by Nick Gionco
Sen. Manny Pacquiao wants to resurface in late-April for a guaranteed purse of $20-million against undefeated American Terence Crawford.
“If it’s Crawford that Top Rank wants for Manny Pacquiao, then we’ll fight Crawford but we want a guarantee of $20-million,” said Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz yesterday after conferring with his boss.
The $20-M payday, of course, will be outside the revenue that Pacquiao will receive in the pay-per-view and other sources of income like TV rights, closed circuit and ticket sales, additional money that should jack up his earnings.
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum recently spoke about a mouth-watering matchup between Pacquiao and the fast-rising Crawford and Koncz insists the Filipino champion’s camp isn’t afraid to make that fight.
But Koncz says that for a fight to happen, it has to be made for April so it would perfectly suit and adapt to the 38-year-old Pacquiaio’s hectic schedule as a lawmaker.
“The (Philippine) Senate will take a break starting mid-March and will resume sessions on May 2,” said Koncz, noting that Arum’s plans to hold Pacquiao’s return fight in late-June is not feasible as the Senate would already be in session by then.
Koncz says he learned a lot from the last fight when Pacquiao fought Jessie Vargas.
“It was a demanding schedule because after his Senate work, he had to go to the gym and train,” said Koncz.
Pacquiao (59-6-2 with 38 KOs), fortunately, managed to handle Vargas pretty well, flooring the youthful Mexican-American en route to a unanimous decision last November at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Crawford (30-0 with 21 KOs), 29, had little trouble disposing of Carlos Molina of the US in his last outing last December.
Koncz believes the asking price of $20-million is not being impractical as Pacquiao had been regularly getting around that same guaranteed amount except when he fought and lost to Floyd Mayweather in 2015.
Pacquiao fought twice last year, first against Tim Bradley in April and Vargas in November.
The Bradley brawl was telling as Pacquiao decked his old rival twice before coasting to a clear-cut points victory.
Against Vargas, Pacquiao’s speed and power were in full display again but Pacquiao was unable to put him away as his stunned rival opted to go on survival mode following the second-round trip to the canvas.
Two of Crawford’s victims include many-time Pacquiao sparmates David Rodela, Ray Beltran, and Viktor Postol.
Crawford is regarded as one of the world’s top fighters regardless of weight class.
Known as a highly-technical fighter who is comfortable switching stance from right to left in a snap, the Nebraska-born Crawford, however, has yet to face an elite puncher like Pacquiao, something one of the Pacquiao’s feels will be crucial.
Nonoy Neri, who serves as one of Freddie Roach’s assistants, swears that Crawford’s gameplan will get messed up as soon as Pacquiao lands one of those sneaky lefts of his.
“Once Manny hits them, they start doing some other things,” said Neri, who shares training chores with the more established Buboy Fernandez.
“They all say the same things when they’re about to face Manny. They say that they’ll do this and do that to Manny but when they’re in the ring, they fail to do the things they promised to do,” added Neri.