The negotiation for the mega-bout between Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford on June 5 was reportedly scrapped due to funding woes from Abu Dhabi investors.
Mike Coppinger of the Athletic, who also broke news about the Abu Dhabi fight last March 31, said “it appears all but dead after the funding from Abu Dhabi investors never came through.”
Coppinger added that it could have paved the way for Crawford to face an elite athlete in Pacquiao while headlining ESPN+, which was the reported network partner along with pay-per-view distributor In Demand.
“Pacquiao signed his contract but Crawford never did. Now it looks like it doesn’t matter that Crawford didn’t sign,” tweeted Coppinger Saturday, April 24.
The boxing insider earlier said “without Abu Dhabi, the deal falls apart” and it looks like another waiting game is in the making.
Pacquiao, 42, has not fought since scoring a split decision win over Keith Thurman in July 2019 to improve at 62-7-2 record on top of 39 knockouts.
Due to inactivity, he got stripped of his super WBA welterweight belt by the world boxing sanctioning body and was declared “champion in recess.”
Crawford, for his part, was still active in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, stunning former champion Kell Brook with a fourth-round knockout win for his fourth title defense to remain undefeated at 37-0 slate with 28 KOs.