Top Rank offered Danny Garcia $3M to fight Terence Crawford, but never heard back
By Chris Williams: Top Rank recently reached out to former two division world champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) and his father/trainer Angel Garcia for a fight against WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) on ESPN pay-per-view, according to Mike Coppinger of RingTV.
The politics of boxing is likely the show stopper that prevented the Crawford vs. Garcia fight from taking place. The two fighters are with different management, and one of them has lost twice lately.
Top Rank offered Garcia, 30, $3 million plus a percentage of the PPV upside for the fight, but they never heard back. Garcia fights for Premier Boxing Champions on Showtime and Fox, so it’s not surprising that he didn’t agree to a deal to fight Crawford. $3 million sounds like a lot of money for a fighter like Garcia, but the PPV upside might not have been a huge amount given the direction Danny’s career has been doing in. If Garcia was still an unbeaten fighter, then a fight between him and Crawford might bring in a lot of buys on PPV. With Garcia having lost 2 out of his last 4 fights, he cannot afford another defeat right hand if he wants to stay relevant in the welterweight division. Garcia would be heading towards journeyman status if he were to lose to Crawford, and there’s a very good chance he would lose. The $3 million wouldn’t be such a great deal if it means Garcia would need to absorb another loss on record. If he loses to Crawford, it would make it hard for Garcia to get a good percentage split in rematches against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Those are the guys that Garcia is interested in fighting. He doesn’t want to fight Errol Spence Jr. though. Spence might as well be the third rail, as Garcia doesn’t seem to want any part of fighting the unbeaten IBF welterweight champion.
Crawford and Top Rank might not realize it now, but Garcia did them a favor by not agreeing to the deal. Crawford needs to be fighting guys like Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Manny Pacquiao. Garcia’s career has been on the downside lately, and it’s doubtful that he’s going to be able to reverse course unless he moves back down to 140.
It wouldn’t have been a winning formula for success for Top Rank to sell a fight between Crawford and the recently beaten Danny Garcia on pay-per-view at this point. With boxing fans able to see Garcia on Showtime or Fox, it would be a tough sell for Top Rank to push a Crawford-Garcia fight on ESPN PPV. The Philadelphia native Garcia has a 2-2 record in his last four fights, and he would be a woefully bad choice for Crawford to fight on PPV right now. Garcia is more of an undercard type of fighter than a PPV guy at this point. If the bar has been lowered for what is acceptable to sell to the boxing public on PPV, then Garcia would be fine, but his lack of success lately makes him a bad choice to be fighting Crawford for his WBO title.
Crawford, 31, will be fighting former WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo on March 23 on ESPN+ at Madison Square Garden in New York. The decision to go with Collazo as an opponent for Crawford has been skewered by the boxing public, many of which see it as yet another poor opponent for the Nebraska native. Crawford has won a lot of world titles during his 10-year pro career, but he’s not fought anyone that has been considered a good fighter. Crawford’s best opponent of his career is former WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, who he beat by a 9th round knockout in 2014. Gamboa was past his best and fighting two divisions above his weight class at the time he fought Crawford at lightweight. The Collazo fight is a disappointment for the boxing fans, as they were hoping that Crawford would at least defend his WBO title against fellow Top Rank fighter Egidijus Kavaliauskas. the 37-year-old Collazo has fought only a handful of times since 2014, losing to Keith Thurman by 7th round knockout and Amir Khan, but beating Sammy Vasquez, Christopher Degollado, Bryant Perrella and Victor Ortiz.
“It was a totally professional discussion,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said to Mike Coppinger of RingTV.com. “He said he would discuss it with Danny. Never heard back. I appreciate him taking the call. I think that door is always open. Absolutely.”
It’s getting to the critical point in Crawford’s career where he needs to finally start fighting the elite level fighters for him to become a PPV star or even a minor star. Crawford is getting up there in age, and about to turn 32. His speed doesn’t seem to be as good as it once was now that he’s moved up to 147. While a lot of fuss was made about Crawford unifying the light welterweight division last year. The fact of the matter is, Crawford didn’t beat any of the talented fighters in the 140 lb division to win his four titles in that weight class.
Here are the fighters Crawford beat to become the unified light welterweight champion:
– Thomas Dulorme [vacant WBO 140lb belt]
– Viktor Ortiz [WBC 140lb title]
– Julius Indongo [IBF & WBO 140 lb belts]
Those guys are not among the top at light welterweight now. The best fighters in the 140 lb division today are these guys:
– Regis Prograis
– Josh Taylor
– Jose Ramirez
– Ivan Barachyk
– Kiryl Relikh
You can’t rule out Crawford beating all of those fighters, but the fact that he didn’t stick around to fight any of them makes him look like he was a paper champion. Crawford didn’t beat anyone as good as the above fighters to win his belts at 140, and then he quickly vacated all of his titles when these fighters emerged. Crawford isn’t getting the fights that he needs to be getting to take his career to the next level, and now we’re seeing the same thing from him with his move up to 147. In Crawford’s two fights in the 147 lb weight class, he’s beaten Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez Jr. Those are average fighters.
Danny Garcia will be fighting fringe contender Adrian Grandos (20-6-2, 14 KOs) next year on April 20 at a still to be determined location. That’s what you call a confidence booster for Garcia. He’ll obviously make less than what he would have gotten for the Crawford fight, but he has a better chance of winning.
The fighter that Top Rank should be targeting for Crawford is Keith Thurman. Up until he suffered an elbow injury last year, he was seen as the best fighter in the welterweight division. Thurman will be back inside the ring next year. If he wins his comeback fight, he’ll be a great option for Crawford if Top Rank can throw a big enough money offer at him to get him to take the fight.