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Crawford-Lundy averages 982K viewers on HBO

Terence CrawfordBy Chris Williams: Last Saturday night’s fight on HBO between WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) and fringe contender Hank Lundy 28-6-1, 13 KOs) drew an average of 982,000 viewers on HBO with a peak of 1.031 million viewers, according to Dan Rafael. Crawford stopped Lundy in the 5th round after dropping him. The fight was stopped at 2:09 of the round by referee Steve Willis.

The co-feature bout between WBO Latino lightweight champion Felix Verdejo and William Silva averaged 886,000 viewers with a peak of 947,000. Verdejo won a 10 round decision in a less than thrilling contest from start to finish.

“Per Nielsen, Sat’s Crawford-Lundy bout averaged 982k (1.031M peak) on HBO. Verdejo-Silva co-feature averaged 886k (947k peak). #boxing,” said Dan Rafael on his Twitter. “Interesting thing about the Sat #boxing viewership is Santa Cruz bout ended as Crawford bout began so no significant main event overlap.”

I’m not sure if Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum will be happy with his ratings numbers on HBO. For Crawford to become pay-per-view star. He needs to be drawing ratings of over twice the numbers that he received. Can Crawford increase his popularity to where he’s averaging over 2 million viewers for his fights on regular HBO? I don’t think so.

Crawford is going to need to start fighting better opposition, and he’s going to need to face good opposition every time. I don’t think that’s going to happen. If Arum isn’t even pulling the trigger in making one of the few good fights available to him within his Top Rank stable by matching Crawford against WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol, then I can’t see him setting up fights for Crawford against guys like Adrien Broner, Tim Bradley, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, Errol Spence Jr. and Lucas Matthysse.

There isn’t good enough opposition in the 140lb division to turn Crawford into a PPV star in my view. The division is so weeded out and watered down of talent, that you literally can’t become a star in that weight class. If you want to become a star, you have to be willing to move up to welterweight and weight in line until you can force a mandatory fight.

Arum needs to take some risks with Crawford by moving him up to welterweight and then being open to the idea of putting him in with some junior middleweights and middleweights. That’s the express elevator method to becoming a star in a hurry. You must be willing to do what Floyd Mayweather Jr. did to become a world champion. It’s not impossible. Mayweather showed that it can be done. He moved up from super featherweight to win divisions in every division up to junior middleweight.

If Mayweather had started earlier in his move up in the weight classes, he easily would have won a world title at middleweight. Even now, he could probably still win a world title in the 160lb division. That’s what Crawford needs to try to do if he wants to become a star in a hurry. If he has the talent to beat those guys, then he needs to try and accomplish that.

If he doesn’t have the talent, then he’s going to get beaten and exposed. But at least we’d find out whether Crawford has Mayweather like talent. Arum is really high on Crawford, thinking he can become a PPV star one of these days. This is Arum’s chance to try and make that a reality. I say have Crawford move up to welterweight and start trying to get the best fights at 147 to 160. If there’s no one that wants to fight Crawford at 147, then don’t settle for another Dierry Jean or Hank Lundy type opponent.

Don’t put Crawford in with Jessie Vargas in another Top Rank in house fight. Instead, have Crawford face the best available junior middleweight or middleweight that is willing to fight him. Stick Crawford in with Jermall Charlo, Gennady Golovkin, Peter Quillin or Daniel Jacobs. If he loses, then at least he will have his name known by the boxing fans.

I really don’t see Arum taking any chances with Crawford. I think we’re going to see the same tired match-making that we’ve been seeing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Arum matches Crawford against Ruslan Provodnikov next. That’s a fighter that has lost two out of his last four fights like Lundy had. It’s a terrible fight, but that’s a name that Arum is thinking putting in with Crawford. Like I said, it’s the same tired old match-making that Arum has been doing for Crawford and it’s not working to increase his popularity.

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