Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford will remain his own boss for the foreseeable future.
The three-division and reigning WBO welterweight titlist will continue to handle his own business affairs moving forward, it was learned after his latest outing. Crawford ended a 55-week inactive stretch with an emphatic sixth-round knockout of David Avanesyan on Saturday night at CHI Health Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
The bout was also Crawford’s first since splitting from Top Rank, while coming in lieu of a more desirable showdown with unified WBA/WBC/IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22KOs). Crawford and Spence were in talks for months, before the unbeaten switch-hitter opted to move in a different direction, which led to a one-fight deal with promotional upstart BLK Prime, landing a reported $10,000,000 payday for his win over Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17KOs).
“Listen, I’m a free agent,” Crawford stated in the ring. “This was a one fight deal.”
The distinction was made to confirm that no restrictions exist on his end as it relates to any major fight in and around the welterweight division.
Spence is advised by Al Haymon and fights under the Premier Boxing Champions (banner), with the majority of its fights landing on Showtime and its Pay-Per-View arm along with the occasional Fox Sports PPV event. Crawford deep in negotiations with Spence and Haymon for an industry-wide desired superfight, one that was met with barriers while Crawford was with Top Rank and fought primarily on ESPN and its accompanying platforms.
There reached a point where Spence’s side was confident that a Crawford fight was next, only for the 35-year-old Omaha native to stall and eventually bail prior to signing the final contract.
The decision led to Crawford accepting a spot atop BLK Prime’s inaugural PPV event. Final PPV sales won’t be known for at least several days, though BoxingScene.com confirmed that Saturday’s card drew 14,630 in attendance, a career-best for a Crawford boxing event in his Nebraska home state.
By his own insistence, the next step is to retest the free agent market and perhaps even get Spence back at the negotiating table.
“Hopefully, we can go [back] to the drawing board and these big fights can come back in the near future,” Crawford envisioned.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox