Purses: Crawford $3 million, Horn $1.75 million
By Chris Williams: Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) will be getting a guaranteed purse of $3 million from Top Rank for his title challenge against WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Horn’s guaranteed purse from Top Rank is $1.75 million, according to Dan Rafael.
The official purses is Crawford getting $1.75 million and Horn $500,000, but this is before Top Rank money, which bumps both fighter’s pay up higher. Horn is likely to make money from Australian television as well. The fight will be televised on ESPN+ at 9:30 p.m. ET. Having the Crawford vs. Horn fight on ESPN+ app will put it out of reach of a lot of boxing fans, who are still reluctant to pay $4.99 extra per month. Many of the fans are already paying extra money to see boxing on the premium channels HBO and Showtime. With those channels, fans get to see interesting movies, which makes it worth it to them to pay extra. With ESPN+, the fans are limited in seeing Top Rank fighters Crawford, Horn, Vasyl Lomachenko and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez. If it’s mostly going to be just Top Rank fighters that the boxing public can watch when subscribing to ESPN+, then the company needs to add bigger names, because it’s hard for a lot of fans to justify paying an extra $5 per month to watch Crawford, Horn, Lomachenko and Ramirez. None of them are huge stars nationally in the U.S.
Horn thinks there were some tricks played with the scales for the fight, as the scale he was using had him under the 147 lb. weigh-in limit. But when he went out for the weigh-in, their scale him overweight. Horn believes it was tricks being played to get him to be weaker for the fight. A week ago, Horn was upset at the Top Rank gym that he was assigned in Las Vegas, which had no working air conditioning. Horn described it as a hot box with a tin roof, and conditions inside the gym being unsuitable for training. It’s unknown why Top Rank would assign Horn to a gym in Las Vegas with no air conditioning and outside temperatures of over 100F. If Horn had chosen to workout at the gym the entire week, he might have been too drained to put up much of a fight against Crawford. Of course, that’s good thing for Crawford because he would get the win, look good and help Top Rank by potentially becoming a more popular fighter.
It looks bad that the 30-year-old Crawford is receiving significantly more than Horn. The champion should be getting more. When you see a challenger getting more than the champion, it makes you wonder if the scoring for the fight will be slanted in the opposite direction. Hopefully that’s not the case for the Horn-Crawford fight, because boxing has gotten a black eye with the controversial decisions in high profile fights like Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul Canelo Alvarez. That was a fight in which the challenger Canelo made much more than the champion Golovkin. Crawford receiving almost twice the amount of Horn is disturbing. The real question is will the Horn vs. Crawford fight make enough money to cover the purses for the fighters?
In other purses on the card, former super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza will be getting $35,000 for his fight against Antonio Moran. For his part, Moran will be getting $12,500. If Pedraza wins, he’s expected to challenge WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran on August 25 on ESPN.
Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr. will be getting a purse of $35,000 for his fight against little known Frank Rojas, who will be getting a guaranteed purse of $15,000.
Horn had problems making weight on Friday at the official weigh-in after coming in over the
welterweight limit at 148lbs on his first weigh-in attempt. He was able to make it to 147 on his second weigh-in attempt. Crawford, who is moving up in weight from the light welterweight division, weighed in at 146.5 pounds and looked very lean. During the face off, Crawford stared at Horn for a long period of time, giving him a menacing look. Horn looked amused and grinned at Crawford, as if to tell him, ‘You’re not going to win the fight by giving me dirty looks.’
Crawford got an early start to rehydrating after he made weight. Horn had to go back stage and lost one-half pound to get from 147.5 lbs. to 147. Horn weighed 147.5 after he stripped off his clothes, so he only needed to lose one-half pound of weight. Horn says he merely took a shower, and that helped him lose the other half pound to get down to 147.
“I think there was a bit of tricks up their sleeves with this one,” Horn said to ESPN.com. “He was just underweight, and I was just over. I thought I was under actually. We thought we calibrated our scale with the correct weight. I knew this was coming and that they had plenty of tricks. I’m fine. I think they think I’m mentally weak. But we were bang-on. Obviously, the scale was a bit tricky. I’m feeling good physically, just ready to rehydrate.”
It sounds like Horn hasn’t been thrown off with the “tricks” that he feels have been played on him this week. If anything, he’s even more resolved to beat Crawford and send him back down to 140. It’s good that Horn is aware of the tricks that are being played on him. If he was unclear about what was going on, he’d probably be going crazy right now with everything is going on. I’m not sure why Crawford would need things tilted in his favor. If he’s as good as some boxing fans think he is, he should be able to beat every welterweight and junior middleweight in the world. Of course, if Crawford is nothing but hype, and merely a fighter that has been matched carefully by Top Rank against beatable opposition like Dierry Jean, Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz and John Molina, then he might need every advantage he can get to beat the likes of Horn.