Max Boxing

It's time for Terence Crawford to say bye bye to Top Rank

As stated, Crawford isn’t a mouthy kid. I’ll avoid the cliché here, sort’a. His hands do his yapping for him. Arum yaps all the time, but sometimes he crosses the line. To me, this is one of those times.  


By John J. Raspanti

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Champion Terence Crawford Photo Mikey Williams
Champion Terence Crawford Photo Mikey Williams

“I could build a house in Beverly Hills on the money I’ve lost on him in the last three fights. A beautiful home. Nobody questions (Terence) Crawford’s innate, tremendous ability. Look, you can have the greatest opera singer in the world. If the fans don’t support it, you’re out of business.”

Bob Arum


I’ll admit Arum’s words surprised me. A promoter lambastes his best fighter perhaps the best fighter in the world – who had just recorded an impressive victory over a former champion, stunned by what had happened to him.


“Never in my career, nobody has ever done that to me in sparring or anything," said Kell Brook after being suddenly stopped by the aforementioned Crawford last Saturday night.


Crawford fought like a man with something to prove. Mission accomplished. None of his welterweight encounters has gone the distance. He’s undefeated in 37 bouts, scoring 28 knockouts.


Nobody has ever really questioned his skills. It’s his resume the critics point to.


Is the criticism fair?


Crawford was 26 when he traveled to Glasgow and beat-up defending lightweight champion Ricky Burns. Crawford made two defenses of his crown, one an exciting victory over former champion Yuriokis Gamboa, before moving up to junior welterweight and dispatching Thomas Dulorme with ease to win his second title. He added The Ring and WBC belts when he dominated Victor Postol for 12 rounds. An emphatic knockout of Julius Indongo unified the division.


In 2018, he moved up to the welterweight division and beat the stuffing out of WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn. No surprise there. Boxing has levels. Going into his fight with Brook, he had defended his belt three times.


“I think a lot of people don’t give me credit for what I’ve accomplished in the sport of boxing,” Crawford said to Adam Carperell of last week. “Looking at who I’ve faced and try to discredit my previous opponents to nobodies.”


Crawford has a point. His previous opponents were hardly nobodies. He’s been calling out IBF and WBC welterweight titleholder Errol Spence for two years now. But not in a loud way. Not Crawford’s style. He’s a statement maker, not a braggart. All agree that he needs a "signature" opponent. Spence fits the bill.

I’m sure he expected his promoter, Arum, to secure a fight with the undefeated Texan. But still, nothing. Apparently, according to Arum, it’s Crawford’s fault.


“He’s got to promote like (unified lightweight champion Teofimo) Lopez does,” said the old curmudgeon.


Wait a minute, Mr. Arum. Aren’t YOU the guy with the title of “promoter” attached to your name?


Arum was hardly done.


“He’s got to promote like (former featherweight champion) Shakur (Stevenson) does. Like (Floyd) Mayweather did. Like (Manny) Pacquiao did. If he doesn’t, then who the f*** needs him? He may be the greatest fighter in the world, but, hey, I ain’t going bankrupt promoting him.”


Eyebrows raised here. Bankrupt? A ridiculous statement. Look in the mirror, Bob. What exactly has your company done to promote Crawford? Granted, you made the fights, and Crawford executed like the fighter he is.


As stated, Crawford isn’t a mouthy kid. I’ll avoid the cliché here, sort’a. His hands do his yapping for him. Arum yaps all the time, but sometimes he crosses the line. To me, this is one of those times.


But then, in the same breath, he’ll throw out some hyperbole.


“Spence and Garcia are fighting on December fifth,” said the promoter to ESPN last week.


“If they really want a big ppv, I’ll put Crawford in with both of them on the same night and he beats both. Errol Spence will try to avoid Crawford for as long as he can. He’ll take out Spence in the same number of rounds as he did Kell Brook.”


Alrighty then. Spoken like a true carnival barker.


Let me make sure I have this right. To make Arum happy, Crawford needs to change his personality. Has Eddie Hearn told any of his fighters to be something they aren’t? How about Golden Boy? Don King? No. I can’t think of any promoter who has lectured his fighter in the media like Arum has.


Crawford’s contract with Top Rank will end next year. If I’m him, I’ve already half way out the door. Who needs a guy who talks out of both sides of his mouth?


Enough of that in boxing.


Fly free Terence.

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