Top Rank offering Kell Brook $2M for Crawford fight
By Chris Williams: Negotiations for Terence Crawford vs. Kell Brook match is reportedly moving well towards a fight that could take place on November 14 on ESPN.
Top Rank has bumped up the initial offer of $1.5 million to $2 million for Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) to challenge WBO welterweight champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) for his title at 147.
For Brook to agree to $2 million, he would be selling himself short. If he waits until the pandemic ends in 2021, it’s possible he could get considerably more.
Fighting in the UK makes sense
Crawford, 32, still hasn’t agreed on the money for the fight, which could mean that Top Rank isn’t offering him the kind of money he’s accustomed to getting before the pandemic started.
Brook fits in well with the type of middle of the road opposition that Crawford has been facing since he moved up to 147.
Although Brook used to be a good fighter, the two eye injuries he suffered against Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr has taken a lot of the steam from his career.
The $2 million that former IBF welterweight champion Brook is now being offered is still considerably less than the $4 million that Amir Khan received last year to challenge Khan for his WBO belt.
It makes sense for the Crawford-Brook fight to take place in the UK if Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn can stage it in front of a live audience.
It’s not a big enough fight to stage it in a massive venue like Wembley Stadium in London or at the Millenium. Brook doesn’t have that kind of popularity in England, and neither does Crawford, who isn’t a household name over there.
Will Crawford choose not to fight?
If Crawford chooses to be stubborn about it and insists that he receive the kind of money he’s been getting to beat up on mediocre welterweights like Jeff Horn, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Khan and shot Jose Benavidez Jr, he could wind up sitting for the entire year.
It’s one thing for Crawford not to be happy with his purse, not being what he wants it to be, and another thing if he doesn’t get a purse at all. Crawford won’t make anything in 2020 if he elects to refuse the Brook fight if he’s not going to get what he usually receives.
“Terence Crawford, Kell Brook closing in on a deal for a welterweight title fight, sources tell @TheAthletic.
“Top Rank offer to Brook around $2 million. Hearn also discussing with [Bob] Arum the possibility of a fight in the U.K. If stateside, Nov. 14, on ESPN is the plan. Bud hasn’t agreed on money,” said Mike Coppinger.
Terence won’t gain anything beating Kell
It looks terrible that Crawford is trying to fight Errol Spence’s former knockout victims almost years after the fact. Spence stopped Brook in the 11th round on May 27, 2017, in Sheffield, UK. Brook quit on a knee due to an eye injury in that fight.
In Brook’s contest before that against middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin in September 2016, he stopped fighting all of a sudden in the 5th round, leaving the referee no other choice but to waive it off.
Brook suffered an eye injury in the Golovkin fight, which was the reason he quit fighting. Before the injury, Brook was giving GGG all he could handle and getting the better of him for the most part.
He made Golovkin look bad in that fight. Interestingly enough, that contest proved to be the precursor for Canelo Alvarez finally agreeing to fight Golovkin.
Before that, GGG had tried for the two to three years to get Canelo to fight him without any luck. If not for Brook exposing Golovkin, we may not have ever seen him and Canelo fight.
Why is Crawford targeting a 154-pound opponent?
The troubling part about Crawford trying to fight Kell is the fact that the British fighter hasn’t fought at 147 since his loss to Spence in 2017. I mean, where is the gain in beating a fighter that no longer competes in the same weight class as you?
It’s common knowledge that Brook was weight drained for his fight against Spence three years ago. Since that time, Brook has been fighting at 154 and not always looking great in that weight class.
By Top Rank choosing Brook for Crawford to fight, it gives the appearance that they want a sure-thing win without any hiccups that might occur against a good opponent.
Shawn Porter and Yordenis Ugas both threw their names into the hat for a fight against Crawford this year, and neither of them got the war. Keith Thurman even tossed his name into the ring, saying he would fight Crawford as well.
It looks like Brook is trading a loss for money by potentially signing to fight Crawford at 147 because he’s not going to be 100% at that weight. What Brook should say is this: ‘I’ll fight Crawford for $2 million, but only if you come up to 154 to face me. If not, then I want $4 million to fight at 147 because I’ll only be at 70% if I have to drop down to welterweight.’ That sounds reasonable.
Brook will be weak at 147
For Brook to fight at less than 100% at 147, he should get the money that Amir Khan received for the fight with Terence last year. Ideally, Crawford should show some bravery by agreeing to fight Brook at his weight at 154 so that he gets full credit for a win.
If Crawford and Top Rank make Brook boil down to 147 for the fight, Terence isn’t going to get credit from the knowledgeable fans. The fans that are aware that Brook hasn’t fought at 147 since 2017 are going to see him as an opportunist/cherry picker for selecting a guy out of his weight class and then having him boil down to 147.
It’s not sporting when you make moves like that. It’s gaming the system to your advantage.
Does Crawford need a win so bad that he’s going to pick a guy from the division above him and have him meltdown to gain an edge against him? Why doesn’t Crawford move up to junior middleweight to face Brook? Forget Brook.
Why doesn’t Crawford go up to 154 and challenge IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion, Jeison Rosario, for his two titles? I think boxing fans would much prefer to see Crawford face Rosario than a broken down, weight-drained Brook.
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