Terence Crawford revealed Tuesday night that representatives from two unnamed hedge funds offered to pay him and Errol Spence Jr. guaranteed purses of $25 million apiece during prolonged negotiations with Premier Boxing Champions founder Al Haymon.
Crawford discussed why talks for their high-profile fight fell apart late last month during a 20-minute session streamed on Instagram Live. The unbeaten WBO welterweight champion also divulged that he personally informed Spence of the $50 million offer, but that Haymon, who advises Spence, wouldn’t consider the possibility of working with these unidentified investors Crawford contended were willing to absorb the significant financial risk involved in their pay-per-view showdown.
“We’re going on and on,” Crawford said, “you know? And of course, me and Al, you know, we’re going back and forth, back and forth about, you know, the numbers. We not going back and forth about anything else. We just going back and forth about the numbers. On and on, I have two companies, you know, that reach out to me that, you know, wanted to give me and Spence $25 million guaranteed – $25 million guaranteed, up front. So, a real guy like myself, I called Spence. ‘Hey, bro, look, listen, you know what I mean? I got this company that’s willing to give us $25 million apiece guaranteed. What’s up? What you gonna do?’ He like, ‘Twenty-five million? What about the back end?’
“I’m like, ‘Dude, listen, if they make they money back then we get [an] 80-20 [percentage on the back end]. You know what I mean? It’s simple math.’ I said, ‘Man, we got people who are buying the fight, I mean, stealing the fight. They got the firesticks.’ And he laughed. He like, ‘Man, I got a firestick, too.’ I’m like, ‘See.’ I’m like, ‘Man, ain’t nobody really like buying, you know what I mean, pay-per-views no more.’ I said, ‘Man, we get this up-front money and we good. It’s a no-brainer. You know what I mean?’ ”
Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) will instead defend his 147-pound crown against Russia’s David Avanesyan (29-3-1, 17 KOs) on December 10 in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. The three-division champion expects Spence (28-0, 22 KOs), the IBF/WBA/WBC 147-pound champ, to face fellow PBC fighter Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs,1 NC) sometime after he squares off against Avanesyan.
If Crawford and Spence win their upcoming bouts, Crawford wants to resume negotiations for what would be a full welterweight title unification fight. Crawford lamented Tuesday night, however, that because Spence isn’t his own boss that the DeSoto, Texas native couldn’t push for them to take $50 million in guaranteed purses.
The 35-year-old Crawford later explained Tuesday night that he was willing to accept Haymon’s unusual offer of $0 guaranteed for one of the most meaningful fights that can be made in boxing. Crawford apparently was convinced that his share of the revenue from their fight would’ve earned him enough money to work without a guarantee.
That was only after, according to Crawford, Haymon wouldn’t entertain the idea of a third party’s involvement.
“[Spence] had to go back and ask Al for permission, you know, if he can, you know, take this big chunk, a lump sum of money, to fight Terence Crawford,” Crawford said. “Which he didn’t call me back, so I proposed it to Al. I hit up Al. I’m like, ‘Al, listen, you know, man, I got this big hedge fund company out there. You know, they claim they know you. Not one, but two. Not one, but two. You know, two companies willing to put $20-plus million in both of our pockets, guaranteed. Al told me straight up, ‘I’m not letting anybody touch this fight.’ Like, ‘All right, cool.’
“But I’m like, ‘Why?’ He like, ‘Why would you wanna put a ceiling on yourself? Why you wanna put a cap on yourself?’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s not putting a cap on myself if this company is taking a risk? Then, you know, it’s high risk, I mean, high reward.’ If that’s the case, you know, I can’t see a fight that’s been doing millions [of pay-per-view buys], you know, since Floyd and them. So, you know, that was an altercation.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.