By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum hasn’t given up hope of making the welterweight fight next.
Terence Crawford’s promoter told a group of reporters Wednesday that he still thinks he can help put together the Crawford-Errol Spence Jr. fight for some time in the fall. Arum pointed to the fact that Spence’s supposed next fight – another 147-pound title unification bout with Shawn Porter – hasn’t been announced as evidence that Spence and his adviser, Al Haymon, will be open to making Crawford-Spence next.
“The plan for Terence Crawford is to fight in the fall,” Arum said following the Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz press conference at MGM Grand. “We still are optimistic that we can make the fight that everybody wants to see, and that’s Crawford against Spence. I think Spence wants that fight, and hopefully we’ll get it done. If we can’t get it done, we’re gonna put Crawford in with the best available welterweight. But Crawford is definitely fighting in the fall.”
It was presumed for the past two-plus months that Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), the IBF champion, and Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs), who holds the WBC title, were headed toward a unification fight either late in the summer or early in the fall. Spence and Porter publicly confirmed that they expected to meet next.
When a reporter reminded Arum on Wednesday that Spence and Porter “probably” would fight next, Arum disagreed.
“Probably is not fighting Shawn Porter,” Arum said. “Obviously, if that fight was made, it would’ve been announced. So, the fight can’t be made. Why can’t it be made? Because it’s not a pay-per-view fight and nobody can afford the amount of money that Spence wants for a fight. The only way he can make that money is to fight against Crawford.”
Spence has options for future fights in Porter and the winner of the July 20 bout between Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) and Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) because each of those three potential opponents is affiliated with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions organization.
Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs), who holds the WBO 147-pound crown, is regularly regarded as one of the top three boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport. There just isn’t an elite welterweight for him to fight that doesn’t work with Haymon, whom Arum has continuously criticized publicly.
Arum is convinced, however, that those differences can be cast aside to put together a lucrative pay-per-view event.
“I think it could be a major fight,” Arum said. “I think it could do really big numbers, a hell of a lot more than Spence-Garcia.”
Spence’s easy 12-round victory over Mikey Garcia generated in excess of 350,000 buys. That bout also drew an announced crowd of more than 47,000 to the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium on March 16.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.