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Terence Crawford talks Kell Brook negotiations for November fight

Kell Brook Terence Crawford

By Max Seitelman: Terence Crawford is taking a casual outlook on the next possible title defense of his WBO welterweight belt against Kell Brook in November.

The negotiations are underway and said to be progressing for the Crawford-Brook fight in Las Vegas on ESPN. In the latest news for Crawford’s defense against Brook, the offer from Top Rank to Kell has been boosted from $1.5 million to $2 million.

That’s what’s on the extremely low side for a title challenger, but these are challenging times. The pandemic will get in the way of Crawford (36-0, 17 KOs) and Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) battling in front of a crowd in November, so the money that each fighter can get will be limited.

Crawford vs. Brook on PPV?

There has been talking of Crawford vs. Brook being shown on Sky Box Office pay-per-view in the UK, but that remains to be seen. Top Rank likely won’t take the risk of putting Crawford and Kell on ESPN pay-per-view in November.

After the dismal numbers Crawford’s fight against Amir Khan brought in last year in April 2019 on ESPN PPV, Top Rank has likely learned their lesson from that bad experience.

Kell Brook Terence Crawford

In looking back at that fight, it was a foolish idea to peddle the Crawford vs. Khan fight to the U.S boxing public because it was viewed as a mismatch right away.

The hardcore American fans, those familiar with Khan’s history of suffering brutal knockouts, knew he had zero chance of beating Crawford. On the flip side, the casual fans in the States had never heard of Khan, and, of course, they had zero interest in paying $70 to watch this fight.

You have to ask yourself what was going through the top brass with Crawford’s promoters when they chose to sell a fight between him and the frequently knocked out Khan to the U.S fans.

Crawford was in attendance last Saturday night for the Jamel Herring vs. Jonathan Oquendo fight at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand Conference room in Las Vegas, Nevada. Herring, the WBO super featherweight champion, is a close friend of the 32-year-old Crawford.

While Crawford was in attendance last Saturday at the Herring-Oquendo fight, he was interviewed by ESPN about his next bout in November on the network.

Terence sounding disengaged from the process

“Hopefully in November; that’s the plan,” said Terence Crawford to ESPN last Saturday night when asked when he’ll be back inside the ring.

“It’s like a sparring match, but as professionals, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do and a fight is a fight,” said Crawford when asked about his thoughts on fighting without fans.

“That’s who they said was at the top of the list. So if it’s Kell Brook that I’m fighting, then it’s Kell Brook that I’m fighting,” Crawford said in responding to a question on whether he’ll be fighting Brook next.

The seeming disinterest that Crawford has about his next fight against Brook is troubling. It’s as if Crawford isn’t motivated about taking this fight, and he’s just going along with Top Rank’s program for him.

While some fans believe that Crawford is ducking the best welterweights, he had no choice but to look towards facing Brook. He couldn’t get a fight against Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr, Manny Pacquiao, or Danny Garcia during the pandemic.

To fight one of those famous fighters, Crawford would need an audience. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen during the pandemic.

Kell Brook Terence Crawford

Brook, 34, is an excellent choice for Crawford, given the circumstances this year. The fight still hasn’t been negotiated, so boxing fans need to hold off on their criticism over this fight because it might not happen.

Crawford hasn’t agreed on the money for the fight, and Brook may not either. The $2 million that is being offered to Brook is only 50% of what Khan received to face Crawford in 2019.

Top Rank misjudged Khan’s popularity in the U.S when they made that fight, and I’m sure they wish they could have walked away from that deal.

Kell giving Crawford a name for his resume

The negative about Brook is the fact that he’s older, and he’s done nothing with his career after his consecutive losses to GGG and Errol. Some fans think it’s the eye injuries that Brook sustained in those two fights that have harmed his career, leaving him initiative for long periods.

The more likely reason for Brook abandoning his career is the good money that he made from the Spence and Golovkin fights. When you make millions, it can sometimes rob a person of their ambition and create sustained inertia.

Once that sets in, it’s hard for a fighter to restart. Inactivity becomes a habit, and the physical conditioning of the fighter deteriorates rapidly. Brook has suffered the same fate as Andy Ruiz Jr and Tyson Fury, but unlike those two, he’s been unable to pull himself out of his inertia rapidly.

As such, Crawford is picking out a fighter that is likely only a fraction of what he once was in Brook. It obviously won’t cause Crawford any sleepless nights knowing that Brook is just a shell of the fighter he’d once been.

Crawford wants to add Brook’s scalp to his resume so that he can impress the casuals who have no clue that Kell’s career disappeared after his loss to Spence in 2017.

The two main objections fans have of Crawford facing Brook:

  • Brook hasn’t done a lot since his win over Shawn Porter in 2014. That was the zenith of Brook’s 16-year professional career. After that win, Brook has beaten fringe-level fighters like Kevin Bizier, Michael Zerafa, Sergey Rabchenko, Mark DeLuca, Frankie Gavin, and Ionut ‘Jo Jo’ Dan. When Brook did step up, he as beaten by Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr.
  • Kell hasn’t fought at 147 in three years since 2017. Fans don’t understand why Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank are picking out a fading 154-pounder for him to fight rather than someone from the 147-pound division. When you see Crawford facing a fighter that is going to have to lose a great deal of weight to fight him, it looks like he’s carefully maneuvered to have an advantage over his opponent.

Kell Brook Terence Crawford

The one thing that Brook is giving Crawford is a name, as he’s well known in the boxing world. Brook has been around for a long time, and his matches against Errol Spence Jr and Gennadiy Golovkin received a lot of attention in the last four years.

 


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