By Chris Williams: Eddie Hearn says he doesn’t think Top Rank promoter Bob Arum can make a fight between WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford and Josh Taylor. According to Hearn, the money it will generate WON’T cover the enormous cost of the purses that both fighters will want.
Despite Crawford’s former promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank saying recently that a Crawford-Taylor fight will bring as much as 1.5 million PPV buys in the UK and sell out a 70,000 seat Stadium in that country, Hearn doesn’t buy it.
Taylor, 30, isn’t hugely popular, and he’s not well known to U.S boxing fans as Shawn Porter.
Crawford vs. Taylor is not a big enough fight
According to Hearn, he’s hearing that last Saturday night’s fight between Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) and Shawn Porter brought in around 190,000 pay-per-view buys on ESPN+ at the most, and those are poor numbers.
Hearn estimates that the purses for a Crawford vs. Taylor fight will amount to $12 million, and the money isn’t there for this match to cover those costs. As a result, it’s not feasible to put it together unless Arum wants to “take a bath” and lose a lot of money on the Crawford vs. Taylor fight.
Arum has complained of losing money for Crawford’s fights in the past, saying that he’s lost enough to build an expensive house in the swanky Beverly Hills neighborhood of California.
You would think that with Arum’s bad experiences with trying to sell Crawford’s fights on PPV, he would have learned by now that it’s too risky.
“It’s just not a big enough fight,” said Hearn to iFL TV when asked if Top Rank can give Crawford a fight against Josh Taylor. “They talk about the amount of money.
“I didn’t see the exact pay-per-view numbers for Crawford – Porter, but if they’re talking about 170, 180, 190 [thousand], that’s not quite good enough.
“You CAN’T pay those kinds of purses [for Crawford vs. Taylor] if you’re hitting those kinds of numbers, and Josh Taylor against Crawford isn’t a big fight,” Hearn said.
Hearn thinks it’s a horrible idea for Arum to try and put the fight together between Crawford and Taylor, particularly in the aftermath of the Crawford-Porter bombing so badly on PPV.
Revenue won’t cover $12M for purses
“Josh Taylor against Crawford is nowhere near as big a fight as Crawford vs. Porter in America, trust me,” continued Hearn. “Trust me, Josh Taylor is an amazing fighter, but his profile has never been pushed or exploited in the right way.
“In America, Porter is a much bigger name,” Hearn continued. “Where are they going to get the money?” said Hearn in reacting to being told during the interview that Top Rank promoter Arum wants to take the Crawford vs. Taylor fight to the UK.
“So you got to generate, they’re talking about 12 million dollars worth of purses. It doesn’t work like that.
“Listen, if you want to do the fight and lose money, you’re more than welcome to, but that’s not the business people should be in, and I think that’s not the business Bob should be in either, to be quite honest with you,” Hearn said.
Given Crawford’s poor track record for selling PPV fights against Viktor Postol, Amir Khan, and now potentially Shawn Porter, it would be crazy for Arum to try and peddle a fight between Terence and Taylor to the UK and U.S boxing fans on pay-per-view.
It would be a HUGE gamble, and it could bring in far worse numbers than the Crawford-Porter fight.
It’ll be interesting to see if Arum stubbornly chooses to take this massive gamble on the Crawford vs. Taylor fight and then lose an enormous amount of dough in the process.
Hearn: Crawford vs. Taylor will lose money
“It’s a great fight [Crawford vs. Taylor], but it won’t happen because the money they want for that fight doesn’t exist,” said Hearn.
“So unless someone is willing to take a bath and every now and again people are willing to take a bath,” Hearn continued on the idea of a fight between Crawford and Josh Taylor.
“What I mean by taking a bath is losing money on the show, then they can make that fight happen, but the numbers don’t work.
“I haven’t seen the [Crawford vs. Shawn Porter] fight in full. I’ve seen the knockout stoppage. I actually thought he [Crawford] would win most rounds and win by stoppage. That was my call, but Porter won some rounds as well.
“It was a good fight. I think his [Porter] dad [Kenny] said that his preparation wasn’t right or something like that, and that’s why they pulled him out, but Crawford was a brilliant, brilliant fighter.
“He’s pound-for-pound top five unquestionably, and I think he’s the best welterweight in the world,” said Hearn of Crawford.
Arum needs to listen to what Hearn is warning him about before he dives into what could be a money-losing disaster for him in putting together a fight between Crawford and Taylor.
Taylor is a good fighter, but he’s NOT a household name in the U.S, and his visibility hasn’t been what it needs to be in the States to sell a fight between him and Crawford.
For Chris Williams, I can barely understand what Taylor says when he speaks because of his thick Scottish accent. I know it’s English, but the dialect is so thick that it’s painful to listen to.
You can only imagine what the press conferences will be like for a Crawford vs. Taylor fight. Unless they have someone translating what Taylor is saying, the U.S boxing fans might have difficulty understanding what he’s saying.
We already know that Crawford can’t sell fights on PPV, which is why it’s an insane idea for Arum to invest time and money in a battle between Terence and the little-known Taylor.
The ONLY fight worth it for Arum to try and put together involving Crawford would be against Errol Spence, but that’s unlikely to happen next.
The way that Spence bailed immediately after Crawford’s fight last weekend against Porter tells you that he doesn’t want to face him next.
To be fair to Spence, he’s coming off an eye injury, and you can’t blame him if he doesn’t want to take a brutal fight against Crawford in his first fight back.