Op-Ed: Pacquiao likely to hand Crawford his first career loss at 140 lbs

By Leo Reyes,

Manny Pacquiao’s first fight this year would likely be against WBO and WBC light welterweight champion and 2014 BWAA ‘Fighter of the Year’ Terence Crawford of Omaha, Nebraska.

Crawford is fresh off an eighth round TKO win against John Molina last Dec. 10 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska to bag his second tile in the 140 pounds light welterweight limit.

The 29-year-old Omaha native is unbeaten in 30 pro fights with 21 of those wins coming via knockout.

Pacquiao, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas last Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, has yet to score a knockout win since 2009 when he scored a 12th round KO over Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

After his loss to Floyd Mayweather in May 2015, Pacquiao bounced back to score a unanimous decision win oven Timothy Bradley last year.

Crawford, who is also being promoted by Bob Arum, who has been Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, is expected to give Pacquiao a tough fight because of his speed and punching power.