Saturday night it was business as usual, or perhaps unusual, for one of the world’s best fighters, Terence Crawford. Crawford defended his WBO welterweight title via 6th round TKO over Amir Khan, dropping the former champion in the first round and forcing him to elect not to continue after an accidental low blow in round six.
At the post-fight press conference inside of Madison Square Garden, Crawford and his promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum, spoke to the press. And it’s obvious that there is one fight that these men want to make, with IBF champion Errol Spence.
“You know there’s only one fight they’re talking about, and that’s Spence,” Crawford said in the ring last night. “Whenever you’re ready, I’m here.”
There are obviously some problems making the fight a reality, mostly promotional. Crawford is aligned with Top Rank, and has been fighting exclusively on ESPN. Spence is with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), and has fought his career mainly on SHOWTIME. Spence’s last fight was on FOX pay per view, as he dominated Mikey Garcia on March 16 at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
Speaking recently to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, Arum claims he is ready to make the big fight happen.
“Look, no bullshit, I’m all in,” said Arum. “We’ll do 50-50 and split the TV with both ESPN and Fox, or whoever they want to use. Do it like we did for Floyd and Manny. It’s easy. We want the fight and Terence wants the fight. We are not standing in the way of this fight and we are doing everything we can to get it done. Haymon won’t even talk about it.”
Haymon has never spoken to the press, but PBC spokesman Tim Smith was able to give a statement to Iole about their stance on the fight.
“We don’t really talk about negotiations or possible negotiations for fights,” Smith said via a text message. “When the fights are made, we announce them. We’ll leave all that for others.”
It’s obvious that this is frustrating for Arum, as there are not a wealth of top welterweight fighters in Top Rank’s stable for Crawford. The biggest names, Spence, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Manny Pacquiao, are with PBC.
How serious is Arum about Haymon’s reluctance to make Crawford vs. Spence? Speaking with the LA Times, he dropped the following gem.
“[Haymon’s] going to say, ‘Spence, listen to me. Don’t listen to the white guys. Because if you listen to the white guys, they’re going to steer you down the road … listen to me, brother, we’re part of a brotherhood. And if I’m telling you not to fight Crawford, I’m telling you not to fight Crawford,’” Arum said.
Pretty strong statement, and one that really tells us how far away we are for boxing’s next potential great fight to really happen. Let’s hope Arum and Haymon can somehow see eye to eye on this one.
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