One much-discussed topic in recent weeks has been what’s next for WBO welterweight champion and living legend Manny Pacquiao, and promoter Bob Arum said this morning that there are three names in play.
Those names are Jeff Horn, Adrien Broner, and Terence Crawford, with a Horn deal on the table for July, and Broner or Crawford potentially waiting in the fall if Pacquiao decides to pass on a spring/summer fight.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO) is coming off of a November win over Jessie Vargas, where he reclaimed the WBO welterweight title that he’d lost against Floyd Mayweather in 2015. The 38-year-old Filipino recently tried to put together a $38 million deal to face Amir Khan, which Arum was not part of, but that rather predictably fell apart.
Horn (16-0-1, 11 KO) would get home field advantage in Australia if that fight comes together, and it would be a legitimate event fight there. But the bigger fight in the U.S. — and on a global importance scale — would definitely be Crawford (30-0, 21 KO) or Broner (33-2, 24 KO).
Crawford is currently slated to return on May 20 on HBO, against an opponent to be named, where he’ll defend the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles. He’s stated that his goal is to unify all four belts at 140, but that may be more pipe dream than anything. Crawford is a Top Rank fighter, making it an easy bout to put together, in theory.
Broner recently defeated Adrian Granados in a nip-and-tuck fight on Showtime, but one that did good ratings. The 27-year-old fighter is with Al Haymon, but that’s not the no-go that it used to be. If it’s the best deal to be made, Haymon has proven he’ll sign off on those deals, no matter the promoter or network.
One question is whether or not HBO is still in the Manny Pacquiao business. They did not carry the Vargas fight under their banner, but a fight with Broner or Crawford could certainly pique their interest again.