THE man Terrence Crawford had just beaten swears Manny Pacquiao is an entirely different animal.
Dierry Jean was quick to remind Crawford about Pacquiao being a class way above him shortly after the Omaha, Nebraska native retained his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-welterweight title with a 10th round stoppage of his Haitian challenger.
“Manny is faster and hits harder,” said Jean, his words obviously aimed at Crawford, who immediately urged promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank to arrange an April 9 showdown with the 36-year-old Pacquiao in what could be the farewell fight of the Filipino ring icon.
Jean, 33, certainly knows where he is coming from.
The challenger from Haiti, who fights out of Montreal now, served as one of Pacquiao’s sparring partners while the Filipino prepared for his highly-anticipated fight with the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May.
The sparring came at a time when only a small, select group of people within the Pacquiao camp knew about the shoulder injury sustained by the boxing superstar while on training.
And still, Jean (29-2, 20 KOs) was left impressed with the power and quickness of the Pacman, the injured shoulder notwithstanding.
But Crawford dismissed it as nothing but ‘a sparring.’
“Who cares if Jean sparred with Manny Pacquiao? That’s sparring,” said the 2014 Fighter of the Year.
The unbeaten American (27-0, 19 KOs) just moved up to junior welterweight this year and won the vacant WBO version of the 140-lbs division last April in Arlington, Texas following a sixth-round technical knockout of Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme.
Following his demolition of Jean to retain his title, the confident champion made known how badly he wanted to take on Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), who is set to retire from boxing by the first quarter of next year to focus on a life in politics.
“I'm ready. Bob, make it happen," Crawford said as he addressed Arum in the ring during the post-fight interview with HBO. “I'm ready. I'm gonna let my handlers, (co-managers) Cameron Dunkin and Brian McIntyre, talk to Bob Arum and Team Pacquiao, and let's see if we can make it happen."
Arum admitted Crawford is on top of the list of potential Pacquiao opponents along with former tormentor Tim Bardley and ex-sparmate Amir Khan.
But Crawford is adamant he deserves a shot at the eight-time world division champion.
"Just watch it and see," Crawford said in an ESPN.com interview. "I'm ready for Pacquiao. All I need is a phone call."