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“No one wants to see” Crawford vs. Avanesyan says Eddie Hearn

Image: "No one wants to see" Crawford vs. Avanesyan says Eddie Hearn

By Craig Page: Eddie Hearn says the fans don’t want to see Terence Crawford fight David Avanesyan in their December 10th contest on BLK Prime pay-per-view at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

The question fans want to know is why didn’t Crawford choose a good opponent like Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, or Vergil Ortiz Jr for his December 10th fight on PPV?

With the money Crawford’s getting paid, he could have sacrificed some of that to get Boots, Thurman, or Ortiz in the ring.

WBO welterweight champion Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) is fighting a guy that casual boxing fans have never heard of in 34-year-old Avanesyan (29-3-1, 17 KOs), yet Terence will be getting a ten million+ dollar payday for the fight.

It’s a shocking amount of money that the 35-year-old Crawford will be getting, which makes you wonder whether the event organizers are aware of his past low PPV numbers.

Do they believe Crawford is in the same category as the mega-star Canelo Alvarez? If so, that might explain why they’ve decided to give him a massive payday for what, on paper, is an ordinary title defense against a run-of-the-million contender.

Crawford might not be aware that, ultimately, he could hurt his chances of a mega-fight against IBF, WBA & WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr next year.

If Crawford vs. Avanesyan fight bombs in terms of the PPV numbers it brings in, PBC likely won’t be motivated to offer Terence the kind of money that he wants for the Spence fight. Why would they?

If they believe Crawford contributes very little in terms of the buy rate for a Spence fight, aside from his WBO belt, then there’s no incentive to pay him big money. In other words, Crawford would be just another belt holder without a fan base with nothing to contribute to a Spence fight.

“It’s disappointing for boxing. Crawford-Avanesyan is a fight that no one wants to see, but somehow he’s getting paid a lot of money,” said Eddie Hearn to Fight Hub TV.

“I’ve been there before trying to make fights that are impossible to make. There has to be a reason this fight didn’t get made. I don’t know the reason.

“The fighter’s expectancy of how much they should make in a fight is not real life. The probably with Spence-Crawford is, and I’ve said it for a long time, to us, to people inboxing, it’s a massive fight, but to the general world, it’s not as big as you think it is.

“So, therefore, the money these guys want isn’t necessarily achievable, and if it was achievable, trust me, the fight would get made. If the numbers existed, the fight would get made because everyone makes money.

“The problem here is Crawford says, ‘I want x.’ Spence says, ‘I want x,’ and the promoters, Al Haymon, look at the money and go, ‘We can’t do this fight without losing money, and we’re not prepared to lose money.’

“In the instance of Crawford’s next fight, someone is going to lose many, many millions, and maybe they don’t care, but they’re not running a business. It’s a dangerous sport. Fighters should get as much money as they deserve, but you can’t take away from the reality of what a fighter generates.

“Terence Crawford has never done any pay-per-view numbers. When he boxed Amir Khan, Top Rank hemorrhaged millions of dollars in that fight. So, therefore, and Errol Spence has never done any big pay-per-view numbers, and when he did, he had Mikey Garcia as a dance partner. It still only did 300,000 buys or whatever it is.

“So neither of them are proven in terms of pay-per-view draw. I believe that fight [Spence vs. Crawford] will do good numbers because it’s a tremendous fight, but you can’t guarantee that fact unless you’re prepared.

“The only person that has to roll the dice is us [the promoters]. The fighters are rolling the dice because they got to get in there and fight, but in terms of the numbers, we roll the dice. We’re big boys. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose, but there has to be a logical decision.

“When there’s so much money in a fight, and numbers are right on either side, fights get made like that when two guys want it. But when the numbers are unrealistic and there’s too much risk, that’s when people will kick back on the smaller points.

“This is a fight where there’s no political networks, no cross-promotion. It’s just one free agent and PBC, but they couldn’t get it made. Now, you seen the reaction from fans from Crawford against Avanesyan.

“He’s got to fight at the same time, and if he’s not going to fight Errol Spence right now, good luck to him because he’s going to make a lot of money for an easy fight.

“Maybe he was never promoted correctly on the way through,” said Hearn when asked why Crawford hasn’t become popular.  “Maybe the public has never. When you look at Canelo Alvarez, the public adores him.

“You do a weigh-in, and you get three or four thousand people that will turn up for a weigh-in. It’s someone that has an emotional association with fans. Crawford, when he fights in Omaha, they love him, but when he’s outside of Omaha, you can walk him down any street in America, and people don’t know who he is.

“He’s a brilliant fighter, maybe pound-for-pound #1. He’s that good, but he’s never been a draw. That’s the problem, and that’s not something that you can rectify now. That’s something that you have to build over years.

“Fighters that don’t have any profile suddenly become huge stars overnight, like at 34 or whatever he is. You build it over a period of time.

“You build a fanbase; you build the exposure globally, and you build them into a big star by aligning with brands through broadcast numbers, through brands, through shoulder content with everything. It’s just never happened with Terence Crawford, and he’s a tremendous fighter.

“It’s too late [for Crawford to improve his position]. How old is he? 34? It doesn’t mean he can’t become a bigger name. You build stars over years and years and years. Canelo Alvarez started fighting at 16 and fought Floyd Mayweather at 21, 22, or whatever he was.

“When Anthony Joshua won gold, we aligned him with Underarmor in stores all around the world…all these big brands that build a profile. Crawford never had that, and Errol Spence never had that, either.

“PBC isn’t a true commercial organization, in my opinion. They’re not looking to build brands of fighters, and I feel for that reason, they never created that many stars.

“I just feel that should be the biggest fight in boxing. It should be guaranteed to do a million buys. It should be guaranteed to do $25 million in the gate.

“It’s sad for boxing. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last time. But the problem comes down to if there were 20 million dollars in the pot, there’s more than that in this fight. He wants eight million and he wants eight million, and you cover your costs, and the promotion makes money; it gets made in a heartbeat.

“If he wants 20 million and he wants 25 million, and there’s 25 million in the fight. The fighters never really get the blame. The promoters get the blame. We want to make great fights. We want to make money, and if there’s money to be made and great fights to be made, that’s all we want.

“It’s very frustrating sometimes when you try to negotiate with a fighter because the public don’t see that. It’s not always the fighter. Sometimes it’s the manager. Sometimes it’s the fighter, sometimes, it’s the agent, and sometimes it’s the lawyer. The manager says, ‘He deserves this for the fight.’

‘Why? How do you know? What experience do you have on the numbers?’ ‘No, that’s what he should get.’ ‘Where’s the logic? You pulled the number from thin air. 25 million. On what basis?’ That’s what we deal with. These people don’t understand the numbers,” said Hearn.

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