Terence Crawford wants 'passing of the torch' fight with Manny Pacquiao as Filipino icon is 'last great champion left'

TERENCE CRAWFORD wants a 'passing of the torch' fight with Manny Pacquiao – who he believes is 'the last great champion left'.

WBO champion Crawford is on a mission to unify the welterweight division and cement his place as boxing's pound-for-pound best.

He reigned as undisputed champion at super-lightweight before moving up in 2018, and wants to take Errol Spence Jr's WBC and IBF titles.

But more importantly, Crawford is desperate to share the ring with Manny Pacquiao who at 41 is already eyeing retirement.

A win over the Filipino icon would catapult the 33-year-old into superstardom and cement himself as the top attraction at welterweight.

Crawford told SunSport: "He's the last great champion left.

"Since all the great champions around my weight retired, he's the only one left and it's kind of like a passing to the torch.

"Out with the old and in with the new. It would boost me from star to superstar.

"I already feel like I'm a superstar but at the same time it would boost my case that much more by beating the likes of Manny Pacquiao in tremendous fashion."

Crawford has to firstly beat Britain's Kell Brook, 34, who he faces this Saturday live on Premier Sports.

Afterwards, his promoter Bob Arum revealed the American is in line to face eight-weight champ Pacquiao, 41, in the Middle East next year.

But level-headed Crawford remains focussed on the task in hand, despite the lure of greater prizes ahead.

Crawford said: "I've just got to keep winning these fights, back to back to back to back and works towards becoming undisputed at the welterweight division.

He trusts the consistency that has got him to 36-0 with titles in three different weight classes will lead him to his dream of undisputed glory.

"That's the ultimate goal, I want to be labelled and solidified as the greatest welterweight in the world.

"But I need to keep winning in tremendous fashion. Keep my name ringing bells and beating guys like Kell Brook, that's where it all starts."

Crawford has won his last seven fights by stoppage, having not been taken to the cards since outpointing Viktor Postol in 2016.

He even knocked out Jose Benavidez Jr with just 18 seconds left on the clock in 2018 in front of his own fans in Omaha.

But Crawford insists he does not feel pressure to close the show out in style despite his 75 per cent KO rate – as he is already at the top of the sport with little to prove.

He explained: "I don't feel like I have to stop a guy, it's my nature once I get an opponent hurt I got for the kill.

"But at the same time it doesn't bother me if I get a unanimous decision or a knockout because on the record it's all going to be the same, a win for me.

"I think I'm at the highest stage that I can be. It's about maintaining that.

"It's easier to get here but harder to stay as you've got a lot of young hungry lions trying to dethrone you every time you step in the ring."

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