Is Pacquiao Trying to Avoid Crawford with $40 Million Demand?

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You just have to know the business of boxing to understand what words and declarations mean when tossed about for public consumption. What’s said is rarely what’s meant. And those in charge of selling the fights– the promoters, managers, and often the fighters themselves– use statements made to the media as lures, distraction, and/or flat-out misdirection.

So, in other words, don’t believe anything you hear or read in the world of boxing– especially when it’s related to matchmaking.

Even Manny Pacquiao is not exempt from this dynamic.

The Filipino icon and future first-ballot Hall of Famer recently made headlines with an offer made to promoter Bob Arum regarding a bout with WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford.

“I like to fight somebody who has a title,” Pacquiao told the Daily Tribune. “We told Bob [Arum] I get $40 million and Crawford gets $10 million…I will fight anybody. You know me, I don’t back away from any challenge. Bring ‘em on!”

First– was that actually Pacquiao talking? Second– If these words DID actually come from Manny’s mouth, directly, they sure don’t match the pattern of Crawford avoidance shown for years, since both were Arum/Top Rank promotional stablemates.

When both Pacquiao and Crawford were fighting under the Top Rank banner, Pacquiao absolutely wanted nothing to do with the just-emerging Crawford, who had unified the four titles at junior welterweight and was on the road to a world title at welterweight. Back then, Pacquiao-Crawford could’ve easily been made. Knowledgeable fight fans were actually clamoring for it. The pairing was seen as a classic old master vs. young gun matchup and a possible passing of the torch bout to an emerging star in Crawford.

But Pacquiao-Crawford never happened back then. The buzz said that the fight never materialized because Pacquiao didn’t want it. Even Arum, himself, hinted at Pacquiao’s unwillingness to meet this challenge which presented an unfavorable risk vs. reward proposition for the established superstar.

Then, when Pacquiao first embraced free agency, he had another chance to grasp at a Crawford bout. Crawford had earned a spot as, arguably, the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and was emerging as a possible breakthrough star. But Pacquiao avoided any mention of a Crawford clash, instead pursuing much less tasking bouts with Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner.

Now, Pacquiao claims to be all-in when it comes to a Crawford bout. All-in, provided he can make some major bank in a payday that just may be impossible right now in this Covid-gripped world.

Barring some crazy Middle East site fee (significantly above the reported $40 million issued for Anthony Joshua vs. John Ruiz 2 back in December of 2019), there’s no way to put together the proposed $50 million main event purse right now. With in-person attendance limited and pay-per-view aching, asking for that kind of money is a deal killer.

And, maybe, that’s what Pacquiao is going for?

With Conor McGregor having been knocked out in the UFC Octagon recently, Errol Spence likely pursuing a unification bout with new WBA full champ Yordenis Ugas, and the rumored Ryan Garcia match disintegrating by the moment, the stars have aligned to make a Crawford fight the only legitimate blockbuster for Manny. And what Pacquiao knew in the past is what he still knows now– that Crawford is a stylistic disaster for him.

So, maybe, possibly, he’s getting himself out of a tight spot by pricing himself out of the fight.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a top fighter has done something like this. It’s actually pretty common. There’s no real shame in Manny deciding, at 42 years of age, that there’s just no logic behind launching himself from the frying pan, into the fire.

If everything plays out true to boxing matchmaking form, expect some more bluster about a big-money Crawford clash before things fizzle out and Manny takes on an easier task for a more modest payday.

Hopefully, thing’s DON’T play out true to boxing form, though. Pacquiao-Crawford would be stellar.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing,, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at:


  • Jack says:

    Well, we can’t believe everything put out by the press. Like some say it’s the other way around, Arum didn’t want Crawford to fight Pacman back then. Probably right, Arum likes to milk his prospects first before letting them have bigger fights, and we know he failed with Crawford. Arum can twist words like Trump and make them seem true to many.

    Only Paradigm Sports can shed light on this. Maybe they are the ones offering the 50 million deal (presumably in the Middle East), and Arum needs to take care of some other stuff.

  • Life says:

    After Pacquiao lost to Horn and even after he dispatched lucas matthysse, everybody said and believed maybe including this writer that if Pacquiao fights any of the 3 welter kings then he will be surely busted…until thurman suffer his first and clear defeat which enables Pacquiao busts the big bad mouths of this so called boxing experts… experience is widely respected but you have to respect first before you get respected..your resume is more than 40 years in the making but it only takes one trash article to disintegrate your credibility..of course pacquiao would ask a very high price because of what arum did to him with horn and bradley fight..those were completely sabotage that’s why he signed to another and more reliable promoter. It’s very clear that Arum just wanted the passing of the torch..he thought he succeeded with his plan after he sells pacquiao to horn but he was completely wrong.. true legends would always rise again until his time is due..they thought pacquiao had his due already but in reality he is still the hottest commodity out there..

  • Noel says:

    Pacquaio avoiding an opponent? Nuh…boxing is a money game….where there is money, there they go..

  • Darkhadou says:

    Of course mannys afraid of crawford. Demanding such a huge amount of money is insane. A lot of boxers use that kind of excuse when trying to avoid someone.

    • Marcelino says:

      Asking such amount is not insane actually I rememberwhen pacman asked for a rematch to moneymay and even marq both demanded a 300mil USD. Then 40m USD is very much less and even subject for face to face negotiation. Think that Pacman is proven to blemish a clean records of many boxers.

  • george del rosario says:

    pacman has every right to demand an attractive purse. if floyd can do it , a legend and a true fighter as well as the only 8 division world champion certainly deserve a 40M payday. You can even bill the fight as “40mil at 40yrs”

  • Jerry Henry says:

    Boxing is a joke now, these guys dont want to fight id rather watch the youtubers fight now you’ll see a better competitive fight!? Nobody’s begging these guys anymore i wouldn’t endorse anything buy anything that their selling when you stop their finances then they’ll get the picture the fans are the one’s making there names!That goes for janky promoters Bob”Rob”Arum hint!!!

  • Richel says:

    If you were the businessman behind crawford and you are sure he would beat pacquiao, wouldn’t you take that investment knowing a win over manny will elevate crawford to the newest milking cow?

  • Lucas L Ilidan says:

    You are wrong, Manny Pacquiao said that unbeaten American boxer Terence Crawford is scared of him and is avoiding to fight him for too long. He is just afraid and the promoters are preventing him from fighting me for a long time.

  • Cliff says:

    Life. The Judges had robbed Manny in Jeff Horn fight. Every Boxing fans knew the Judges had robbed Manny again.
    Manny has right to demand $40millions from Bob Arum. Bob Arum has made a lot of money from Manny fight in the fight.
    Perhaps, Bob Arum was not willing to risk his young milk cow Crawfort. But, Bob Arum will blame Manny as his style. Manny should have left Bob Arum Top Rank long time ago.
    What Bob Arum said when Manny left his Top Rank was really sad for who loyal to him all those years.
    Manny has two fight and he may be retired after that. He has to prepare for the Presidential race.
    Most of money will go to poor peoples in Philipine. Manny deserves that kind of money.

  • Chris says:


  • Thridy says:

    Pac-Man was a victim of Arum shrewd match making,Arum protected Crawford, in order for Crawford to have a title it should not be against Pac-Man because he might lose and he is building Crawford as a milking cow because of his age,so they rob Pac-Man of a win against Horn and they knew that Crawford will kick Horn’s ass,
    This is the business move of Arum that a lot of experts didn’t see its logic.

  • Thridy says:

    Probably Pac-Man realized what Arum did to him,he can demand 40 or more in order for Crawford to get the torch like what de la Hoya did to Pac-Man there was a big disparity of money between it is fair for Pac-Man to ask even 50.

  • Mark says:

    Manny pacquiao is not mayweather. He will fight anybody. If pacquiao will not fight a fighter, it is because he has no chance to win considering his age right now.

  • Geezer says:

    When they were both with top rank, Crawford was not yet in 147. And he’s the one demanding for Pacquiao to go down in weight for the fight to happen. As with the present, Crawford already told in previous interviews that they were already in deep negotiations and it was almost done. Thats when covid happened.

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