LAS VEGAS – Terrence Crawford was supposed to be the one sharing the ring with Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time)
Instead, he’ll just be at ringside and be counted among the thousands of spectators who will watch Pacquiao rumbles with Timothy Bradley in their third welterweight showdown in four years at the MGM Grand here.
Bradley has taken over the slot that should have been his had Top Rank promoter Bob Arum didn’t thumbed down a potential match between a young boxing rising star against a former pound-for-pound king whose skills and talent are already way past his prime.
Arum said Crawford has yet to establish a solid fan base that would make the fight a sure hit both at the gates and on pay-per-view despite him being undefeated in 28 fights (with 20 KOs) and the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion.
And so Pacquiao's team settled for the old-tested one in Braldey, 32.
“That’s their opinion. That’s the fight everybody wants to see,” said the American, who arrived in the world’s ‘Entertainment Capital’ Friday (Saturday, Manila time) in time for the official weigh-in of the nine-bout fightcard.
“If I’m not a big enough star, why does everybody in the world asked him (Pacquiao) why he did not go after Terrence Crawford.”
For now, the 28-year-old native of Omaha, Nebraska would have to take the backseat and watch the man who he said doesn’t ‘make or break my career,’ take on the same opponent he easily handled in their 2014 rematch behind a unanimous decision win.
Crawford, originally the fighter Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach wanted the legendary Filipino to take on, sees his replacement emerging the winner in the 12-round match.
He said Bradley just needs to fight the way he knows in order to repeat the same victory he did after stunning the boxing world with a dispute split decision against the Pacman.
“Just box him, just box him,” stressed the American. “You do your stuff in boxing and you will do great.”
Crawford added Bradley should not let himself persuade to brawl with Pacquiao in the middle of the ring or else, disaster awaits him.
“Don’t get caught up with Manny’s antics by standing in front of him and try to be a macho man and knock him out,” he added.