Top Rank's Bob Arum says he expects WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford to return in the fall when he hopes spectators will be allowed back into fights.
Currently, Top Rank's events are being held in a crowdless venue at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"We're going to have Terence fight in September, or October, period," said Arum on Monday. "We're looking to either match him with [Manny] Pacquiao, Kell Brook, [Yordenis] Ugas or [Shawn] Porter."
The most enticing name among that quartet is the 41-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who defeated the previously undefeated Keith Thurman last summer for the WBA welterweight title. In the past, when both Crawford and Pacquiao were promoted by Top Rank, Pacquiao and his team seemed reticent about facing Crawford.
Pacquiao previously had members of his team that were squarely against this matchup, but Arum believes those influences have recently been muted. Now the challenge is on the finances and for this fight to be financed to the satisfaction of both parties, Arum says Pacquiao-Crawford would need to take place in a ''foreign land."
Challenges due to promotional affiliations have previously resulted in the inability for the undefeated Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) to get his big fight. Now, with the coronavirus impacting all aspects of the industry, finding a venue and bringing the two fighters together is also a challenge.
"We're hamstrung because none of these [venues] want to commit to a fight this year because of the coronavirus," said Arum. "And Kell Brook, if we made [that fight], we couldn't get him here."
Ugas and Porter are legitimate welterweight contenders with solid credentials. Porter is a two-time champion at 147 pounds who lost a close decision to Errol Spence last September in a unification bout. In 2019, Ugas was on the short end of a disputed decision against Porter, who at the time held the WBC belt. Both are with the Premier Boxing Champions.
"We talk to [PBC] all the time about the possibility of them using some of our fighters, us using some of their fighters," said Arum, whose company co-promoted the Feb. 22 rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury with PBC. "The question is: How do you pay for it?"