Arum says Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford fight being prevented by Haymon
By Mike Smith: Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is frustrated by his inability to get a fight between WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and IBF champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. put together. Arum says Crawford and Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) both want to do the fight now, but they can’t make the fight happen due to Errol’s manager Al Haymon, who has his ideas of the fights that he wants to make for guy, which doesn’t appear to be Crawford at this time.
Arum wants the Crawford-Spence fight to take place now, as he no longer believes in letting the biggest fights marinate. However, in today’s political climate in boxing in which some promoters or managers choose not to do business with others, Arum is finding himself in a position where he can’t always make the fights he wants to. Crawford-Spence is a chief example of that.
“We want to do the fight,” Arum said to Fighthype about the Spence vs. Crawford fight.“We want to do the fight next. Crawford wants to do the fight, but Mr. cancer stands in the way. In other words, all promoters are working together to do the best fights possible except for the cancer in the sport Al Haymon,” Arum said.
In fairness to Haymon, it might not be his decision for why the Crawford fight hasn’t been made up to this point. If you listen to some of Spence’s recent comments about Crawford, he doesn’t sound eager to fight him. Spence has said repeatedly that Crawford is on the other side of the fence, and he seems to be using that as a crutch for why he doesn’t need to take fight that he could potentially lose. Spence, 28, has a good thing right now with him being matched against guys that have little chance of beating him like Lamont Peterson and Carlos Ocampo. There was no risk at all for Spence in those matches. But if he faces Crawford, there’s a very real possibility that he could taste defeat for the first time since he turned pro six years ago in 2012 after taking part in the Olympics for the United States.
“I’m the head of my company, and I want the fight to happen,” Arum said about his desire to make the Crawford vs. Spence fight as soon as possible. “Now you have to talk to Mr. cancer, which you won’t, because he won’t talk to you. So you don’t know what they’re talking and why they won’t do it, because they have their own agenda. People ask what’s wrong with boxing. He’s wrong with boxing,” Arum said about Haymon.
The Harvard educated Haymon is a smart man, who makes fights at the right time when they should be made. Assuming that it’s Haymon’s decision not to make the Spence-Crawford fight right now, he could be seeing it as a bigger fight down the road after both fighters build their profiles to the extent where it’ll be a big money fight. Spence vs. Crawford isn’t a huge PPV fight right now, as neither guy has taken their careers to the level where a fight between them will be a huge mega-clash.
The 31-year-old Crawford is starting to run out of competition, and it’s important that Arum find him bigger names for him to fight to take his career to the next level like he did with Manny Pacquiao in his many years with Top Rank. For Arum to take Crawford’s career to the next level, he needs him to fight guys like Spence, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Kell Brook. Those fights aren’t happening, and it’s hard to picture any of them taking place in the future at anytime unless Terence becomes a big money PPV star. Arum and Haymon will need to be able to work together for most of those fights to take place.
Here’s what Spence had to say about Crawford:
“Like I said, Terence Crawford is on the wrong side of the street. It’s me, we got Danny Garcia, then Shawn Porter. We got Keith Thurman. We got [Yordenis] Ugas. We got a lot of good fighters over here. Who has he got? If he was an A-level fighter, Bob Arum would have been done gave him a fight against Manny Pacquiao, but he gave him a fight against Jeff Horn. Why is that? Why didn’t he give it to him? Their [Top Rank] guy is Terence Crawford, so why didn’t they give it to him? He gave him to Jeff Horn. If that’s supposed to be your dude [then why didn’t you match him against Pacquiao?],’
Spence’s comments about Crawford suggests that he wants no part of mixing it up with the Nebraska native, and it might have nothing to do with him being on the other side of the fence, fighting for Top Rank and competing on ESPN. Spence sounds like he doesn’t fancy the idea of facing the counter-punching, switch-hitting Crawford, and that’s perfectly OK, because a lot of the top fighters in the welterweight division want nothing to do with him. Crawford is all wrong for a lot of guys, and they’re not about to risk their careers fighting him. It could be that Spence is just one of many fighters that want no part of Crawford. In other words, Crawford is more trouble than he’s worth. Crawford hasn’t become a Mayweather level PPV star yet, so it doesn’t pay off for the most talented fighters in the 147 lb division to face him right now.
“Like I said, he’s on the wrong side of the street,” Spence said about Crawford. “Who is he calling out? Al Haymon guys, right. How is he going to get that fight when he just signed an extension [with Top Rank]? I’m not going to ESPN. I’m not going to fight on ESPN,” Spence said.
Crawford’s extension he signed with Top Rank shouldn’t preclude him from being able to fight Spence and other Al Haymon-managed fighters. If Spence wants the fight with Crawford, he just needs to sit down with Haymon and let him know that he absolutely wants the fight. Haymon isn’t the type to block his fighters from taking on the guys they want to. Haymon can’t force Spence to make the fight with Crawford if he doesn’t want it. He’s got to want to fight Crawford for it to happen.