LAS VEGAS – All anyone wanted to ask Bob Arum about in the immediate aftermath of Terence Crawford’s 10th-round technical knockout of Shawn Porter was the possibility of Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. finally fighting.
This was mere minutes before Crawford all but said he won’t continue his promotional partnership with Arum’s Top Rank Inc. now that their multi-fight contract has expired. Nevertheless, Arum considers a different fight than Crawford-Spence a better opportunity for Crawford – a showdown with undisputed junior welterweight champ Josh Taylor that would take place at a stadium somewhere in the United Kingdom in the spring.
“I think it’s more [lucrative] because of the UK element,” Arum told a small group of reporters. “You have to understand, Taylor is huge in the UK, so is Crawford. We can do 70,000 seats and do probably a million-and-a-half, two million pay-per-view [buys]. And put it at an hour where we can still do pay-per-view over here in the United States. So, I haven’t penciled it out completely, but I think the most lucrative fight for Terence would be Josh Taylor.”
Scotland’s Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) is promoted by Top Rank, which would require Crawford to work with Arum’s company in some capacity if he were to fight Taylor. The 30-year-old Taylor is heavily favored to win a mandated WBO title defense against England’s Jack Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs), which was rescheduled for February 26 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow due to a knee injury Taylor sustained while training for a December 18 bout.
The 34-year-old Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is interested in fighting Taylor next if the Scottish southpaw conquers Catterall. Though Crawford reiterated that he doesn’t “need” to fight Spence, a fellow welterweight champion, he obviously would entertain negotiations for them to finally fight.
Arum acknowledged that Crawford-Spence is an intriguing bout, but clearly for the sake of his company’s bottom line, he hopes Crawford chooses Taylor. The left-handed Taylor would have to move up from the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds to the welterweight maximum of 147 to challenge Crawford.
“The fight I would like to see is Terence and Josh Taylor,” Arum said. “Two of the fighters, one currently and one previously, who were undisputed in their weight class.”
Crawford was boxing’s first undisputed junior welterweight champion. He relinquished the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 140-pound crowns Taylor now owns to jump up to the welterweight division early in 2018.
The three-division champion has made five defenses of the WBO welterweight title he won by stopping Australia’s Jeff Horn in the ninth round of their June 2018 bout at nearby MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.