Although Manny Pacquiao is gone from Top Rank, there appears to be some bad blood between him and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
Right before Crawford retained his title against Jose Benavidez Jr., the WBO titleholder told Fightful in a media call that Pacquiao is not "a real champion," downplaying the Filipino’s WBA “regular” welterweight title reign. This came in response to a question Fightful had asked regarding Crawford’s interest in fighting fellow welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and Pacquiao.
“Those are the only champions, there’s no other champions other than them. [In regards to Pacquiao], he’s not a real champion in my eyes," Crawford said.
Pacquiao responded to Crawford’s comments in a recent interview with The Manila Times, saying that when the two fighters were promoted by Top Rank, a superfight between the two never materialized because Crawford “was scared.”
"He is just afraid and the promoters are preventing him from fighting me for a long time," Pacquiao said.
Crawford did not take too kindly to Pacquiao’s comments as he went to Twitter to call out the WBA secondary world champion.
The two had been promoted by Top Rank for numerous years and when Crawford moved up in weight in pursuit of a welterweight championship, there had been talks of pitting the two of them together in the ring. That was until Pacquiao lost the WBO title to Jeff Horn in the summer of 2017. Crawford would eventually beat Horn for the title while Pacquiao would go to Malaysia to beat Lucas Matthysse for the WBA title.
After Pacquiao won the WBA title, he would tweet that he is no longer promoted by Top Rank and is a promotional free agent. Pacquiao recently signed with Premier Boxing Champions and is expected to return to the ring in early 2019.