Manny Pacquiao can test Terence Crawford – but Errol Spence is fight we want

Terence Crawford is in a class of two with Saul Canelo Alvarez at the top of the pound-for-pound scales.

Manny Pacquiao is a remarkable fighter, one of the greatest of all time, but 13 years have passed since he ended Oscar de la Hoya’s career and 12 since he broke the heart of Ricky Hatton.

He is still here at 42 and good enough to keep Crawford honest should their proposed June 5 date come to pass.

That the fight is in the works at all is an irony that should not be lost on Crawford.

Pacquiao spent his peak years calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr. When Mayweather finally consented in 2015 the heat had gone from Pacquiao and the fight.

The only show in town for Crawford is Errol Spence. Yet that looks no nearer happening.

I get it to a degree. With Covid still in play the economics of the fight would take a hit.

But it would be a travesty for both and a missed opportunity for the sport were they to dance around each other much longer.

Mayweather enhanced his record with victory over Pacquiao but not his reputation. Crawford and Spence need each other to really cement their names in history.

Pacquiao did that in those unforgettable duels with Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez.

What a fighter he has been, winning his first world title at flyweight in 1998 and beating Keith Thurman for a version of the WBA welterweight crown last time out in 2019.

Thurman thought he was in for an easy night and was given a lesson, the Pacman bouncing on those toes and letting his shots go like the machine gun of old.

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Crawford is a different species, however, a southpaw who can turn orthodox, box or bang, and all behind an exceptional defence.

He is undoubtedly one of the greatest of all time but to be cherished in the hearts of fans it is not about records but who you have beaten.

That is your signature as a fighter, and the warning for Crawford and Spence.

There are two or three Las Vegas superfights in that pairing, just as there were for Manny against Barrera, Marquez and Morales.

Crawford will have to keep his eye on the ball against Pacquiao. At least the Thurman result has given the match legs.

If Crawford were to school or stop Pacquiao it might just be the perfect calling card for the showdown we all want to see.

Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo

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