Arum’s Crawford plan: Indongo four-belt unification, then Pacquiao

Ed Mulholland

Terence Crawford will not face Manny Pacquiao next as the unified super-lightweight champion’s promoter Bob Arum eyes another two belts for the Ohama man’s collection.

Arum wants Crawford to battle Julius Indongo first in a four-belt unification before ‘Bud’ then goes on to meet Pacquiao in one of the most eagerly-anticipated fights in the Top Rank stable.

“I thought tonight, he fought a really tough guy and he handled with him with ease. He just gets better and better,” Arum said at the post-fight press conference to Crawford’s latest win.

“We want to unify with Indongo and get all four belts, once we get all the belts this summer, he’s going to fight Pacquiao.”

On whether he believes the fight would represent a change at the top of his promotional outfit, Arum added: “No changing of the guard, it’s a fight that people want to see and pay for, or a fight they won’t pay for,.

“If people want to see the fight and it economically will do justice to both guys. I think it would be a terrific fight and I’d make the fight,” said the Top Rank boss.

It’s not yet clear whether Pacquiao would head back down to 140 in order to challenge for Crawford’s clutch of titles but any contest seems unlikely to take place without the belts on the line.

Facing Crawford at 140, should the current ruler still be fine at the weight by then, makes the most sense and would give Pacquiao a chance to add four more crowns to his already title-laden career spanning three decades.

The ‘Pacman’ must firstly come through mandatory challenger Jeff Horn in Australia this July, whilst Crawford may have to rush through any Indongo clash (possibly August) in order to be ready to face Pacquiao by December.