by Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum claims Errol Spence Jr. is saying everything except what he really means.
Every time Spence speaks about him and Terence Crawford residing on different sides of a proverbial promotional street, it further reinforces to the Hall-of-Fame promoter that Spence wants no part of Crawford at any point soon. A welterweight title unification bout between Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), the IBF champion, and Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), the WBO champion, is one of the most intriguing boxing matches that can be made.
Arum, whose company promotes Crawford, still doesn’t think it’ll happen in the foreseeable future because Spence doesn’t want to test himself against Crawford.
“Spence, the genius, [said], ‘Well, we’re on one side of the street, he’s on the other side,’ ” Arum told BoxingScene.com during a recent interview. “That’s a guy that doesn’t wanna fight Crawford. Any time he’s ready to fight Crawford, we’ll make that fight. We’ll make it happen.”
The 28-year-old Spence emphasized in the immediate aftermath of Shawn Porter’s unanimous-decision victory over Danny Garcia that he is more interested in 147-pound title unification fights with Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs), who won the vacant WBC title by beating Garcia on September 8 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), whenever the often-injured WBA champion returns. If the strong southpaw can beat Porter and Thurman, it would make his pay-per-view fight against Crawford a bigger event.
Arum’s Top Rank Inc. has a content partnership with ESPN, but he said that won’t prevent Spence-Crawford from happening. He has no problem working with Showtime, the network that showcases Spence, on a joint pay-per-view venture whenever Spence is ready to make that fight.
“Eventually I think I’ll be able to make a Spence fight because the money will be so big and we’ll be reasonable, and we’ll share things and everything,” Arum said. “I’m not gonna play games anymore. I mean, we have a real trust that we’ve been given by ESPN. And not be boxing schmucks anymore, to put on real events in boxing for the public. And if that means sharing or doing a deal, we’re prepared to do that. Nobody wants selfishness anymore.”
Crawford, meanwhile, is scheduled make a voluntary defense of his WBO 147-pound championship against Phoenix’s Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0, 18 KOs) on October 13 at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s hometown.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.