Terence Crawford appears to already have one foot out of the Top Rank Boxing ring.

The three-division champion is contractually free to pursue future fights with any outfit he chooses now that his contract with Bob Arum’s company has expired.

Following his stoppage win over Shawn Porter last month in an ESPN pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) all but guaranteed that he’d be testing the waters outside of Top Rank in his next fight. 

“Well, I’m pretty sure my decision is made already,” Crawford said in his post-fight press conference at the time. “You know, Bob couldn’t secure me the [Errol] Spence fight when I was wit’ him. So, how he gonna secure me the Spence fight when I’m not wit’ him? So, you know, I’m moving forward with my career right now and I wish everybody the best.”

Arum sat quietly at the time digesting Crawford’s painfully honest comments. The 90-year-old has since opined on the situation surrounding the top pound-for-pound fighter he promoted. 

“Terence Crawford is one of the best fighters in the world today, and he’s tremendously skilled,” Arum told TalkSport. “Unfortunately, he hasn’t been shown to be a fighter that is a draw on pay-per-view for whatever reason."

BoxingScene.com’s Keith Idec reported that the Crawford versus Porter event, priced at $69.99, didn’t reach the break-even point of 150,000 pay-per-view buys. The lackluster PPV buy numbers for that fight followed a milquetoast trend. Crawford’s previously reported PPV figures versus Viktor Postol in July 2016 was 50,000, while the Amir Khan fight in April 2019 generated 125,000 buys.

“So, we’ve put him in the best fights that we can, and unfortunately, we’ve lost money on every fight. [Crawford] keeps insisting, and I understand his point of view, ‘I’m the best, I should get paid like the best.' So if someone is willing to come and put up with the money Crawford is demanding, he should do a fight with another promoter if he’s going to make more money. We’re really at the limit of what we can pay him. Maybe somebody will pay him more and will be able to make a profit, and obviously, it’s a business, and so be it.” 

It appears Arum and Crawford are both content on pursuing new paths and partners. 

For Crawford, it perhaps might be best for him to strike out on his own and follow a blueprint similar to what Canelo Alvarez has displayed over the last year, picking and choosing the fights that best suit his career trajectory. 

The best fights for the WBO welterweight champion Crawford can come with fighters tied to Premier Boxing Champions. The likes of Spence, Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman all are tied to Al Haymon’s stable. 

Crawford could also look to pump the brakes on the up-and-coming likes of Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz Jr. 

Whichever direction the Nebraska native plans to take, Arum and Top Rank appear to be on the outside looking in.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com