By Chris Williams: Beginning negotiations for the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford unification fight will start soon, according to Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum. He states that he’ll be speaking with IBF/WBA welterweight champion Spence’s adviser Al Haymon to start the ball rolling during the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 promotions.
Arum isn’t certain of Spence’s status following his car crash last October, and that’ll obviously have a bearing on the Crawford fight. If Spence chooses to take a tune-up in early 2020, then WBO champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) will find another opponent for him to fight before the two face each other later this year.
Although Arum likes the idea of matching Crawford against Shawn Porter, the feelings apparently aren’t mutual with Terence. He’s shown little interest lately in taking on the tough as nails former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) despite the huge amount of interest and money a fight between them would generate. In that respect, Crawford appears to be stunting his own career.
In the past, many boxing fans have put the blame on Top Rank for Crawford not being put in against big names at 140 and 147. But with Crawford rejecting the Porter fight, perhaps it’s been him all along that has dragged his feet.
Arum to start Spence vs. Crawford negotiations
“I heard that, and I think that’s good, because it indicates both guys want to do the fight, and then it’s up to the promoters to come to terms to put it together,” said Arum to Blue Blood Sport Tv about Crawford and Spence going back and forth in trash talking on social media. “So now I would go ahead and talk to Al [Haymon] about the fight.
“In negotiating with Wilder and Fury, that issue came up, and Al assured me we would do the fight, at least from his point, in 2020, which is where we’re at now, but that was before the accident,” said Arum on Spence vs. Crawford. “Until I know that both fighters [Crawford and Spence] want the fight, which now appears to be the case, I wasn’t going to do anything. What is Al going to fight Spence and force him to do the fight?
“I know Terence wanted the fight, but now that Errol indicates he wants the fight, then by all means, while we’re involved in the biggest fight of the year, Wilder-Fury, I’ll be talking to Al about it,” said Arum about the Spence vs. Crawford fight. “Okay, if that’s what they want, then we’ll make another fight for Terence, and hopefully they’ll fight by the end of the year. No problem with that,” Arum said about the Crawford vs. Spence fight.
Spence will need a tune-up before facing Crawford at the very least, and if he doesn’t look good, we could see their match delayed. Obviously, it would benefit Top Rank and Crawford immensely if Spence is at least 100%. It would increase Crawford’s chances of winning.
People want to see Crawford vs. Spence – Arum
“The best fight people want to see is Terence Crawford and Errol Spence,” said Arum. “Hopefully, Al [Haymon] and I will be able to work out a deal for that fight. We shouldn’t have much trouble. We didn’t have much trouble with this Wilder-Fury fight. So I think in the course of promoting Wilder-Fury, we’ll have an occasion to talk and be able to arrange for Terence and Spence to fight,” said Arum.
Just because Arum was able to make the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 rematch doesn’t mean that he’ll be able to negotiate the Spence-Crawford fight. One big stumbling block that could get in the way of the fight happening is Crawford wanting a 50-50 deal.
It’s difficult to picture Spence and his adviser Al Haymon agreeing to letting Crawford, with his weak resume and so-so appeal, get 50%.
If Crawford proved himself at welterweight by beating Shawn Porter, then it’s a different story. But it doesn’t look like Crawford is willing to fight Porter for some reason. Supposedly, Crawford and Porter are friends with one another, but some boxing fans believe Terence is afraid. Porter is a bad style match-up for Crawford, and he could end up getting battered by Shawn.
There are a couple of other appealing matches in the welterweight division that boxing fans want to see. But by far, Spence vs. Crawford is the match that the fans want to see.
Arum says the media decides the publicity his fighters receive
“We’re not responsible for publicity,” said Arum when asked about Crawford’s publicity. “The publicity has to do with how journalists and media outlets want to supply it. We put out a massive amount of stuff on Terence, Lomachenko and certainly Tyson Fury. The picking and choosing of what is going to run is up to the people that get the information.
‘Fury is such a character, talks up such a storm, and he’s something different,” said Arum. “People are attracted to it, and the media are and they buy into it. As far as Lomachenko is concerned, I don’t think his publicity is any greater than Terence.
“Again, who gets the publicity is not up to me or Top Rank. Loma is blessed now with an opponent in Teofimo Lopez in a big fight, and I assure you that once the Crawford vs. Spence fight is announced, the spotlight will go back to Terence,” said Arum.
It’s unclear if Crawford cares about whether Spence is 100% or not for the fight. Just beating Spence would give Crawford a huge surge in popularity and credibility with boxing fans. The casual boxing fans would be none the wiser that Spence wasn’t at his best due to his career crash.
It would help if Crawford at least one good welterweight contender before fighting Spence, because that would help show that he’s for real. Unfortunately, Crawford has never been in with a really talented fighter during his career, aside from the flawed Yuriorkis Gamboa.
It’s important that Spence’s management hold off on the Crawford fight until they know for a fact that Errol is at his best.
Porter now more interesting opponent for Crawford
“I didn’t think Shawn Porter against Terence was a big fight until Shawn Porter proved himself in the Errol Spence fight, which could have gone his way,” said Arum. “So obviously, Shawn Porter would be a very interesting opponent for Terence. As far as Danny Garcia is concerned, I don’t think he means anything. I really don’t. He’s a decent fighter, and a nice young man, but he hasn’t proven that he can draw his breath, you know?
“With Porter, because he was in with Spence, and that was on pay-per-view, I would be happier with a Porter fight against Terence, because I think it would do better,” said Arum.
Compared to the guys that Crawford has matched against his entire time at 147, Porter is arguably far better than any of them. Arum says that he didn’t think Porter was a big fight for Crawford before. However, when has Crawford EVER been in a big fight before?
Arum never hesitated in the past in matching Crawford against fighters that lacked popularity. So why did he not want to put Crawford in with Porter in the past? Look at the guys that Crawford has fought at 147:
- Jeff Horn
- Jose Benavidez Jr.
- Amir Khan
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
None of them are popular, and yet Arum still scheduled them as opponents for Crawford. Porter is unquestionably more popular in the U.S than anyone that Crawford has ever fought before during his career. This isn’t just recently. Porter has always been more popular than the guys Crawford has fought during his career.
Danny Garcia never replied back after initial offer for Crawford fight says Arum
“We offered Danny Garcia a lot of money to fight Terence, and they never ever got back to us,” said Arum. “They never even acknowledged that we’d offered them. So we went to Amir Khan, which was…He has his flaws, Amir Khan, but that was the biggest fight out there that we could make for Terence.
“Well, why didn’t he say that?” Arum said when told that Danny Garcia felt that he was worth more than $3 million for a Crawford fight. “If I offer you $5 for something, and you feel it’s worth $20. You’d say, ‘$5 is not enough. I want $20.’ So negotiations would begin, and so forth. It’s true, we offered him $3 million. That’s not the end of the story; that’s part of the negotiations.
“Again, Amir Khan, that 7 [million] is correct, but we didn’t start off with 7 with Amir Khan,” said Arum on the Crawford vs. Khan negotiations. “We started off with a lot less, and Amir Khan bargained it up to $7 million.
“Danny, without dialog, if you offer him $3 million, and he doesn’t even reply,” Arum said. “Maybe he’s not interested in the fight. The last thing I would think he was interested in the fight, but he wants more money, but let him say it,” said Arum on Danny Garcia.
It seems surprising that Arum wouldn’t come back with an increased offer when Garcia failed to respond back to the $3 million offer. Would Arum not increase the offer if this were Manny Pacquiao that he was attempting to get for Crawford to fight?
Danny Garcia would easily be the biggest name that Crawford had ever fought before if Arum had signed him to face him. Arum doesn’t seem excited about Garcia as an opponent for Crawford, but the boxing public would love to see a fight between those two.
Arum wants Pacquiao to contact him if he wants Crawford fight
“For me, I don’t think Manny Pacquiao should fight either guy,” said Arum about Spence and Crawford. “If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Terence or Spence, then he should call me and tell me. I’m a friend of his. We had a long mutually advantageous relationship. So let Manny call me, and let’s figure out how much he wants and see if it’s doable.
“Again, I don’t think it’s a fight Manny should take, but he’s his own man,” Arum said about him preferring Pacquiao not fight Crawford or Spence. “If he thinks he would be competitive with Terence, I would be happy to do the fight. But all that stuff, ‘Will Manny fight Terence?’
“You know, after all these years when he was promoted by Top Rank, shouldn’t he call me and tell me?” said Arum about Pacquiao. “‘Hey, I want to fight Terence. I want X and Y,’ and let me see if I can get it, because I don’t think Terence would have any hesitation about fighting him,” said Arum about Pacquiao and Crawford.
Manny Pacquiao likely won’t bother trying to get a fight against Crawford, because he has so many other options against PBC and Matchroom fighters. If Pacquiao wanted to fight Crawford, he’d have made the move by now. The fact of the matter is, Pacquiao has appealing fights against these guys:
- Mikey Garcia
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Danny Garcia
- Keith Thurman – rematch
- Shawn Porter