Arum talks Spence vs. Ugas and Crawford vs. Ortiz Jr
By Jim Maltzman: Bob Arum says he spoke with Oscar De La Hoya about putting together a fight between Terence Crawford and Vergil Ortiz Jr, and that that match is possible if Vergil wins his next contest against “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-1-3, 19 KOs) on March 20th.
The fight that Arum would prefer to make is between WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) and IBF/WBC champ Errol Spence Jr, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) appeared to be interested in fighting WBA champ Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) in a unification clash. Arum sees no value in Spence taking on the former Cuban amateur star Ugas, as the boxing public isn’t familiar with him.
Hence, it’s NOT a pay-per-view worthy fight. True, Spence will put himself in a position to add another belt to his collection of titles at 147, but he won’t make a lot of money or increase his popularity. For Spence to do that, he needs Crawford.
Arum states that Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions would be willing to make the Crawford vs. Spence fight happen, but he can’t do anything if Errol doesn’t want it. Ultimately, Arum feels that Spence is afraid of fighting Crawford due to the potential of him getting beaten for the first time in his career.
Terence Crawford vs. Vergil Ortiz Jr possible
“I promoted Oscar [De La Hoya] for a lot of years, and we’re still close, even though we’re competitors,” said Arum to iFL TV about his meeting with De La Hoya and Eric Gomez at his home in Beverly Hills, California. ”
We did talk some business. Yes, they [Golden Boy] brought it up,” said Arum about a fight between Terence Crawford and Vergil Ortiz Jr.
“They have Ortiz fighting Hooker at the moment, which is a decent opponent. It’s sort of interesting because Hooker is now part of the same camp as Terence is in. BoMac is the trainer, Brian Macintyre.
“So if Vergil beats Hooker, it’s a big incentive for Crawford to fight Vergil. So yeah, that is a possibility.”
Crawford vs. Vergil Ortiz Jr is the fight that has the best shot at happening net for the Nebraska native. Ortiz, 22, wants the match, and his promoter De La Hoya believes he has the talent to win.
Ortiz is a fighter that will bring in a lot of attention to a clash against Crawford on ESPN, and it will likely do well.
Before that match can happen, Ortiz still needs to defeat former WBO light welterweight champion ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker on March 20h at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
Ortiz is arguably a bigger puncher than Crawford and Spence, and he’s a lot younger than both of them. This won’t be an easy fight for Crawford, and there is a considerable element of risk for him.
Crawford is about to turn 34, and he’s not had a hard fight yet since moving up to 147 in 2018. At 140, the only decent opponent Crawford faced was Viktor Postol, and at 135, his only quality opponent was Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Arum: Spence vs. Ugas isn’t PPV worthy
“I don’t know,” said Arum when asked about his thoughts on IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr fighting WBA champ Yordenis Ugas.
“If these guys, Errol Spence, knew what he was doing; Spence-Ugas is a decent fight, but it’s a ‘who cares?’ fight.
“It’s not a pay-per-view fight. Nobody even knows who Ugas is in the general public or fight fans. The fight that would do well in the welterweight division other than a wildcard like Vergil Ortiz is Crawford and Spence, and I know Al Haymon would want to do it.
“I think somehow Spence is intimidated by Crawford and doesn’t want to step in the ring with him because if he was confident, why in the hell wouldn’t he want to fight him?
“This is the biggest fight in the welterweight division, and like we’ve done before, Haymon’s side could represent Spence and Top Rank, Crawford, and the fight would happen.
Spence is reluctant
“The only reason it’s not happening is the reluctance of Errol Spence. He’s the only one to blame,” continued Arum on why Spence isn’t fighting Crawford.
“I know Crawford wants the fight to happen. Crawford has told everybody he wants the fight to happen. He’s instructed me to make the fight happen.
“That’s not the case with Errol Spence. All Errol Spence has to do is make a statement, ‘Al Haymon, that’s the fight I want. Talk to Top Rank and get the fight done.’
“Let him say that, and that will start the ball rolling. Do you understand? It doesn’t require a hell of a lot to say something like that,” said Arum.
We won’t know why Spence doesn’t like the idea of fighting Crawford, but if he waits too long, he or Terence may lose. It would be better for Spence to take the fight with Crawford while the two are still on the top and unbeaten.
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