Bob Arum emphatically denied Terence Crawford’s contention that his former promoter is a racist in a lawsuit Crawford filed Wednesday in Nevada.
The 90-year-old promoter dismissed Crawford’s lawsuit as “frivolous” and a “malicious extortion attempt” in a statement released to BoxingScene.com on Wednesday afternoon.
“Bud Crawford’s lawsuit against Top Rank is frivolous,” said Arum, a Harvard-educated attorney who began promoting boxing in 1966. “His vile accusations of racism are reckless and indefensible. He knows it, and his lawyer knows it. I have spent my entire working life as a champion of Black boxers, Latino boxers and other boxers of color. I have no doubt the Court will see Crawford’s case for the malicious extortion attempt that it is.”
Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather are among the legendary Black fighters Arum has promoted during his 55-year run as a promoter.
For details on Crawford’s lawsuit, in which he seeks nearly $10 million in damages, click here: https://www.boxingscene.com/terence-crawford-sues-top-rank-breach-contract-claims-racial-bias--163399.
Arum’s company promoted Crawford, who is Black, for more than eight years. The Omaha, Nebraska, native has been one of the highest-paid boxers in the sport during that time.
The 34-year-old Crawford – who is generally regarded as one of the top three boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport – indicated during the post-fight press conference following his 10th-round technical knockout of Shawn Porter on November 20 in Las Vegas that his promotional partnership with Top Rank had come to an end. In his lawsuit, however, Crawford contended that Top Rank still owes him one fight on the contract extension that was announced in September 2018.
The personal relationship between Arum and Crawford took a negative turn after Crawford’s fourth-round stoppage of England’s Kell Brook in November 2020 in Las Vegas. Arum infamously stated after Crawford made a $4 million guarantee for beating Brook in an essentially empty MGM Grand Conference Center that he could’ve built another house in Beverly Hills with all the money he lost promoting Crawford’s fights.
Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) reportedly earned a $6 million guarantee for fighting Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs). Porter, a former IBF and WBC welterweight champion, is the most formidable foe Crawford has encountered in the six fights since the former lightweight and undisputed junior welterweight champion moved up to the welterweight division early in 2018.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.