Crawford vs. Porter could bring in strong pay-per-view numbers says Bob Arum
By Chris Williams: Bob Arum is predicting the November title defense for WBO 147-lb champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford against Shawn Porter will bring in strong pay-per-view numbers. It’s certainly a good fight more than capable of doing 200,000 PPV buys but not more than that.
Crawford’s two attempts at PPV:
- Viktor Postol
- Amir Khan
When Crawford was matched against Khan and Postol on pay-per-view, they failed to bring in massive numbers. Will fighting Porter change any of that? Chris Williams doesn’t think so. Porter is not very interesting to listen to, and his mugging fighting style hasn’t helped his popularity.
As long as Arum isn’t expecting crazy numbers like one million PPV buys, he shouldn’t be too disappointed if it only brings in 200K for the Crawford vs. Porter fight.
I mean, look, Mayweather Promotions. They were jumping for joy after Gervonta Davis recently brought in 90,000 buys for his fight with Mario Barrios last June. If Crawford vs. Porter does 200,000 pay-per-view buys, they would be more than doubling Tank’s buys for the Barrios fight.
This is Crawford’s first fight at welterweight against a live body, so it will be interesting to see how he does against Porter. With that said, it’s NOT a strong PPV match that fans will want to plunk down $70 to see during the pandemic.
You got to do better than that, particularly with Crawford’s sleepy-eyed style of promoting his fights.
Crawford needs an opponent that can take over the hyping of his fights to get boxing fans interesting.
Keith Thurman would be perfect for Crawford, as he would do all the heavy lifting when it comes to getting fans interested. On the flipside, Porter is not the right guy. Porter is too serious all the time, and he hasn’t beaten anyone good in ages.
Crawford vs. Porter to take place in November
Arum says he wants Crawford and Porter to fight in November so that he doesn’t have to compete with the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III match, shown on ESPN PPV on October 9th.
Crawford – Porter is a good fight but probably not strong enough to motivate boxing fans to pay $70 to watch it on pay-per-view. With the influx of terrible PPV fights one after another this year, Crawford vs. Porter doesn’t stand out enough from the crowd.
For Arum to hit it big on pay-per-view, he’s got to match Crawford against the winner of next month’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr., assuming Crawford gets past Porter. There would be a lot of interest from fans in seeing him face Spence or Pacquiao.
The problem is, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) isn’t a pay-per-view fighter, and his opponent, former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs), was beaten by Errol Spence Jr not long ago in 2019.
Porter ISN’T a pay-per-view fighter, and when he’s stepped up against the higher-level fighters, he’s been found wanting, losing to Spence, Keith Thurman, and Kell Brook.
It’s too bad Arum had to wait until the World Boxing Organization ordered the Crawford vs. Porter fight before he finally decided to negotiate the fight.
If Arum had made this fight two or three years ago when Crawford and Power were both a little younger, it would have been a bigger deal than it is now with both guys about to turn 34-years-old. That’s not young for a welterweight.
Most of the great 147-pound fighters from the past were pretty much past it by the time they hit 34. Floyd Mayweather Jr was the exception to the rule, but his fighting style had evolved to a boring safety first style by his mid-30s, and he was virtually unwatchable by that point.
Crawford hasn’t excelled as a PPV attraction
“Don’t give me these stupid mandatories that are non-competitive fights, and because I have a top champion, I have to go and bid the fight and spend s***loads of money for a non-competitive fight,” said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to WBN.
Crawford vs. Porter would be an excellent match-up for regular ESPN, but not PPV. This is the type of fight Arum should have made a long time ago instead of waiting until the WBO ordered it.
Sure, Arum can sell Crawford-Porter on PPV, but that doesn’t mean the fans will buy it in huge numbers.
“Whoever does it gets a good fight but saying it’s a really good fight doesn’t necessarily indicate how well it will do on pay-per-view because Terence has excelled in the ring, but he hasn’t excelled as a pay-per-view attraction. With this fight, we got a shot to do well,” said Arum.
You got to feel bad for Arum because after losing enough money to buy a house in Beverly Hills on his past fights that he’s put together for Crawford, this fight with Porter is the end of the Nebraska native’s contract with Top Rank.
It’s unclear whether Arum will be able to re-sign Crawford. With that said, if Crawford loses to Porter, Arum won’t need to bother.
Arum can go in another direction towards a younger fighter that has the ability to sell fights because Crawford is never going to be able to do that, and his career is coming to an end.
Crawford has changed his tune suddenly about not wanting to fight Porter. Last March, Crawford was giving Porter the brush off when he called him out, believing that he had a chance to fight Manny Pacquiao.
Now that the fight against Pacquiao isn’t happening, Crawford has had a change of thought and is seemingly interested in fighting Porter.
Of course, it’s not as if Crawford has any choice. If he doesn’t defend against Porter, he’ll be stripped of his WBO title by the World Boxing Organization.
- Shawn Porter: I’m not the PBC fighter Crawford wanted to fight
- Shawn Porter on Terence Crawford: ‘I’m going to put on a show’
- Andre Ward: ‘Crawford vs. Porter is NOT going the distance’
- Crawford guaranteed $6M+, Porter $4M+ for Nov.20th fight