Keith Thurman heard about all he could take from Bob Arum.
The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion thus took to social media Thursday to trash Terence Crawford’s promoter. Between insults, Thurman contended that he did not ask for $10 million last year to challenge Crawford.
Thurman also stated that he realizes a fight with Crawford would be worth less during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is not, however, willing to take “a discount” to fight the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion.
From Thurman’s standpoint, Crawford and Arum need an opponent like him or his rival, Shawn Porter, to satisfy fans who want to see the three-division champion tested more than the five fighters he beat have pushed him since he moved up to the 147-pound division nearly three years ago.
“F--- Bob Arum! All right?,” Thurman said. “Why you talkin’ sh-t, Bob? Keep your God-damn mouth shut. Keep your God-damn mouth shut, Bob. You want a cheap-ass fight? I’ll punch you in your sh-t for free. How ‘bout that? That’s the only cheap-ass sh-t you’re gonna get out of me. I’ll give you a free lick, boy.”
The 32-year-old Thurman presumably was kidding, as Arum turned 89 last month.
The Clearwater, Florida, native’s frustration with Arum is real, though. He insists he is willing to face Crawford next, just not for the undisclosed purse Thurman says Arum’s Top Rank Inc. is willing to pay.
“Look, man, I’m gonna snap on Bob real quick,” Thurman said. “Bob, you a piece of sh-t. You’re one of the worst f--kin’ promoters in the game. OK? All of your great fighters left yo ass! Oscar De La Hoya. Left yo ass! Floyd Mayweather. Left yo ass! Manny Pacquiao. Left yo ass! Am I missing anybody? Shoot, Crawford, he about to leave yo ass! He about to leave yo ass! Look, man, Bob, Bob, you know what’s up.
“You know I never asked for anything. It ain’t my fault you can’t afford a great fight. OK? You cheap as sh-t. You can barely pay your own fighters good money. OK? That ain’t my fault. You got ESPN backing you, you got Terence Crawford, one of the most talented welterweights in the welterweight division, and you can’t get him paid. You can’t make him famous enough.”
Arum paid Crawford’s last opponent, England’s Kell Brook, a $2 million purse. Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) demolished Brook (39-3, 27 KOs), a faded former IBF welterweight champion, by fourth-round technical knockout November 14 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Arum surprisingly criticized Crawford publicly following the Brook bout. The International Boxing Hall of Fame promoter stated that he wouldn’t continue losing money on Crawford’s fights and blamed the 33-year-old Crawford for failing to help make himself into a bigger star.
Thurman has long been affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. He can’t understand why, with ESPN’s financial support, Arum’s company, Top Rank Inc., can’t pay him what Thurman feels he is worth for the Crawford fight.
“You got Max Kellerman sippin’ on all the Crawford juice – and I love Crawford, too,” Thurman continued. “He’s a great fighter, since the amateurs. I love that boy. I love all my peers, cuz we the real ones. We the real ones. Bob, Bob, what did $2 million buy you your last fight? A bullsh-t ass fight. Come on, now. Come on, now, Bob. OK? I speak that realness. Thurman ain’t no punk. All right? You don’t knock me into the ropes, watch me curl up like a dog, fight’s over. When was Thurman ever fight over? All right? Knocked down, body shot, fought with injuries, hurt hands, hurt elbows. Me and Shawn Porter were Showtime’s ‘Fight of the Year.’ Me and Danny Garcia was a great fight. I fought him with bone spurs. Me and Pacquiao was a very exciting fight. I fought him almost one-handed. OK?
“And now, you mad cuz the PBC opponents, you can’t afford a PBC fighter. You can’t afford us, Bob. I’m sorry. All right? You cheap. You want f--kin’ discounts. I know it’s COVID. I know it’s hard out here in the streets. We all feel it. We all know it. You know what I’m saying? But you ain’t gonna get me on no discount. You ain’t gonna pay no full price, but you ain’t gonna get no discount. Look, Bob, stop talking sh-t. All right? Stop talking sh-t. You’re a horrible f--kin promoter. You got all this talent and you can’t do sh-t wit it. All right?”
The top welterweights Crawford needs to fight in 2021 all are aligned with Haymon and PBC. The Omaha, Nebraska, native told BoxingScene.com before he beat Brook that he was unsure if he would box again for Arum’s company before his contract expires later this year.
Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since he lost a 12-round split decision to Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) in July 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He revealed Thursday that he is back in the gym and would be ready to fight as soon as sometime in March.
“PBC, we make money together, baby. We do it all together. All right?,” Thurman added. “You wouldn’t have a dime in the bank account if it wasn’t for all Mexicans and Africans and Filipinos and all the other ethnicities that you’ve ever worked with throughout your whole career. All right? And then you don’t wanna pay people? This is world-class boxing. You can’t afford a world-class fight? You got ESPN backing you. They don’t got no money, Bob? They don’t got no money? Man, look, stop talking sh-t. All right? Ain’t gonna be no fight. You can’t afford it. All right? You offered Shawn Porter $1 million. What’s $1 million after taxes? Six-hundred thousand? Man, get the f--- out our face, Bob. Get the f--- out our faces. All right?
“You can barely help Terence Crawford make any real money. He’s one of the best fighters you’ve had for years. Yeaaaars! He can’t make no money. Man, look, man, I don’t need no $10 million. But I need some respect. And the respect come in the check. All right? The respect come in the check. Ain’t my fault that I’m an opponent and I’m worth more money than your champion, your undefeated welterweight champion. That ain’t my fault. That’s your fault, Bob. That’s your fault, Bob. That’s evidence of you doing a sh-tty-ass job, Bob. OK? Man, stop talking sh-t, Bob. All right? Terence Crawford wanted to fight me last year. OK? Terence Crawford wants to fight Shawn Porter. Terence Crawford wants to fight Keith Thurman. Terence Crawford wants a great fight. Your f---in’ promoter can’t afford it, Terence. All right? He can’t put a good show for you. There’s no good show. You know? That’s right, man, f--- Bob!”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.