's the only way he can win, but think by the middle rounds Crawford might really start beating the brakes off him. Will be interesting to see what Pacquiao has left in the tank after the long layoff. Can't fault him if this fight goes ahead - he hasn't needed the money, legacy points or risk for donkeys years now.

Goes without saying, if he were to somehow pull this off it would be amongst his finest wins. As for Crawford, though it's not the fight we wanted I guess most could just about forgive him for this one - but once it's out the way it just has to be Spence within the next 6-9 months. And if what he says about Spence and his team not fancying it is true, then he needs to cut his losses and move up for Jermell. For all his talent and consistency, he's short on the eye-catching wins that a fighter of his undoubted class deserves.
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Post by Herman Jaeger Sat 03 Apr 2021, 1:34 pm

If Spence doesn’t fight Crawford or One Time after his next fight then we’ll know who’s fault it is(Crawford fight not happening)

Spence can sell out a stadium taking a dump

He was calling out Thurman when he knew Thurman was waiting on Pacquiao, now Keith ready and Spence saying that fight’s never going to happen. I don’t get it. Getting a bit precious Errol for a guy who’s yet to take on his two main rivals

https://www.boxingscene.com/thurman-on-spence-its-huge-fight-147-id-like-make-asap--156612


Last edited by Herman Jaeger on Mon 05 Apr 2021, 11:50 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by 88Chris05 Sun 04 Apr 2021, 11:43 am

Crawford's problem is that Top Rank have next-to nothing in terms of big names in or around his weight class. Almost all of the better Welterweights are with PBC, as is Jermell at 154.

Top Rank have got the two leading Light-Welters in Taylor and Ramirez, and whoever wins their unification showdown in a few weeks could be a viable opponent I guess. But there's no guarantee either of them would want to leave 140 even after sewing up all the belts as there are still some good fights (and rematches) there, plus even though it'd be a very good win if Crawford were to beat either of those two, it'd still come with the caveat that he was beating smaller guys which has been occasionally thrown at him before.

Before fighting Brook, Crawford mentioned that his contract with Top Rank was expiring "in a few months". I've tried finding something concrete in terms of a date, but he suggested that if it didn't look like it was going to be Spence or one of the bigger Welterweight names next, he'd leave Top Rank in order to make those fights happen or at least force the other guys' hands. I can only assume he's extended, though, as Arum still seems very much in control and has been making noises about announcing a 'big fight' for Crawford soon. Pretty sure Manny's deal with PBC was only for two fights (Broner and Thurman) so he's essentially a free agent, and of course is one of a very select group of fighters with the clout and reputation to drift in between and make his own path like that.

Maybe this potential June fight still falls within those few months Crawford said he had remaining on his Top Rank deal, who knows. If that's the case then I'd really like to see Crawford cut ties with Arum and go with PBC straight after. And if what he's saying is true, that those PBC Welters and Light-Middles don't want any part of him and are just using the promotional split as an excuse not to face him, then at least he can claim he's done all he can to try and make the fights happen. While not all will be interested or fall nicely in terms of timing, personally I think it's ridiculous to think that none of Spence, Thurman, Alexander, Garcia, Porter, Jermell etc. will be willing to take him on.

If he's extended with Top Rank for the foreseeable, though, and is still complaining that he can't land the telling fights at Welter another year down the line, then it'll be hard to feel too much sympathy for him.
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Post by Derek Smalls Wed 07 Apr 2021, 7:11 pm

Timothy Bradley says that it's not anywhere near being made.He was reluctant to count Manny out of this matchup-normally it would be a cynical stepping stone fight,but Manny always seems to have a full tank.

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri 09 Apr 2021, 11:33 am

Speaking of Bradley, and seeing as the original post was largely about Crawford. What does everyone make of Bradley's claims that he'd take Crawford to beat any version - including his absolute prime - of Floyd Mayweather?

I know, I know. Bradley is a Top Rank / Arum stooge you might say. But he's also a pretty decent analyst of styles when he wants to be. It's not just him either - Amir Khan and Buddy McGirt have both said that they'd back Crawford to beat Mayweather too.

Khan's comments were quite interesting. He mentioned that, although he'd always be vulnerable to power, he generally felt that he could outbox anyone he faced due to his speed, reach, movement etc. and highlighted how, in most of the fights he'd lost by stoppage, he'd actually been ahead on the cards or outboxing his opponent beforehand. But he said that, when he was in there with Crawford, it's the only time he'd ever felt like there was nothing he could do and that he couldn't see a way around the problem he was faced with, right from the off. Said that Crawford's timing and mastery of distance was just too difficult for him and left him nowhere to go.

I personally don't quite roll along with that and I'd need to see Crawford outclass Spence at the very least before I started picking him ahead of Mayweather. I make no secret that I'm a fan of his talent, but Lightweight and Light-Welter didn't really have anyone to extend him (that's not his fault, mind you) while at Welter he's barely even fought anyone with a pulse. Both he and Mayweather are genuine tacticians who can win in different ways depending on the situation, and of course a better résumé doesn't always mean you win a one-off fight, or protect you from the other guy's advantages. But in this case the gap between who they've fought and beaten is SO large I just can't see past Mayweather.

Interested to see what others think about it, though.
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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 09 Apr 2021, 12:03 pm

I wouldn't give Crawford a chance to be honest with you Chris. He's too easy to hit, switches off too much and takes too long to adjust to an opponent, by the time he wakes up Mayweather will be picking him off with ease.

Crawford has good timing once he has the measure of an opponent, the Dulorme fight always muddies things for me. There's an argument to be made that he lost the first four rounds in that fight before stepping it up in the fifth, he's not getting away with that against Mayweather. It's tricky to get a real gauge on his current ability when he's fighting such poor opposition; Brook and Khan were effectively damaged part timers when he fought them.

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Post by 88Chris05 Sat 10 Apr 2021, 9:21 am

I've never re-watched the Dulorme fight but my memory of it was that Crawford looked like a guy who knew very well he was in there with an overmatched opponent, and was just feeling out before he stepped it up. I don't remember there being any particularly worrying signs and thought it was more a case of Crawford doing a bit of half-arsed cruising, but might have to check it out again one day to be sure.

In terms of early-round struggles I think the Gamboa fight is probably more instructional, because he was wobbled in that one and did have issues with the raw speed of a naturally smaller man who'd also been quite inactive. No excuses there about fighting to the level of his opponent or not being motivated, as that was his big homecoming fight in Nebraska after winning Omaha's first ever world title and Gamboa was an established world class and very talented fighter.

That said, while he had some issues early on it wasn't exactly a full-on crisis moment and he was pretty comfortable in the fight after the first three rounds or so. Nothing particularly rare about speed causing problems for a more rounded technician early doors.

I also think Crawford is a visibly better and more complete fighter now than he was in his Lightweight days. His power certainly seems to have improved as he's filled out into the higher weights and it's carrying late into fights. He's ended or at least completely turned fights with one shot in recent years which didn't look like part of his game down at Lightweight.

Just looking at some of the reaction amongst fans to Bradley, Khan and McGirt's claims and, while they're in a minority, it seems there's not exactly a shortage of them who would pick Crawford as well. Sounds bizarre but I wonder if Mayweather's schtick these last few years, mucking around in 'fights' against MMA rejects and YouTubers, is causing a bit of a backlash amongst fans who are selling him short when it comes to just how good he was in his pomp. I was listening to a very good boxing channel the other week who I usually agree with quite a lot on, but was amazed when the uploader said something along the lines of "In this post-truth world, there are even people who will believe that Floyd Mayweather is a great fighter." Could barely believe what I was hearing. Especially when that same uploader consistently calls Joe Calzaghe an all-time great, which is a contention which often riles me up....
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Post by Derek Smalls Sun 11 Apr 2021, 11:32 am

Chris as you bring up the subject of whether a fighter is a great or an all-time great fighter, it seems to me that it's incredibly tricky to make the judgement.

To use the names Floyd Mayweather and Joe Calzaghe as  examples.When I saw Mayweather v Marquez I was sure that I had seen something incredible. Obvious that nobody in his weight division from history would be able to beat him.Now I would say that he is a nailed down great.But  with the machinations throughout his career that helped maintain an unbeaten record, careful fight selection and a whole load of interested parties needing his "0" losses record,a public relations type modern fighter in my opinion, just doesn't have the credibility of a fighter , to use a really obvious example, Ray Robinson, who accepted a defeat from Turpin and bounced back as soon as he could to avenge the defeat and then rattled off another fifty or so victories on the trot.I guess he had to fight more often so as to keep him living the life to which he was accustomed to.
The all time greats list should always look back with preference to pre-1990s fighters, in my opinion, as popular culture hadn't seized upon celebrating the cult of personality to the dazzling extent to which it did later.Hence Mayweather crossing over into pantomime fights.I wouldn't be at all surprised if they take the sheen off his remarkable career somewhat.
Basically,isn't it impossible to be objective now?

Calzaghe , a very very protected boxer who was a wbo champion -no offence to the wbo but they had a tendency to cling on to their cash cows.Similarly retired with an unbeaten record but a very average resume'.A shame because I think that he could have made a much clearer case in stating his abilities if he had overcome his fears.He admitted to being afraid of Lacey and was reluctant to travel by plane which just seemed ridiculous to me.
Now an active fighter like Manny, sorry to dredge up old spirits from 606, but ,he may lose a fight but he keeps going and proves himself a top fighter,even  ready to take on newcomers, which says it all really.I would hope that he features higher than Floyd in the 'all-time' lists in the decades to come.
Apologies if this has all been said before but as luded to above I certainly have my bias when it comes to this.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 11 Apr 2021, 12:10 pm

These arguments always end up a bit one sided with new versus old. It's not like Robinson didn't partake in pantomime fights himself, his tour of Europe was nothing more than a money grabbing carnival. We could bring up Charley Burley for instance of many of the other black fighters he didn't fancy fighting. He went after Maxim as a soft touch being defeated by the heat but showed no inclination to go after Archie Moore.

When judging Floyd your personal bias puts far foo much emphasis on the negatives rather than the five weight greatness he achieved. There's no chance that Pacquiao is going to be rated higher for the simple reason he doesn't deserve it.

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Post by Derek Smalls Sun 11 Apr 2021, 12:18 pm

You're right of course about the dodging of fighters being nothing new, but when Robinson fought Maxim he had way more miles on the clock than Mayweather has at 50 and zero.It was past his peak and he was moving up in weight and he still performed magnificently.
In my mind his loss there was an example of a fighter showing such intestinal fortitude that the result is not the be all and end all .
I really don't have any bias against Floyd Mayweather, you would have to be a bit of a philistine to decry his genius.But to posit a question, if Manny continues to fight at this level , a la Archie Moore say until he's fifty,shouldn't we view his record with a different criteria when he retires, one of longevity and maintenance of a level that was below Floyd's but with more quality of opposition?

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 12 Apr 2021, 8:56 am

Longevity is important but it's not the be all and end all otherwise we wouldn't rate Ray Leonard as highly as we do, the least fights of any member of the Hall of Fame I do believe. Pacquiao might end having more quality opposition but he won't end fighting a higher level of opposition and that is where the losses would be validated somewhat, as it stands they've fought at a similarish level (Alvarez would ultimately beat everyone Pacquiao has beaten) but one of them has multiple losses compared to none.

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