Andre Ward wants Terence Crawford to stay busy
By Allan Fox: Andre Ward says WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford shouldn’t worry about the money right now in 2020, and he should focus on staying sharp and fighting whoever.
The highly-rated pound-for-pound fighter Crawford has stayed firm about wanting to be paid the same kind of money in fighting behind closed doors as he usually gets when competing in front of a crowd.
Crawford’s insistence on getting the same money makes it hard for Top Rank because they’re not planning on his next fight taking place in front of a crowd.
Although Ward didn’t always stay active with his own career, he realizes the importance of doing that. Crawford will still likely get good money even with a pay cut, so it won’t be as bad as he thinks. Staying sharp will help ensure that Crawford’s career stays steady.
Yordenis Ugas isn’t an option for Crawford, as he’s going the WBA route to get a title shot. There was a small window where Ugas was interested in fighting Crawford, but the fight failed to materialize.
Crawford must stay active
If Crawford is willing to listen to Ward and not ask for his standard money, then Top Rank can put him in with one of the lower-ranked contenders like Ray Robinson. That’s someone that would likely be affordable for Top Rank.
Terence probably won’t be able to get Shawn Porter or Yordenis Ugas because the money likely won’t be there from Top Rank to pay for those guys. In 2020, those fights are off the table, and the same goes for Manny Pacquiao, Danny Garcia, and Errol Spence.
As long as Crawford is sympathetic to Top Rank’s situation in terms of them not having the money to pay him and get a high-quality opponent, he should be alright. He’ll be shooting himself in the foot if he digs his feet into the sand and insists he makes the same money as he did before the pandemic.
It’s essential that Crawford at least fight once in 2020 against whoever Top Rank can get for him. He’s going to be 33 in September, and the last time he fought was in December. At Crawford’s age, it’s a bad idea for him to stay inactive for 12+ months without fighting.
Crawford’s game is built around his hand speed and counterpunching ability. When you sit inactive for more than a year, those things deteriorate, and you’re not the same fighter you were before. If Crawford loses his ability to counterpunch, he’s going to be in trouble against guys like Spence and Porter.
Terence needs a good opponent if possible
“My contract states I’m not taking no pay cuts. If we have to fight for the minimum, then so be it, but as far as the pay-cut, it depends on who we’re fighting,” said Crawford to Max Kellerman on ESPN.
Crawford didn’t say whether he would agree to take the minimum for a fight against Shawn Porter. That would be an opponent that Top Rank would need as much money as possible to sign. Crawford vs. Porter might not bring in a lot of pay-per-view buys on ESPN+. Top Rank would probably choose to stage the fight on pay-per-view rather than on regular ESPN.
Vergil Ortiz Jr called Terence out. This would be a good time for Crawford to call his bluff by trying to get him to agree to the fight. Kell Brook wants to fight Crawford, and that’s another guy that Top Rank should look to get.
Brook is used to getting paid well for his fights, and he might not be agreeable to getting little money for a title shot against Terence.
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