This era of boxing, like most of them, has upsides and downsides to it. But the upside/downside dynamic which applies to a Terence Crawford is a sticky one.
The separation of platforms and promotional firms can mean that a guy like a Crawford finds himself in a weight class where there isn’t as much action on his side of the street as on the other side of the street. And that is a considerable downside to a fierce competitor like “Bud.”
Probably the primary upside for a Crawford, however, has to be the pay scaling for A-side, A-grade boxers. He’s been paid quite handsomely while part of the Top Rank family, and for some fights that on paper weren’t seen as massively risky. The way they played out matched the on-paper assessment, as Crawford made juicy bank for fighting the likes of John Molina Jr, Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz, and Jose Benavidez Jr.
“Sometimes it concerns me, but at the same time I don’t try to worry about those type of fights that are not getting made,” said Crawford, who faces Kell Brook Saturday (ESPN, 10 pm ET).
“I feel like I’ve already put my stamp down in the history books and my legacy will live on no matter what, if I get those big fights or not. Given all those things that I’ve accomplished in the sport of boxing as a whole. Do I want those fights that everybody calling for? Yes, I’ve been calling for those fights before I was even (at) 147.”
How to Watch Crawford vs Brook
Call-outs and discussions and entreaties have occurred for years and years.
“I hit up Bob Arum and Todd duBoef and I said offer Keith Thurman the fight, I don’t even want to fight Kell Brook, offer Keith Thurman the fight,” the Nebraskan told the Showtime host. “They come back and said that fight will never happen. I said why, they said he wants 10 million dollars! He asked for 10 million dollars when he only got two million for Pacquiao. Keith knows what he’s doing, he’s going to do all that talk and behind closed doors, he’s going to out price himself. That way he can make it seem that we didn’t send the contract.”
And while 2-3 years ago, it felt like there was time to make the super-fights, that fan pressure and mediation would bring about, say, a Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr fight? Now you see that Crawford is 33, and you have to know that you cannot assume he will be able to get those matchups he’s said he’s craved.
Of course, what matchups you might be able to take part in can change when you change uniform. No secret to most people taking the time to read this, Al Haymon’s PBC did a good job in cornering lots of the market leaders at welterweight. Spence, Danny Garcia, Thurman, Shawn Porter, etc. Those cats have done well fighting each other and others under the PBC umbrella. There’s pretty much been an intramural tourney for a few years on that side — and Crawford has seen himself outside looking in, getting paid top dollar, but not getting those sorts of tests which will allow him, when retired, to know exactly how good/great he was when push came to hard shove.
Some people follow contractual matters, others just like to follow the fights. But for the record, Crawford had his deal tweaked in Sept. 2018.
“Without a doubt, this is one of the most lucrative deals for an individual fighter in the history of boxing,” said Brian McIntyre, Crawford’s trainer and manager. “The deal that I helped put together with Top Rank and ESPN is unprecedented in the modern boxing landscape. If you think you’ve seen the best of Terence Crawford, you ain’t seen nothing yet. To all the pretenders out there who want a piece of him, you’ll get what is coming. With Top Rank and ESPN in our corner, we are going to make some of the biggest fights in the history of boxing. We will continue to show the world that Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is one of the greatest fighters to ever lace up a pair of gloves.”
It’s been said he’s guaranteed $3 million a fight, whether it’s a Mean Machine or a Brook.
What sort of fights would he like at 147?
“Pacquiao for sure, I’ve been calling for that since 2015 and that’s the crazy part, that fight still hasn’t happened,” Bud told Custer. “Of course, Errol Spence fight, Keith Thurman fight, those are the fights that I’m really intrigued about. And maybe a Danny Garcia fight, me and him got a lot of history together and I know me and him would make a great fight.”
We’ve heard talk recently that maybe Crawford will look for greener pastures, or at least different pastures, and maybe cross to that other side of the street where the Haymon fighters strut their stuff.
“It’s all about business, that’s what it comes down too,” Crawford said.
And as of right now how long is he at Top Rank?
“Probably like a few months, few months, it ain’t that long.”
My guess is he jets. When I spoke to Bob Arum last week, he was much more enthused about Naoya Inoue, it seemed, than Terence Crawford. When I asked about the stakes on Crawford-Brook, and whether a win cements Bud as No. 1 pound-for-pound, you wouldn’t characterize Arum as “amped.”
“Crawford is Crawford,” he told me.
Yes, it is all about business, much of the time. And about contracts, too.