03 June 2020

Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford in negotiations to stage fight in Bahrain

A seismic welterweight clash between Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford could take place in the Middle East later this year, according to promoter Bob Arum.

Eight-weight world champion Pacquiao, 41, is one of boxing’s all-time great fighters, while Crawford is widely regarded as a current pound-for-pound star having become undisputed champion at 140 pounds before moving up to welterweight.

Crawford holds a perfect record as a professional with 36 victories from 36 fights (Zuma Press/PA Images)

And now Arum, who takes care of both ’Pac Man’ and ’Bud’ as a part of their respective ESPN deals, is confident a clash between the two could take place in 2020, with Bahrain seen as the most likely location.

Speaking to iFL TV, he said: "We hope to get Crawford and Pacquiao in action this year through our friends at MTK. We’re in serious talks with Bahrain, doing major fights there.

"Well, let’s see what happens. Everybody wants to do these events until the time comes to put up the money.

"But I think with Bahrain we have a good shot to get it done."

Crawford last boxed in New York in December when he stopped Egidijus Kavaliauskas in nine rounds to extend his unbeaten record.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao has not boxed for 11 months but still holds the WBA regular world title which he won against Lucas Martin Matthysse in July 2018 and has defended twice since against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman.

Crawford's last high-profile victory came in April 2019 when he stopped Britain's Amir Khan following a controversial low shot (SIPA USA/PA Images)

Arum is hoping to return with boxing shows in the US in early June as the sport makes its return from the coronavirus pandemic.

Across the pond in the UK, promoter Eddie Hearn has unveiled plans to stage shows in the back garden of Matchroom Boxing’s headquarters from mid-July, a set he is labelling ’Fight Camp’.

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