Eddie Hearn says Spence vs. Crawford won’t happen unless Terence signs with PBC
By Sean Jones: Eddie Hearn says he doesn’t see a fight between welterweight champions Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and Errol Spence happening unless the Nebraska native signs with Al Haymon & his PBC company.
Hearn maintains that Haymon won’t risk having IBF, WBA & WBC 147-lb champion Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) losing his three belts against WBO champion Crawford if Bud isn’t signed to PBC.
If Spence were to lose that fight, Haymon would no longer have those belts with his PBC company, and he’d have no control over Crawford.
Hearn also points out that the 35-year-old Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) isn’t a big enough star for different fighters to want to fight him.
That’s one of the reasons why Hearn has no interest in signing Crawford despite him being a talented fighter and ranked high in the pound-for-pound lists.
Hearn points out that if Crawford can make $10 million fighting for BLK Prime PPV in an event that makes less than half of that total, why where’s the gain in him looking elsewhere for less money?
“How on earth did they get 18,000 people in the [CHI Health Center] arena [in Omaha, Nebraska] when a lot of people didn’t even know about it?” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show about WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s fight last Saturday night against David Avanesyan.
“It shows you how big he [Crawford] is in Omaha, Nebraska. Amazing. Literally, no one was talking about that fight outside of the hardcore,” Hearn continued.
“What I saw was a superstar, but he’s been promoted so poorly over the years for the ability that he has,” said Hearn in taking a swipe at Top Rank for failing to turn Crawford into a star during the many years that they promoted the former three-division world champion.
“The problem is, you can’t generate much of a gate in Omaha, Nebraska, so Top Rank would take him out to bigger cities to try and generate more dollars, and it actually didn’t work.
“What you should do is let people see that many people in the arena and let them feel the atmosphere because the perception is that he’s a superstar. He should be a superstar because he’s an unbelievable fighter, possibly pound-for-pound #1. What is it, a 10-fight knockout streak or something like that?
Avanesyan is a fringe world class guy, but Terence is an elite guy, and he’ll just take him to pieces. It’s a shame because people aren’t looking to fight Terence Crawford, and that’s the reality. They would do if the money was there.
“So you’re in a bit of a catch-22 where you need to find opponents that actually care about legacy over money, and that’s very rare in boxing these days.
“The reality is that Al Haymon doesn’t want to put any PBC fighter that A, could beat them or B, he doesn’t have control of. Right now, Terence isn’t a PBC fighter, and Al’s not silly, he knows his boxing.
“He’s probably thinking, ‘Hmm, this is a 50-50 fight or Terence is the favorite. I don’t have futures on Terence Crawford. I can’t keep him in with the PBC.
“‘Do I want to let one of my guys get beat [for small money] and therefore lose all the belts, all the control of the division, and not be able to service all my other fighters in the 147-lb division?’ The answer is no. That’s the reality.
“I’m very confident Terence Crawford beats Errol Spence,” said Hearn. “You go back to the [Josh] Warrington fight last weekend. We all know how good [Luis Alberto] Lopez is. We all knew how tricky and difficult he is and probably avoid him.
“If you want to play that game, maybe AJ [Anthony Joshua] should have avoided [Oleksandr] Usyk. He’s a [former] champion and he didn’t want to, and he wanted his belts [back], and he wanted to defend against his mandatory [in the first Usyk fight].
“If you’re good enough, you win. The reality is Al and those guys, they need to become more [willing to risk having their fighters lose]. From a business perspective, it’s not always good, but they’ve almost got to become bigger boxing fans and go, ‘Come on, this is a sport. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.
“‘If our guy loses to Terence Crawford, yes, we lose every belt in the division that’s very important to us and is a service to our fighters,’ but so what? We’re wasting our time if we don’t make fights like that.
“That’s just what I think. It means the deal has got to be perfect for it to happen, and that’s a difficult spot to be in. Do you just want to be in fights that you can’t lose? I don’t get it.
“I get it all the time. After the Bivol fight, Oscar [De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions] comes out and says, ‘Ah, Eddie Hearn doesn’t know [what he’s doing]. Imagine putting Canelo in with [Bivol].’
“People criticize you. ‘Ah, you lost another world champion.’ Yeah, because he was fighting a really good opponent, and sometimes you’re going to lose, and then you work hard to win it back.
“It’s so bad for boxing when all you think about is controlling divisions and not losing to another fighter from another stable. You never want to do that, but I never see the value in just like Saturday was a tremendous fight [between IBF featherweight champion Warrington and Lopez].
“I just don’t see how unless you had a vision of doing something longer term,” said Hearn when asked if he’d like to promote Crawford. “If you can go out and get ten million like he got last Saturday [against #6 WBO Avanesyan], why would you go and [sign with another promoter]?
“The reality is, the actual commercial value is less than half of that. So how are you going to [keep from losing money if Crawford is paid like that?].
“I just think that unless we could come up with a site fee to land a Spence-Crawford, I don’t feel like there’s any value for him fighting anyone else. Tell me another fight in the division that is worth monumental money.
“He’s probably better off signing with PBC,” said Hearn about Crawford. “‘I’ll give you Spence, and if you beat Spence, I’ll give you [Jermell] Charlo,'” said Hearn in guessing what Al Haymon would do if he signed Crawford to PBC.
“The problem is getting Spence in the ring and getting Charlo to fight Terence Crawford and the money they would want to do it. It’s very difficult for everybody.
“Ultimately, Al isn’t going to give up his guys and give up the belts unless Crawford is with PBC or has a long-term deal,” said Hearn.
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