Arum: The Crawford-Horn winner will be the next superstar at 147
By Chris Williams: Bob Arum of Top Rank believes the winner of the June 9 fight between WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford will be the next super star of the 147 lb. division. Arum promotes both fighters, and he thinks that their next fight in less than one month will create the new star at welterweight.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) will be challenging the 30-year-old Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) for his World Boxing Organization title on June 9 on Top Rank Boxing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Arum’s original idea was to have the Horn-Crawford fight on ESPN pay-per-view with former 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao on the undercard. However, Pacquiao didn’t want to fight on the undercard, so that left just Horn and Crawford, and that clearly wasn’t a PPV worthy fight that could be sold to the masses.
“If Horn wins, a lot of elite fighters like Pacquiao will be knocking on looking to challenge him,” Arum said to Fighthype about the Crawford vs. Horn fight. “If Crawford beats Horn, he’ll have an opportunity to defend his title in the coming months on ESPN. There are a lot of welterweights he can fight. There’s Errol Spence. There’s Danny Garcia. There’s Adames. There are a lot of good welterweights that would step up to challenge Terence,” Arum said.
I don’t know if Arum will be able to make a fight between Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. right off the bat if Terence beats Jeff Horn on June 9. I doubt that Arum will even try to make the Crawford-Spence fight. I think Arum will want to let that fight marinate more, and he’ll probably want Crawford to get more comfortable at 147 before he matches him against a big welterweight like Spence Jr.
Carlos Adames (14-0, 11 KOs), who Arum said is a possible option for Crawford, is actually a junior middleweight and would need to drop down from 154 in order to fight him. Adames is still too much of an unknown for him to be worth much in terms of attracting interest in a fight against Crawford. Besides that, Adames didn’t look that good beating Alejandro Barrera last Saturday night on the undercard of the Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares card at Madison Square Garden in New York. Adames was forced to go the full 10 rounds to defeat Barrera by a 10 round unanimous decision by the scores 97-93, 96-94 an 98-92. This is the same Barrera that Errol Spence Jr. destroyed in 5 rounds in November 2015.
“The winner of this fight and Jeff Horn will definitely be considered the next superstar of the welterweight division. If you look at size, you have to give Jeff Horn a very good chance,” Arum said. “I think Horn is going to really surprise some people,” Arum said to ES News Reporting. “It’s not that he’s going to beat Crawford. I don’t think so, but he’s going to give him a hell of a fight. He’s a big, strong welterweight. If you thought there was a weight disparity between Lomachenko and Linares, wait until you see Crawford and Horn. The type of weight disparity they’re going to see. Horn is a big guy,” Arum said.
Horn is a huge welterweight, who probably will rehydrate to 170 on the night against Crawford. The thing is, Crawford will be running around the ring, jabbing, clinching and trying to outsmart Horn. This won’t be a war by any means, because that’s not the type of fighter that Crawford is. He’s a counter puncher, who likes to move, chance his fighting stance and stay out of harm’s way.
Crawford’s fights usually aren’t very exciting to watch. If you look at Crawford’s matches with John Molina, Viktor Postol, Felix Diaz, Dierry Jean and Henry Lundy, they were all very boring fights. The only exciting fights that Crawford has had were his contests against Julius Indogo and Yuiriorkis Gamboa. For that reason, I don’t think that Crawford is going to be turned into the next superstar of the welterweight division if he beats Jeff Horn.
I don’t think anything changes in terms of Crawford’s popularity. He wasn’t a superstar at 140 when he fought in that weight class, and he wasn’t a superstar when he fought at lightweight. Arum doesn’t realize there’s a difference between being considered the best fighter in a weight class and being a superstar. Just because a fighter is the best in their respective weight class it doesn’t mean they’re a superstar. It doesn’t work that way. There aren’t that many superstars in boxing anyway. I consider a superstar as a fighter that the boxing fans will pay to watch. IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is a superstar in the UK, but not elsewhere around the world. Saul Canelo Alvarez is a superstar in the U.S. Gennady Golovkin is not a superstar despite being considered the best fighter at 160. The winner of the Crawford vs. Horn fight will be just another champion, and that’s about it.
Crawford really needs to change his fighting style to become more entertaining because he’s too boring to watch for him to become a star. Crawford doesn’t stand in the pocket like Floyd Mayweather Jr. did. Crawford moves too much, holds and is too focused on jabbing and trying to be cute. Crawford also does a lot of showboating and it makes him look bad, because it’s not entertaining to watch. It’s like with Lomachenko. When he showboats by throwing pitty-pat punches, it makes him look less interesting to watch compared to if he just his hands go and loaded up on his punches. Boxing fans want to see fighters hitting their opponents as hard as they can. They don’t go for the tapping shots that Lomachenko throws. It’s not interesting to watch. Honestly, I don’t think Crawford will ever be a star. He lacks the personality and the fighting style. It takes a lot to be a superstar, but the one constant is that the fighter has to be willing to stand and fight. Mayweather wouldn’t have become a star if he hadn’t changed his fighting style to become more stationary. I doubt that Crawford will ever be a stationary fighter, because e’s too much of a safety first fighter.
The real question you have to ask is where is the promotion of the Horn vs. Crawford fight? The fight is less than one months away and there is almost no discussion about it on social media and the boxing forums. I don’t see much effort going into the marketing of the fight. I don’t understand why Arum isn’t putting forth more of an effort to promote the Horn-Crawford fight. When you compare the effort that Golovkin and Canelo’s promoters put in to promote their fights, it’s like night and day when you look at the marketing of the Horn vs. Crawford fight. I’m wondering if Arum believes that the casual boxing fans will simply tune in to watch the Crawford vs. Horn fight on June 9 because it’s on ESPN? It doesn’t work that way. The fight needs to be promoted and hyped, and I don’t see that happening at all. Personally, I think Crawford would be a bigger name if he was with Golden Boy. I think they would do a better job of building his brand than Top Rank. I think Crawford needs a good PR guy that can help him build his image, because he seems lost.