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Bob Arum reveals shortlist of opponents for Terence Crawford

Anthony Cocks

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Bob Arum has revealed his shortlist of opponents for newly crowned WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford 33-0 (24).

In an interview with the TalkBox podcast, the Top Rank boss named four potential foes for the undefeated American’s next bout – and they may not be the names you expect.

“There would be [Lucas] Matthysse, that would be a possibility if the Pacquiao fight doesn’t happen,” said Arum.

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Matthysse 39-4 (36) is scheduled to defend his WBA “regular” welterweight crown against Pacquiao 59-7-2 (38) at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 15.

The hard-hitting 35-year-old Argentine veteran – who has stopped 82% of his opponents inclusive of his losses – will be having his third bout at welterweight since moving up in weight last year.

“If the Pacquiao fight does happen next month and he beats Pacquiao, Matthysse would be a very good fight for Terence,” said the 86-year-old.

“He’s a guy with a good punch and so forth, it would be an interesting fight.”

Arum is keen to keep the fight in-house if he can, matching his blue-chip champion against one of his contracted contenders.

“Jose Benavidez Jr [27-0 (18)] would be a very good fight,” he continued. “There’s a lot of animosity there.

“We have a guy fighting next month in Orlando, Carlos Adames [14-0 (11)], the Dominican who’s a big knockout guy.

“He could be a possible opponent. So that’s the shortlist.”

Many of the other leading names at 147-pounds are out of the immediate equation due to other fight commitments – such as Danny Garcia 34-1 (20) and Shawn Porter 28-2-1 (17), who duke it out for the vacant WBC strap in August – or injuries – WBA “super” champion Keith Thurman 28-0 (22).

But there is one more high profile name who would appear to be available for a fight on the other side of the pond.

“There may be others,” continued Arum. “Amir Khan could be a possibility. I have to talk to him.

“I think he has a fight scheduled. But he’s okay, he’s a free agent if he fights in the United States.”

Khan 32-4 (20) was last in action in April when he walked through Canadian Phil Lo Greco in just 39 seconds. It was the British boxer’s first fight since being laid out in six rounds by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 49-1-2 (34) in an ill-advised middleweight contest almost two years earlier.

Crawford is coming off a ninth round demolition of Australian Jeff “The Hornet” Horn 18-1-1 (12) on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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