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Terence Crawford tells all on failed negotiations with Errol Spence

Terence Crawford comes out to share his side of the story on why we’re not getting an undisputed welterweight title unification.

Terence Crawford says while he was willing to take some financial risks to get this fight on, there was only so far he was willing to go.
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Terence Crawford announced yesterday that he would be hold an Instagram Live stream to tell everyone ‘the truth’ on what happened as lengthy negotiations to stage an undisputed welterweight title unification with Errol Spence ultimately went nowhere.

True to his word, Crawford popped up just after 10 pm ET to share with his fans why the Spence fight didn’t happen and why he’s fighting David Avanesyan instead. Check out some excerpts of what Crawford had to say below.

“I’m about to give to ya’ll raw and uncut. I started talking to Team Spence I would say, Al Haymon and them, about May, right after his fight, just going back and forth, them sending me a proposal with the interest of a Spence and Crawford fight. We didn’t get a contract until August and, you know, it was just kind of like a regular wasn’t even a contract, it was a proposal.

“Ok, so we going on, basically the negotiations of what a contract would look like before we actually got the actual contract. Al (Haymon) goes in to saying a guy that I don’t know, never represented me, not affiliated with Team Crawford, have no place whatsoever in Team Crawford’s stable representing me in a contract I know nothing (about), that I agreed to.

“So basically I’m talking to Al and I’m like ‘Al, come on, man. I don’t even know this guy, how can you do that?’ And he’s like ‘well, the guy stated he’s a part of your team’ and whatnot. We going back and forth — Al’s a good dude, man. Al’s a charming guy, he’s a cool dude, I kinda liked talking to him. But at the same time Spence is Al’s guy and I’m not, so of course he’s gonna do what’s best for his fighter, his guy.

“So me and Al talk on the phone, I get advice from other guys in PBC, they tell me ‘be careful, make sure the deal is right.’ They tell me ‘make sure you don’t get fucked.’ Just normal things from guys that’s in their stable that I’m friends with, I can honestly say I’m friends with.

“Of course me and Al going back and forth about the numbers, we not going back and forth about anything else, we just going back and forth about the numbers. All in all, I have two companies that reach out to me that wanted give me and Spence $25M guaranteed, upfront. So a real guy like myself, I call Spence, ‘Yo bro, look, I got this company that’s willing to give us $25M apiece, guaranteed. Wassup, what you gonna do?’ He’s like ‘$25M? What about the backend?

“I’m like ‘Listen, if they make their money back then we make 80/20, it’s simple math. I said we got people stealing the fight, they got the fire sticks, and he laugh like ‘I got a fire stick too.’ I’m like, ‘see, ain’t nobody really buying PPVs no more.’ I said we get this upfront money and we good, it’s a no-brainer.

“But I would say the difference between me and the difference between Spence is I’m really my own boss now and he’s not. He gotta go through Al, he gotta go through his team and ask them if he can do certain things that I don’t have to no more. Yeah, I might’ve had to when I was with Top Rank because I was signed to Top Rank and they was my promotional company. So of course I had to go to Top Rank and ask them to get me this fight, or do this for me or do that for me because I was obligated to do certain things by their standard because I was signed to them.

“Now that I’m a free agent and I’m free to do whatever I want, I’m the one sitting at the table, I’m the one that’s talking directly to these high individuals. Errol Spence ain’t talking to Terence Crawford about the fight. Errol Spence wasn’t at the table. Errol Spence can’t tell you or show you a contract that says Terence Crawford-Errol Spence that he was there on the negotiations of. He can’t do it.

“So he had to go back to ask Al for permission if he could take this big chunk of lump sum of money to fight Terence Crawford, which he didn’t call me back so I proposed it to Al. I hit up Al like ‘listen, I got this big hedge fund company out here, they claim they know you — not one, but two companies willing to put $20+ million in our pocket guaranteed.’ Al tell me straight up, ‘I’m not letting nobody touch this fight.’

“I’m like ‘alright, cool.’ But I’m like ‘why?’ He’s like ‘why would you want to put a ceiling on yourself?’ I’m like ‘well that’s not putting a cap on myself if this company is taking a risk, and high risk, high reward if that’s the case. I can’t see a fight that’s been doing millions since Floyd ‘n them. So that was an altercation.

“I asked Al, ‘since this fight is dragging on with me and Spence and we can’t get things together, why don’t I come out and meet you with my lawyer and we just wrap it up, just me and you and my lawyer?’ Al said his mother wasn’t doing too well and I honored that, I respect that. Family first, I’m a family oriented guy so I know what it is to put your familty first so I’m cool with that.

“But then again, as negotiations drag on I still had stated that I wanted the fight this year. I asked Al again, because we seemed like we wasn’t getting nowhere. So I asked Al, ‘why don’t you get Spence and you, since you his representative, and I’ll get myself and my lawyer and we just make this fight. Anything we gotta do, we can just do right there and sign, seal and deliver. And Al told me straight up ‘that ain’t ever happen in the history of ever, where two fighters sit down at the table and they come to an agreement and they get a fight made like that, not even Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.’

“So I’m like, ‘okay, well there’s a first time for everything.’ I ain’t ever heard of a fighter taking zero guarantee in a fight...but that’s something that I was willing to do to make this fight happen. A lot of people they say ‘Terence you ducked, Terence you did this and you don’t want to fight Spence.’ I’m the only one that was taking all the risks. I told ‘em ‘alright cool, I’ll take no guarantee, I’ll take the less end of the money, whatever it is you want I’ll take because that’s how much confidence I got that I’m gonna beat that man.’

“So even though I know I was getting fucked in the long run, I just wanted a little transparency. I’m like, okay, if I’m gonna bet on myself and I’m gonna go against all the odds, then I want a little transparency. Of course I want to be able to write off on things that’s gonna affect my check. Of course I want to see if the numbers add up to what they’re telling me.

“I never was offered a guarantee, not once. I never was given anything, but ‘here, you want this fight? We’re gonna fuck you but you got what you want.’

“So people mad at me because Al told me if I don’t take this fight he’s just gonna go and Errol Spence is gonna make 8-figures without me. So basically he telling me you take this fight or leave it, you got nothing...I’m not the type of guy to just sit on my ass and sit on my hands for no man, to feed my family. So you mad at me for taking a fight with a tough opponent. You may not know him but he’s a tough opponent for a bigger purse, for a guarantee that I wasn’t even gonna get (with Spence). You crazy in the head.”

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