Terence Crawford is fresh off beating Kell Brook over the weekend via TKO in just four rounds, and the WBO welterweight champion apparently still has plenty of fight left in him.
Crawford and Top Rank boss Bob Arum have been exchanging unpleasantries in recent days toward one another. The verbal jabs started when Arum made comments to Lance Pugmire of The Athletic on Sunday.
“The question is, ‘Do we want to keep him?’” said Arum when Pugmire asked if Top Rank could still keep Crawford in its stable when other top welterweights are signed with PBC. “I could build a house in Beverly Hills on the money I’ve lost on him in the last three fights. A beautiful home. Nobody questions Crawford’s innate, tremendous ability. By beating a naturally bigger guy [in Brook], decisively, that’s a big statement that he’s making.
“The question is, ‘Does it pay the bills?’ Look, you can have the greatest opera singer in the world. If the fans don’t support it, you’re out of business.
“He’s got to promote like [Teofimo] Lopez does. He’s got to promote like Shakur [Stevenson] does. Like [Floyd] Mayweather did. Like [Manny] Pacquiao did. If he doesn’t, then who the f-- needs him? He may be the greatest fighter in the world, but, hey, I ain’t going bankrupt promoting him.”
Crawford took exception to Arum’s statements and answered back in an interview with SiriusXM on Wednesday.
“It pissed me off because I'm one of the most loyal people. For him to say some foolish sh-- like that, it made me look at him a totally different way,” said Crawford. “Release me now and you don't have to lose money no more … That's not my job [on promoting], I'm not a promoter. What am I? A fighter. I get paid to fight, I don't get paid to promote. He gets paid to promote. He's supposed to promote me."
The fissures in the relationship between Arum and Crawford have suddenly spilled into headlines over the last week, and it will be one of the major storylines to monitor in the sport heading into 2021.
Arum and Crawford have a pact that runs through October 2021, and Crawford is still looking to land legacy-defining fights at the age of 33.
A match-up that’s been marinating with WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. over the last few years is still nowhere close to happening, especially after Spence declared he was eyeing a 60-40 purse split.
“Well look like that fight will never happen,” Crawford cryptically tweeted Wednesday with a shoulder shrug emoji, seemingly in reference to a Spence fight. “I see a lot of y’all really don’t know sh-- about nothing y’all just repeating what y’all heard or seen from somebody that don’t know sh-- about boxing say or post about sh-- that they don’t know so that makes all y’all look stupid.
“99% of the people that always have a negative comment can’t even fight in real life … but they say you are scared to fight this and that guy when they can’t last three rounds ... I’m done.
“It’s crazy when somebody tells you to take less money when you’re putting your life and health on the line but I bet if I went to any one of y’all jobs and said cut they pay and pay them less y’all cry a river and say y’all need a new job so shut that stupid sh-- up.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.