By Dan Ambrose: Bob Arum predicts that Terence Crawford vs. Josh Taylor will bring in potentially 1.5M pay-per-view buys in 2022. Arum believes Crawford-Taylor is a more lucrative fight than Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr. due to the UK market.
Arum says a fight between WBO welterweight champion Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) and the undisputed 140-lb champion Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) would sell on PPV not only in the UK but in the United States as well.
It’s hard to imagine American boxing fans being willing to purchase a fight between Crawford, 34, and the Scottish fighter Taylor on PPV in the U.S, as the casuals aren’t likely familiar with Josh.
We don’t know yet whether Crawford’s fight with Shawn Porter last Saturday night was a success or failure on ESPN+ PPV. There wasn’t a massive amount of buzz from the boxing public going into the contest about the Crawford vs. Porter fight this week.
Crawford-Taylor: Is this a marketable PPV fight in the U.S?
There’s nothing wrong with Crawford fighting Taylor next, as Top Rank isn’t expecting it to bring in a massive amount of PPV buys from the U.S fans. It might be a big mistake to sell the fight on pay-per-view in the United States, given that Taylor is not a household name.
Trying to sell Crawford vs. Taylor on PPV in America might be even worse than Canelo Alvarez fighting little-known WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu on PPV.
In Canelo’s case, he’s popular enough to bring in buys fighting ANYBODY, so he can get away with bringing in an obscure paper champion like Makabu to sell to his vast fan base.
Crawford isn’t in the same enviable position, so it might be a wacky idea to sell a fight between him and Taylor on PPV in the States.
Arum to continue offering Crawford fights
“It was just a great fight; two great warriors went at it. Terence was the better man tonight, and he knows how to finish a fight,” said Bob Arum to iFL TV on Crawford’s win over Shawn Porter.
“Yeah, that’s true, there’s no existing contract, but we have a relationship, and we’re going to offer him the best possible fights,” said Arum about his intention to continue to work with Crawford despite his contract with Top Rank having expired with the Porter fight.
“As far as Terence is concerned, there are really two guys out there that would make for a completion of his legacy. One is [Errol] Spence, and the other is [Josh] Taylor,” Arum continued.
If you’re Arum, you might want to try and hammer out a deal between Crawford and Josh Taylor or Errol Spence Jr. as soon as possible. If Arum waits too long, one of the promotional companies will sign Crawford to a contract, which would make him untouchable.
“That PBC gave him a ticket, that’s what it means,” said Arum to Fighthype when asked what it means that Spence showed up at ringside to watch Crawford vs. Porter last Saturday.
Crawford vs. Josh Taylor could do 1.5M PPV buys
“How the f*** would I know if it would encourage him or discourage him. You’ve got to ask him,” said an angry-sounding Arum when asked if Spence may have been discouraged after watching Crawford stop Porter.
“Errol Spence is a good fighter and a brave guy. Whether he wants to fight Terence or not, that’s up to him and Al [Haymon]. I’ll certainly talk to Al about putting them together.
“The fight that I would like to see is Terence and Josh Taylor. Two fighters that were undisputed in their weight class. It would seem to me that there was no one left in Omaha. Omaha came here [to watch Crawford fight Porter in Las Vegas].
“I think it’s more because of the UK,” Arum said when asked if Crawford vs. Taylor is more lucrative a fight than Crawford-Spence. “Taylor is huge in the UK, and so is Crawford.
“We could do 70,000 seats, and can probably do a million or a million and a half pay-per-view and put it in an hour where we could still do pay-per-view here in the United States.
“So, I think the most lucrative fight for Terence would be Josh Taylor,” said Arum.
There’s no question that Crawford vs. Taylor will sell in the UK on pay-per-view, but forget about it selling in the States.
It doesn’t matter that Taylor holds four titles at 140, and he’s still not a household name in the States.
Arum has got to choose someone that American boxing fans are familiar with and can do the heavy promotional work because Crawford doesn’t have the charisma to sell fights if he’s forced to do the talking.
PPV worthy opponents for Crawford:
- Errol Spence Jr
- Jermell Charlo
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Keith Thurman
- Danny Garcia
- Gervonta Davis
- Teofimo Lopez
- Jaron Ennis
- Vergil Ortiz Jr.
Arum had one-fight contracts with Hearn & Leonard
“Look, Tommy Hearns was in the ring. I never had a contract with Hearns for more than one fight,” said Arum when asked how it will impact him working with Crawford now that his contract with Top Rank has expired.
“I never had a contract with [Sugar Ray] Leonard for more than one fight. [Marvin] Hagler maybe two fights, but never a long-term contract. We never had long-term contracts. If somebody comes and offers Terence a deal for a lot more money, he’d be a fool not to take it.
“But we think we can produce the best fight for him. It’s got nothing to do with personalities or anything. We know when we put a fight on, the fighters get treated well, they’ve taken care of, but other people can do that also.
“So, again, Terence will, if he’s smart, which I believe he is, will look at all the offers and see which way is the best to go,” said Arum about Crawford.
It sounds promising that Arum will continue to work with Crawford, but there’s always the possibility that PBC or Matchroom Boxing could sign him to a lucrative contract soon.
His advanced age and poor pay-per-view track record may work against those companies signing Crawford to a more extended contract.
Will those companies be willing to pay Crawford a tremendous amount of money, knowing of his past attempts at PPV.
Crawford is 34-years-old, and he may only have a handful of fights left in him before he gets beaten. It’s not a good sign that a washed fighter like Porter could fight Crawford to a virtual standstill through the first nine rounds of the fight.
If Crawford meets up with one of the young welterweights like Jaron Ennis or Vergil Ortiz Jr, he could be dethroned right away, and that would be bad news for whatever company signs him.
Shawn Porter looked unsteady
“Clearly, I had him [Crawford] up, and I didn’t have it as close as two of the judges had. I had Terence up by three points, but, of course, it’s all moot now.
“Yeah, the guy [Porter] was knocked down, he was groggy, he was going to get knocked down again, and he was going to get hurt,” said Arum in giving his thoughts on Shawn’s dad/trainer Kenny Porter pulling him out of the fight after the second knockdown in the tenth round.
“I mean, I didn’t realize his corner called it. I thought the referee called it, but you saw after he got up, he was unsteady the second time,” said Arum on Porter, looking in bad shape after the second knockdown in the tenth.
It was the right decision by trainer Kenny Porter to stop the fight after the second knockdown in the 10th because Crawford would have finished him off if the battle had been allowed to continue.
Without going into details, Kenny said he wasn’t happy with the preparation Porter had for this fight, which factored in his decision to stop the contest after he was knocked down a second time in the tenth.