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Arum: Haymon doubts Spence can beat Crawford

Errol Spence Jr Shawn Porter Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum believes the reason why IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. isn’t fighting his guy WBO champ Terence Crawford in a big pay-per-view match is because his adviser Al Haymon has no confidence in Errol that he can win the fight. Arum says he understands that, given that he would do the same thing if he had a big name guy that he didn’t believe could win a fight against another talented fighter.

Arum says Crawford deserves 50-50 purse split for Spence fight

Top Rank boss Arum says he’s ready to make the Crawford vs. Spence fight as soon as possible, as long as Errol’s adviser Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions is willing to agree to a 50-50 purse spit. That’s something that Arum may not be able to get though, because Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) has already shown that he’s a bigger draw than Crawford with his recent successful pay-per-view fight against Mikey Garcia.

The fight brought in over 400,000 buys on Fox Sports PPV. In contrast, Crawford’s two ventures into PPV against Amir Khan and Viktor Postol were dismal failures. The Crawford-Khan fight is said to have done little more than 200,000 buys on ESPN PPV. Spence, 29, will be fighting WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) next on September 28 on Fox Sport Pay-Per-View. If that match does huge numbers a well, that’s going to make it even tougher for the Spence vs. Crawford fight to get made. If Arum continues to stubbornly talk about wanting a 50-50 split for his fighter Crawford, he’s going to ruin the chances of that match ever getting made. Crawford is already 32, and that’s not young for a welterweight.

Terence needs the fight with Spence

Crawford’s days are numbered as an elite level fighter. Once Crawford’s hand speed takes a hit, he’ll have nothing to fall back on other than his gimmicky switch hitting that he does. You can argue that Crawford’s constant changing of stances doesn’t effect his fights, because he’s better when he’s fighting out of his orthodox right-handed stance. The casual fans are the ones that impressed with Crawford’s switch-hitting gimmick that he uses. It doesn’t help him win, because he’s already beating his opponents when he’s fighting right-handed.

Arum says Spence would be in danger of losing to Crawford

“For Haymon, it was a win-win for Andy Ruiz to go over and do that fight on DAZN [against Anthony Joshua], because Andy Ruiz wasn’t a marquee guy on PBC, so it was a win-win for him,” said Arum to Fighthub. “The question of whether he takes a marquee guy, which Errol certainly is, and puts him with Crawford, even though his network and ESPN would share the pay-per-view distribution, that’s another thing. Because there he takes a marquee guy and he’s in danger of losing, and then he hurts himself.

The way Spence and Crawford looked in their recent fights, Errol would ave to be viewed as the favorite to win that fight. He’s bigger, stronger, and can do all the little gimmicky things that Crawford can do.

Haymon has doubts whether Spence can beat Crawford says Arum

“So the fact that he’s reluctant to make the Spence-Crawford fight indicates to me that he has serious doubts about his guy winning the fight,” said Arum. “We want to do that fight, and we believe Terence Crawford is the best welterweight in the world. We think he’ll beat Spence, and we’re prepared to do that fight on a 50-50 basis.

The fact that [Al] Haymon hasn’t really jumped at that, and is having difficulty with Spence, because he can’t pay him the right kind of money to fight other guys like Porter, because it’s not there, indicates to me that he doesn’t have enough confidence in Spence beating Crawford to do the fight. It’s as simple as that,” said Arum.

Rather than Haymon avoiding putting Spence in with Crawford out of fear, it’s easy to see it as a situation where the fight isn’t big enough yet. Despite being hugely talented, Spence isn’t a huge star yet, and neither is Crawford. The fight needs to marinate another two to five years before it’ll be big. Spence has only been involved in two big fights during his career against Kell Brook and Mikey Garcia. Of those two, Mikey is the only fight that the U.S boxing public paid attention to for Spence. In Crawford’s part, he just has that one fight against Amir Khan, and a lot of casual boxing fans didn’t see that fight because it as on ESPN PPV.

Arum talks about his match-making

“If I had a marquee fighter, and he wanted me to go over and fight one of his guys, and I didn’t have confidence in my guy that he was going to win, I might be reluctant like he is,” said Arum about Haymon.

One can argue that the reason Arum didn’t let WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez fight Regis Prograis is because he wasn’t confident he could beat him. In Crawford’s case, Arum has to make the fight with Spence, because Terence is getting old, and he’s still not a PPV attraction.  In the past, fighters needed a big victory over a top name to catapult them to a pay-per-view attraction.

Crawford hasn’t ever gotten that big name match-up by Top Rank t elevate his career to the next level. As such, Arum is sounding desperate to make the Crawford vs. Spence fight as soon as possible. However, Arum is going about it the wrong way by demanding a 50-50 deal for Crawford. What Arum should be doing is saying that Crawford is willing to take the smaller end of the split, because that would help increase his chances of getting the fight. If Spence thinks he’s going to get the lion’s share of the loot, he’ll be more inclined in taking the fight with Crawford.

Quillin predicting win for Spence over Porter

“My side would be with Errol Spence,” said Peter Quillin to Fighthype in predicting who wins the Spence-Porter fight. “I’m still going to go with the guy that’s undefeated, especially with him being a fighter that is moving up,” said Quillin.

Peter Quillin is making an easy pick in choosing Spence over Porter in their unification fight. Porter is looking shot, and should have lost his last fight against Yordenis Ugas. In the past, Porter lost to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook. Spence stopped Brook in 2017.

Fans have got to demand Spence vs. Crawford fight says Quillin

“Yeah,” said Quillin when asked if Terence Crawford has the talent to give Spence a tough fight. “Because Terence Crawford is a one of a kind like Errol Spence, and that’s one of those superstar fights that’s worth a lot of money to see. People want to see it bad. You’ve got to demand it, if you’re willing to pay for it. These type of guys are able to get a lot of money, especially with Floyd Mayweather going out and getting $290 million in one fight. At least let these guys get $50 million,” said Quillin.

What Quillin fails to realize is that the boxing public isn’t going to demand a fight between Spence and Crawford as long as PBC has lots of guys for Errol to fight. There’s a huge imbalance between the guys that Spence has access to with PBC compared to the guys Terence is limited to with Top Rank on ESPN.

Spence can fight these guys with PBC:

  • Keith Thurman
  • Shawn Porter
  • Saul Canelo Alvarez
  • Danny Garcia
  • Manny Pacquiao
  • Yorgenis Ugas
  • Sergey Lipinets
  • Mikey Garcia

Those are talented fighters, and guys that can keep Spence busy for the next three to four years. How old will Crawford be by the time Spence is done fighting all those guys? If Crawford is 36 or 37 by then, it’s hard to imagine him being the same fighter he is today.

The guys that Top Rank has for Crawford to fight are these fighters:

  • Luis Collazo
  • Egidijus Kavaliauskas
  • Jeff Horn [rematches]
  • Jose Benavidez [rematches]

Quillin thinks Spence-Crawford is a $1 billion fight

“If that fight can generate $1 billion with all the fans putting their money in,” said Quillin. “I think the promoters would put their personal issues behind like when Floyd Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao. It was such a long time, but the fight was so big. You just can’t say no. If you want to see fights like that get made, then you’ve got to pay the fighters, because they’re the ones putting their lives on the line. If you can demand it long enough, the fights will get made,” said Quillin.

It’s impossible to imagine a fight between Spence and Crawford generating $1 billion like Quillin is talking about. With Spence vs. Mikey Garcia not even hitting 500,000 buys, and Crawford only doing 200K buys against Khan, a Spence-Crawford fight isn’t likey going to bring in anywhere close to $1 billion. It’s unclear where Quillin is getting that number from for him to believe that a fight between Errol and Terence can generate $1 billion. Quillin sounds naive. Even $50 million would be a stretch for the Spence vs. Crawford fight in this writer’s opinion.

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