Terence Crawford is hoping that he gets an April 9 fight with Manny Pacquiao, and believes he's overdue for a big fight, but the 28-year-old junior welterweight titleholder isn't overly concerned about the fight, saying that he'll move on if it doesn't happen.
"I don't pick 'em, I just fight 'em. But I would be 100 percent ready for Pacquiao. I'm ready right now. If that fight happens so be it. And if it doesn't, we go and continue on with my career. That doesn't stop my career because I don't get the Pacquiao fight."
Promoter Bob Arum sounds like he hopes Pacquiao will pick Crawford, and at least hopes he doesn't pick Amir Khan:
"I purposely kept myself out of it because at this point it doesn't matter who Manny picks. Would I prefer it not to be Khan? Yes, but this is Manny's last fight. I have a duty to him to present him all of the options. Do I hope he doesn't pick Khan though? Of course, but I don't think he will pick Khan."
Arum doesn't promote Amir Khan, so he wouldn't be in a position to really benefit if Pacquiao were to lose to Khan in April. He does, however, promote Crawford, and would be in control of the career of the guy who retired Manny Pacquiao if that were to come to pass. So it's clear why Arum would prefer Pacquiao face Crawford instead of Amir.
Crawford (27-0, 19 KO) has become one of the sport's rising stars over the past few years, since moving to Top Rank in 2011 and getting exposure on HBO. He's won world titles at 135 and 140 pounds, and has looked very strong in his last four fights, winning three by stoppage. That said, there's no doubt that even past his prime and coming off of shoulder surgery, Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KO) is on paper a class above the likes of Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Ray Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, or Ricky Burns, and Crawford would have to take the torch, not just have it passed to him.
There have been conflicting reports about whether or not Pacquiao, who turns 37 in a few weeks, will retire after his April 9 bout. Arum still expects him to do so, to focus on his political career in the Philippines, while trainer Freddie Roach doesn't sound convinced Pacquiao won't fight on after April. Either way, the choice is a big one, and a big opportunity for whomever Manny picks.