Arum in no hurry to put Terence Crawford on PPV
By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he’s in no hurry to put his fighter Terence Crawford on pay-per-view. As long as he’s getting television dates on previous TV on HBO, Arum doesn’t see any rush in pushing for a pay-per-view fight for the soon to be 29-year-old Crawford.
Arum believes that Crawford is developing into a star slowly with the guys that he’s been matching him against. Last Saturday, Crawford defeated Hank Lundy by a 5th round knockout on regular HBO from Madison Square Garden in New York. It drew a good crowd of a little over 5,000 fans, and Arum was pleased.
Arum would like to match Crawford against WBA 140lb champion Adrien Broner if possible, and is reportedly willing to work with Broner’s manager Al Haymon.
“Oh I would love Broner,” Arum said RingTV.com about his desire to match Crawford against Broner. “That is a good fight. I would do that fight in two seconds. I think that would be major — we’d certainly sell out the Forum (in Inglewood, California).”
Arum would like to match Crawford against Broner, but it’s probably never going to happen in a million years. The politics in boxing will prevent that fight from taking place unless Crawford drifts away from Top Rank one of these days for whatever reason. With the way that Crawford’s career appears to be completely stultified, you wouldn’t blame him if he did walk away from Top Rank when his contract with them expires. If all Crawford is going to be getting are fights against Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme and Hank Lundy type fighters, then he’ll never become a huge star. Arum can’t push
“The guy [Crawford] is building into a big, big superstar and what’s the real rush? As long as we can get dates to show him on premium television, PPV can wait,” Arum said.
You can make an argument that Arum’s statement about there not being any rush to put Crawford on pay-per-view right now sounds a lot like a promoter who can’t put his fighter on PPV because he’s not matching him against the big enough names to turn him into a star. That’s what it sounds like to me. If Arum were to try to put Crawford on PPV right now as a headliner, it would likely draw little more than flies.
If a star like Gennady Golovkin can’t sell big on pay-per-view, then you have to imagine that Crawford would do far worse, because he doesn’t appear to have the fan base that Golovkin has going for him. Crawford doesn’t have the huge build-in fan base that guys like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has going for him. Canelo can fight lower level guys and still bring in good pay-per-view buys. He doesn’t have to anyone good for him to draw, and he’s three years younger than Crawford. If I were Arum, I would see it as very important that I turn Crawford into a PPV attraction as fast as possible, especially with his main revenue stream fighter Pacquiao about to retire from the sport in April. Arum doesn’t have anyone to replace Pacquiao as a PPV fighter. Arum certainly can’t stick Tim Bradley on pay-per-view, because I can’t see anyone paying to see Bradley fight unless he’s fighting Pacquiao. Bradley looked good in his last fight, but that was only because he was fighting a poor opponent in Brandon Rios. Arum needs to see Crawford as someone that needs to be rushed if he wants to keep that money rolling in for his Top Rank company. That means that Arum is going to need to match Crawford against non-Top Rank fighters.
Arum is interested in matching Crawford against the well-beaten Ruslan Provodnikov in June or July in his next fight. Provodnikov is little more than a slightly better version of Hank Lundy. It’s not a step up for Crawford, and it’s not going to do much for his career. Arum needs to do something drastic if he wants to turn Crawford into a star because it’s not going to happen with the guys that he’s matching him against.
The years are going to go by fast for Crawford, and I don’t see him making the jump from regular HBO to a pay-per-view attraction. For that to happen, Arum is going to need to be able to match Crawford against the likes of Broner, Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara and Jermell Charlo.
Arum was talking about wanting to match Crawford against 42-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez later this year. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
“I don’t know if Marquez really wants to fight him (on a potential PPV),” Arum said. “Let’s see if Marquez gets in the ring in the summer like he says,” Arum said. “Besides, what’s the hurry in putting Crawford in a position of having to fight on PPV? Arum said.
I wonder whether Crawford will feel like there’s no rush for him to fight on pay-per-view as the years start rolling by, and he fails to see himself going beyond the Lundy and Dierry Jean type of opposition. There is no way on earth that Crawford will become a PPV star fighting those type of fighters. He needs a big name like Manny Pacquiao to get him over the hump, and I don’t see that happening.
Pacquiao was transformed into a pay-per-view attraction after he fought an old and half-starved Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. Crawford needs an old toothless lion to fight so that he can have the same thing happen to him. The problem is Arum’s Top Rank stable has become so cut off from the other big promoters with their in house fights that it almost seems impossible for a guy like Crawford to ever get the fights he needs to become a star. I doubt that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya is going to let his flagship fighter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight Crawford. I think he would be far too big for Crawford, but I don’t see De La Hoya making that fight because Crawford is a counter puncher and he likes to hold a lot when he faces guys with power. De La Hoya probably won’t do Arum any favors by letting Canelo fight Crawford to potentially turn him into a star.