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Golovkin vacates Dec.10 HBO date; Crawford takes it

Gennady Golovkin Terence Crawford

By Allan Fox: IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) has officially vacated his December 10th date on HBO, according to Dan Rafael. Unbeaten WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) will be taking the December 10 date on HBO in a fight against an opponent still to be determined.

Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum has confirmed that he’ll be taking the date, and he’ll be fighting in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

Golovkin was hoping to face WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) on December 10, but the two fighters’ management teams were unable to negotiate the fight after haggling for weeks. The Golovkin-Jacobs fight has been pushed to 2017, where it could take place in February or March.

The World Boxing Association ordered the fight, so it’s going to need to take place or else one of the fighters will get stripped of their titles. Neither fighter wanted the fight to go to a purse bid for obvious reasons. If Showtime or Jacobs’ team won the purse bid, then they would look to put it on Showtime.

Golovkin is with HBO, so it would have made the fight problematic. If Jacobs’ team lost the purse bid, then he’d be stuck with the 75/25 purse split stipulated by the World Boxing Association. It would still likely leave Jacobs with his biggest payday of his career, but he obviously wouldn’t be getting the big money that a fight of that kind would be worth it.

Golovkin and Jacobs will hopefully be facing each other in 2017, but remains to be seen whether that fight can get negotiated. It’s going to require that both sides give in the negotiations. Jacobs wants a bigger split than the 75/25. His management asked the WBA to bump it up to 60/40, but they denied the request after voting on it as a committee.

It’s unclear what percentage will be enough for Jacobs to take the fight. It might be somewhere along the lines of 70-30 or 65-35 to get the fight made. If Jacobs vacates his WBA title, then he would be the challenger in fighting Golovkin or WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, and he might not get a cut that good.

Crawford, 29, last fought in July in beating WBC 140lb champion Viktor Postol by a 12 round unanimous decision on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wanted to put the Crawford vs. Postol fight on regular HBO Championship Boxing, but HBO didn’t have any available dates for them due to budget cuts for their programming.

Arum didn’t want to wait for HBO to open up a date for the Crawford-Postol fight, so he stuck the fight on HBO PPV. Crawford received a purse of $1.3 million for the fight against Postol. The fight turned out to be a very boring one to watch in the eyes of many boxing fans, who complained afterwards about Crawford spending too much time moving around the ring rather than fighting. Crawford was just boxing, and not looking to slug and try for a knockout.

As for who Crawford will face, he could face the likes of #1 WBO Jason Pagara or #2 Jose Zepeda. Those are not big names, and Crawford could have problems bringing in the ratings. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants to turn Crawford into a star, but that’s not going to happen unless he starts matching him against better opponents.

Thus far, Crawford’s had three big fights in his career against Postol and Ricky Burns. Crawford was hoping to get a fight with the Top Rank promoted Manny Pacquiao for November, but Pacquiao chose to fight WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas instead. One thing that might have hurt Crawford’s chances of getting a fight against Pacquiao was saying that the fight needed to take place at 140. That was bad news for Crawford to say that, because he’s not in the position to call the shots against a star like Pacquiao.

Crawford would be the B-side in a fight against the likes of Pacquiao. There are fighters in boxing where Crawford would be the A-side, but not with Pacquiao. Crawford needs to establish himself by facing and beating fighters like Errol Spence Jr., Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Jermall Charlo, Kell Brook, Demetrius Andrade, Julian Williams and Erislandy Lara.

Crawford has to be willing to move out of his division to get fights for him to become a star, because he’s not going to be able to make that happen by fighting the likes of Hank Lundy, Thomas Dulorme, and Raymundo Beltran. Those are not big enough names for Crawford to expand his popularity. If those are the types of opposition that Top Rank is going to match Crawford against during his career, then he’s going to be limited in how popular he can grow as a fighter.

I’m sure Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is going to try once again to match Pacquiao against Crawford if he beats Vargas in their fight on November 5, but I don’t think the fights going to happen. There’s no upside for Pacquiao to fight Crawford if he’s not willing to move up in weight to fight in the 147lb division. Ideally, Crawford will need to beat one of the champions in the welterweight division for him to be worth it for Pacquiao to fight him. If Crawford could beat Keith Thurman to take his WBA title, it would be an interesting opportunity for Pacquiao and him to face each other in a unification match. However, it’s unlikely that Top Rank will put Crawford in with a slugger with the kid of power that Thurman has going for him.

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