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HBO and Top Rank may have a blockbuster double-header cooking on Nov. 5

By John Gatling aka Taz

“Whoa. Hitting the plus icon loads information about the beer its name, brewery, location, type, and abv. ”

Sitting at the kitchen table this evening, an epiphany struck that conjured thoughts of Neo’s classic four-letter word reaction to a supernatural event in “The Matrix”. Understand that what you are about to read is highly speculative, but it follows the traditions of what made boxing all that it was– and still hopes to be. Top Rank’s Don, Bob Arum, flew out to the Philippines to have a private sit down with new senator and former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao around July 4th. This was a very important meeting, and one on the heels of those he had with a boss of another very powerful family. After first trying to secure an October 15 date for a then uncommitted Pacquiao return, the two settled on a firm Nov. 5 fight with an opponent to be named later. In light of new WBC/WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford’s hit on Viktor Postol, the prevailing thought among many has been that Crawford would face Pacquiao in an intriguing showdown. This doesn’t make sense yet. What usually has to happen for a fight like that to take place, is a bout that precedes it to tie them together. Crawford vs. Postol doesn’t do that. But Crawford vs. Mexican legend and Pac arch-enemy Juan Manuel Marquez does. Now, it makes sense as to why Arum seemingly wasted money by putting Crawford on HBO PPV. He had to be spending it to make it back in spades. On Thursday night, boxingscene. com revealed that Marquez turned down an offer to face Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto over a reported weight issue. This leaves Marquez open to a possible mega-bout with Crawford. Meanwhile, Pacquiao could then challenge WBO welterweight champion Jesse Vargas on the same $%@!#× card! This is absolutely the play you want if you’re suits at HBO looking for a monster PPV that would force fans to pick up remote controls and hit “buy”. To face Pacquiao, Crawford would really have to whack and KO “Dinamita”, while erasing a major hole on his resume and doing something Pacquiao was never able to do in his Hall of Fame career – which is stop Marquez. If fans were to see “Bud” do this, and then (presumably) watch Pacquiao chop down Vargas. You get the point. For Pacquiao, this would be the ultimate win-win scenario, for if Marquez (who looked to be just coming from Sparta when I saw him ringside at Pacquiao vs. Bradley III) somehow went “300” on Crawford, it could potentially create a hell raising Pacquiao vs. Marquez V. And if Pacquiao can’t get find a way to get Mayweather back in the ring, but had a guarantee that he’d face the winner of Crawford vs. Marquez?

(John Gatling is a New Jersey-based boxing journalist).

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