Terence Crawford’s long search for a defining fight must apparently continue after a proposed bout against Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao failed to materialise.

According to Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, Pacquiao had penned his side of the contract, but WBO champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) was yet to sign before the financial backing from a consortium in Abu Dhabi fell through, robbing fight fans of a potentially captivating encounter.

The bout had been scheduled for the United Arab Emirates on June 5, broadcast on ESPN+ PPV in the US.

Three-weight champion Crawford is widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world yet, despite competing in the division with the deepest talent pool in boxing, the Top Rank-promoted southpaw has struggled to face meaningful opposition at 147lbs with many of his rivals affiliated to Al Haymon’s PBC vehicle.

Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) hasn’t fought since trumping Keith Thurman in July 2019 to win the WBA Super 147lbs title. That belt was subsequently awarded to Cuban Yordenis Ugas due to the Filipino’s inactivity with Pacquiao demoted to ‘Champion In Recess’ by the Panamanian-based sanctioning body.