As it turns out, Terence Crawford will not be fighting Manny Pacquiao on April 9. Part of a short-list of fighters who were considered to face the Filipino superstar in what could be his last fight, Crawford was passed up for Tim Bradley.
While it may be disappointing for the 28-year-old WBO junior welterweight champion to miss out on what would have been the biggest matchup of his seven-year career, Top Rank won’t let him dwell for too long. Crawford is currently slated to defend his WBO title on Feb. 27 at Madison Square Garden in New York against an unnamed opponent.
“Terence was hoping to get the Manny Pacquiao fight and I certainly wanted it for the kid as well,” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said (per Boxing Scene). “So now, we move forward with his career. The good news is he doesn’t have to sit around and wait for a fight. We have him and Felix Verdejo – the outstanding young star from Puerto Rico – fighting on the last weekend of February at Madison Square Garden Theatre.
“For Terence, it’s important to get him that exposure in New York City. He only fought twice in 2015 and we want to get him in the ring at least three times [in 2016]. He’s a huge attraction in his hometown in Omaha, so now the plan is to build him up around the country and turn him into a big star.”
Unfortunately for Crawford, a good portion of the sport’s best 140-pound fighters currently under the umbrella of one Al Haymon — a promoter who rarely does business with Arum and Top Rank.
Golden Boy Promotions tells USA Today that Mauricio Herrera will also not be available for the February date.