by Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum has taken plenty of criticism from dissatisfied fight fans that don’t want to pay subscription fees to watch boxing on the new ESPN+ app.
Arum reminded them Thursday, however, that if they want to watch the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn welterweight title fight Saturday night, there’s a way to do it for free (and legally).
The Hall-of-Fame promoter suggested trying the free seven-day trial for the ESPN+ app, which would allow a viewer to watch Crawford-Horn and then decide whether to pay a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 before it expires.
“In the United States, it will be shown on ESPN+, one of the great apps you can – you know, people say, ‘Well, you know, you shouldn’t be charging,’ ” Arum said during the final press conference at MGM Grand. “Well, we’re really not charging because you can get the ESPN+ app for seven days, on a trial basis, and once you watch it, you’re gonna keep it forever, and it’ll be $4.95 a month. But if I’m wrong, and you just wanna watch this fight, just get the app, get it for seven days, and then if you wanna cancel, you cancel. But anybody who has seen that app, and seen just – forget the other sports, but there’s baseball and there’s lacrosse, basketball, all other sports.
“But boxing is a feature. There’s 80 fights from history, some of the greatest fights. If you wanna see the great career of Bud Crawford, every one of his fights is on that app. It’s really something special. I ask you all, try it out now. If I’m wrong, if I’m giving you promotional baloney, cancel it after seven days, don’t cost you a nickel. But get that app and see how great it is. And that’s where the fight will be shown. The whole card will be shown on that app.”
Arum’s promotional company, Top Rank Inc., reached an exclusive content deal with ESPN nearly a year ago. Crawford’s last fight, a third-round knockout of Julius Indongo in a 140-pound title unification fight, was televised live by ESPN on August 19 from Lincoln, Nebraska.
Crawford-Horn, considered the biggest fight scheduled to be streamed since the ESPN+ app launched April 12, will headline an eight-bout card Saturday.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is nearly a 10-1 favorite over Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs), who’ll make the second defense of his WBO welterweight title. The entire undercard will be streamed live, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
If a fight fan already has tried the trial subscription, he or she would have to pay the monthly subscription fee of $4.99 to watch it Saturday night. A one-year subscription for the ESPN+ app can be purchased for $49.99.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.