LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum understands the reality of his promotional company’s future as it relates to working with Terence Crawford again.
Arum’s Top Rank Inc. has promoted the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion throughout his ascent to stardom as a three-weight world champion. But Crawford’s contract with Top Rank expired following his 10th-round stoppage of Shawn Porter on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
As a promotional free agent, one of the best boxers in the sport will have numerous options for his first fight of 2022. Arum considers a showdown with undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor to be the most lucrative fight that can be made for Crawford, especially if it were to take place at a stadium in the United Kingdom.
Crawford, 34, has expressed interest in fighting Taylor, who owns the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 140-pound championships Crawford possessed prior to moving up from the junior welterweight division to welterweight early in 2018. If Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) were to fight Taylor in a welterweight bout at some point in 2022, he would at least have to work with Top Rank in some capacity because Arum’s company promotes Scotland’s Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs).
Arum, who will turn 90 next month, isn’t fixated on securing another multi-fight agreement with Crawford.
“Look, Tommy Hearns was in the ring [after Crawford-Porter],” Arum told a group of reporters prior to a post-fight press conference late Saturday night in which Crawford indicated he won’t re-sign with Top Rank. “I never had a contract with Hearns more than one fight. Never had a contract with Leonard more than one fight. Hagler, maybe two fights. But never long-term contracts. We never had long-term contracts. If somebody comes and offers Terence a lot more money, he’d be a fool not to take it.
“But we think we can produce the best fight for him. It’s got nothing to do with personalities or anything. We know when we put a fight on, the fighters get treated well, they’re taken care of. But other people can do that also. So again, Terence will, if he’s smart, which I believe he is, will look at all the offers and see what’s the best way to go.”
Arum doesn’t think influential adviser Al Haymon will try to align Crawford with Premier Boxing Champions, the organization Haymon launched in 2015. Working with Haymon’s PBC would obviously make it easier for Crawford to secure the most meaningful fight for him, an ever-elusive welterweight title unification fight versus rival Errol Spence Jr.
“I think it would be stupid for the PBC [to sign Crawford],” Arum said. “Look, you have to understand the economics of the business. The pay-per-view business being done by the cable systems and the satellite providers is in the toilet. The business, the big business, as proven by the UFC, by tonight, by the Tyson Fury fight [against Deontay Wilder], is being done by ESPN+. And we have a contract with ESPN that nobody can put a fight on ESPN+ except Top Rank. So, now if they wanna go and do a fight without Top Rank and without ESPN, that’s up to them. But I think it would be really foolish for them to do it, for everybody to do it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.