Manny Pacquiao vs Terence Crawford close to being agreed, Abu Dhabi to host

It could prove to be the Fight of the Year if the welterweight showdown gets confirmed.

Manny Pacquiao could be in line to face Terence Crawford next in the Middle East, according to reports.

The eight-division world champion has not fought since defeating Keith Thurman for the WBA welterweight title in 2019 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, it is believed Pacquiao will return to the ring in June with WBO titlist Crawford his next opponent.

Should the fight come into fruition, it will serve Pacquiao his toughest test since Floyd Mayweather with Crawford rated by some, as boxing's Pound for Pound best.

"Bud" is undefeated from 37 bouts and is a three-division champion although some critics question the ability of some of his previous opponents, including Amir Khan who was seen as past his prime when the pair collided in 2019.

The report suggests Pacquiao and Crawford would meet in Abu Dhabi with Bob Arum's Top Rank and ESPN staging the event.

It is a major blow to Conor McGregor, who before losing to Dustin Poirier this year, had revealed he was going to fight Pacquiao in 2021.

With the Irishman's career in tatters, any value of the fight has gone, forcing Pacquiao to look elsewhere for a final payday.

Does the fight make sense?

With Errol Spence Jr. and Crawford pricing themselves out of the biggest welterweight fight to make, this is the next big thing.

Pacquiao, at 42, is still the biggest name in the sport alongside Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and will excite fans about his return when it seemed unlikely because of his role as senator in the Philippines during the global pandemic.

If he is to defeat the American, it could possibly be his greatest victory - a win which is bigger than overcoming Erik Morales or Marco Antonio Barrera - based on his age and inactivity from the ring.

Crawford, meanwhile, will be desperate for this fight to be confirmed so he can become a big pay-per-view star in his own right.

Arum - his promoter - has previously criticised Crawford for not being able to sell despite his qualities inside the ring so he will love the chance to impress against a boxing icon.

If he can deliver an impressive display, it may force Spence to fight him later this year due to the demand from fans.

All will be revealed soon but fans should be excited about the prospect of the first major welterweight spectacle in years.

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