Terence Crawford needs to promote his fights better
By Barry Holbrook: Terence Crawford is wasting his potential to become a bigger star by failing to promote his fights the way other fighters like Teofimo Lopez and Tyson Fury do. Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum would like to see Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) help out with the promotion of his fights, but it’s unclear if he can.
Arum points out that some fighters in the past, like Muhammad Ali, did a better job building interest in his fights than Marvin Hagler and Joe Frazier did.
WBO welterweight champion Crawford is a reserved fighter who doesn’t seem to be as comfortable talking to the boxing media as the late Ali or the current IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion, Teofimo Lopez
With great effort, Crawford could improve on the marketing ability of his fights if he a person to show him how to do it. If Crawford learned from Teofimo, he could change the way he goes creating hype for his fights.
It wouldn’t be easy, as it would mean that Crawford would need to step out of his comfort zone and handle the give and take involved with interacting with the media and fans.
Arum talks about fighters that promoted their fights
“No, it isn’t. It’s got another year to go,” said Arum when told that Crawford’s contract with Top Rank is about to expire. “That’s up to Terence,” said Arum when asked if he thinks Crawford will stay with the company when his contract is up.
“As long as he fulfills his contract and we fulfill our contract, and then he wants to leave, or he wants to stay, that is his choice. I have no objection if a fighter says for any reason, ‘I’ve been with you for seven or eight years, and now I want to go on my own or I want to go with another promoter.
“That’s his right once he’s out of contract. It happens in other sports. We can’t in boxing be that possessive. There are fighters that are great fighters that don’t promote themselves, and then there are fighters that are great fighters that promote themselves.
“You take the difference between a Muhammad Ali and a Joe Frazier. Ali promoted himself because that was his nature. You take Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns, and you contrast them with Marvin Hagler.
“Hagler, a great, great fighter and a great person, but didn’t want to go out to a large extent and promote himself. Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns, you couldn’t keep them away from a camera.
“So there’s a difference in personality, but obviously, a fighter that promotes himself like Oscar De La Hoya did, like Floyd Mayweather did, there are great rewards for them doing it. But again, you can take the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” said Arum.
Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, and Muhammad Ali were naturally good at promoting their fight. It might not be attainable for Crawford to get to their level, but he could certainly improve from the way he markets his fights now.
Crawford’s future uncertain with Top Rank
“It depends on what the terms are and what the conditions are,” said Arum when asked if he wants to keep Terence Crawford when his contract expires with Top Rank.
“I might very well say, ‘Terence had a great ride. We appreciate you being with us, but you’re not affordable anymore and go your own way, son.’ That could be. Or, ‘Terence, we’ve had a great ride, and we’ll continue to have a great ride and make it bigger, and we want you to stay with us.’ How this winds up at the end of next year will be determined by a lot of factors.
“We don’t have the ratings yet. We’ll have them tomorrow,” Arum said about the ESPN ratings for the Crawford vs. Kell Brook fight from last Saturday night,” said Arum.
If Crawford improved on the promotion of his fights, his popularity would soar, and Top Rank would make sure that they don’t let him get away when his contract expires in 2021.
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