Terence Crawford understands that it might be necessary for his next fight to take place inside an almost empty venue.
If Crawford were to box without fans in attendance, however, he’d expect promoter Bob Arum to guarantee him more money. In addition to his purse, Crawford is paid a percentage of ticket sales, which wouldn’t exist if coronavirus concerns temporarily prevent fans from attending boxing matches once this pandemic comes to an end.
Crawford offered his thoughts on competing without fans as part of Chris Mannix’s most recent Sports Illustrated boxing podcast.
“Well, I haven’t heard of that yet,” Crawford said. “But at the same time, if it was to happen, then they have to pay me more. You know, they have to pay me more because fighters of my status and on my level, we get paid for the people that’s coming there as well. So, you know, if I can’t get paid off of people coming, then I’m gonna have to get paid up front.”
The 32-year-old Crawford would be willing to extend his time off between bouts if it meant allowing fans to attend the next card he headlines and paying the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion appropriately.
“You know, you’ve gotta pay me, you know, to go up there and do what I do because it ain’t free,” Crawford explained. “Just like people gotta pay, you know, to do anything else in the world. You know, you gotta pay us fighters because, you know, we’re taking a big risk and [a] health risk at the same time. You know, you can’t play boxing. You know, one false move and you can be six feet [deep].”
No matter how the COVID-19 crisis impacts economics in boxing, Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) won’t accept less money than his contract guarantees for his next bout.
“Nah, I ain’t ready to do all that,” Crawford said. “I done took less money, you know, almost my whole career, you know, just because I knew where I was trying to go and what I was trying to accomplish. So, you know, we past that part [of my career].”
Crawford could return against former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook or WBO junior middleweight champ Patrick Teixeira. Whether he encounters England’s Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) or Brazil’s Teixeira (31-1, 22 KOs) in his next bout, Crawford will keep himself in shape, so that he’s ready to begin training camp as soon as Arum can schedule his next fight.
Arum mentioned to BoxingScene.com recently that Crawford’s next bout could be held in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
“I’m gonna be ready,” said Crawford, whose June 13 return has been pushed back indefinitely. “Like I said, whatever it is, I’m gonna be ready.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.