By Chris Williams: Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says he has no interest in fighting Terence Crawford now that he’s a free agent after leaving Top Rank.
Hearn says he doesn’t have the fights to offer Crawford to sign the 34-year-old WBO welterweight champion.
Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) wants unification matches against IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBA champion Yordenus Ugas, and Hearn can’t make those fights because they’re not signed to his Matchroom promotional company.
If Hearn did sign Crawford, he would likely be just as unhappy as he’d been with Top Rank after failing to produce the fights he wants against Spence and Ugas.
For Crawford to potentially get a fight with Spence or Ugas, he needs to ink with PBC, but even then, it’s not a guarantee that either of those unification matches will take place.
Hearn: Top Rank has lost money on Crawford
“I thought it was quite brutal, but wasn’t it not quite long ago where Arum was saying to Crawford that he was expensive and he could have bought a house in Beverly Hills instead or something like that,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV when asked his thoughts on Crawford telling the media [in Bob Arum’s presence] last week that he’s leaving Top Rank.
“It’s business. Top Rank has paid Crawford a lot of money,” Hearn continued. They’ve lost a lot of money, and I would think they lost substantial money last weekend.
“I think they would have lost massive money on the Amir Khan fight [against Crawford in April 2019 on ESPN PPV], so they’ve backed Terence Crawford, but that’s what you have to do as a promoter.
“They [Top Rank] haven’t been able to deliver him the marquee fights. Don’t forget the Crawford – Porter fight was called by the WBO, not by Bob Arum.
“He didn’t make that fight, it was called as a mandatory, and he [Crawford] wants to move on, he wants to make those fights,” Hearn said.
Arum has been raving about how great Crawford is for years, comparing him to Sugar Ray Leonard in hopes of making him a star, but it hasn’t worked out.
Crawford isn’t flashy like Leonard was, and he doesn’t possess the immense one-punch power of Tommy Hearns or the brawling style of Marvin Hagler.
There’s not a lot of interest from American boxing fans in seeing a counter-punching switch-hitter who prides himself on not getting hit.
While Floyd Mayweather Jr. did well becoming a massive star despite having a defensive focus, which was boring much of the time, he made up for it with his blazing hand speed, fighting in the pocket, and personality.
Crawford doesn’t have Mayweather’s speed, he doesn’t stay in the pocket, and he doesn’t have the personality to attract fans to his fights.
Eddie: “Why would I sign Crawford?”
“Someone came over to me today from the U.S media and said, ‘Are you going to sign Terence Crawford?'” continued Hearn.
“Why would I sign Terence Crawford? What fights do I have for Terence Crawford? He wants to fight Errol Spence. Even if they did, and they may, why would they go to us to make that fight?
“It’s kind of like Canelo with Caleb Plant. He [Canelo] had to go out to PBC to make that fight. So if that’s their [PBC] mentality and attitude, ‘We don’t work with other guys, we’re only in-house people,’ then he [Crawford might as well sign with PBC.
“I don’t have any welterweight fights to offer him, really,” said Hearn about his Matchroom Boxing promotional company not having any welterweights that would interest Crawford.
“I’ve got money. Of course, he wants money, but he also wants a legacy,” Hearn said of Crawford. “I don’t think we’re the place for him, and I don’t think we’ll make him an offer because he’s very expensive,” said Hearn.
It would be a train wreck if Hearn signed Crawford now because the only fight he would have to offer the Nebraska native is Conor Benn, and that’s a guy that U.S boxing fans aren’t familiar with.
I mean, Crawford vs. Benn would do well in the UK, where Conor is a household name, thanks to his famous dad Nigel Benn, but he’s a complete unknown in the States.
If Hearn tried to hawk a Crawford – Benn fight to the U.S boxing fans, they would turn up their noses to the terrible mismatch and choose not to waste their money on the albatross.
The only decent fight that Hearn would have for Crawford if he signed him to Matchroom would be against WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade.
But given that Crawford has chosen to stay put at 147 without branching out to take risks to increase his popularity, it’s highly doubtful that he would entertain the idea of going up to 160 to challenge Andrade.
To be sure, Crawford vs. Demetrius would be a great fight, but it’s so unlikely that it would ever happen that it’s not even worth it for Hearn to sign the former Top Rank fighter.
Crawford’s value is with the Spence fight
“He’s a brilliant fighter, but the value in Terence Crawford is in those fights [against Spence and Yordenis Ugas], probably the fights; honestly, we can’t deliver, and Bob [Arum] can’t either,” Hearn said.
“So, Bob and Terence are probably at a stage where they should shake hands and say, ‘Thank you,’ and Terence should say, ‘Thank you,’ as well because Top Rank has done a good job with him.
“He [Crawford] was undisputed champion at 140, world champion at 147, paid him a lot of money, and everyone with honor says, ‘Thanks for everything, let’s move on,'” said Hearn said.
With Matchroom Boxing not interested in signing Crawford, that pretty much leaves only Premier Boxing Champions if he wants the Spence fight.
You can argue that Crawford isn’t in the ideal position to negotiate with PBC if he intends on going in that direction. They’ll know that he’s needy, and that’ll put Crawford in a terrible position to negotiate with them.
If Crawford didn’t care whether he ever fought Spence, it would help him because he could negotiate with PBC and have other options if he’s not happy with their offer.