Terence Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum says he’d like to put a big fight together between him and his #1 contender Shawn Porter with the WBO, but he questions who would pay for the fight.
If Arum’s Top Rank company took the risk and came up with the money themselves, it would be a gamble. Arum said recently that he’d lost enough money on Crawford’s fights to build a house in Beverly Hills.
Would boxing fans purchase tickets in high numbers to see the Crawford vs. Porter fight, and would they be willing to purchase it on ESPN PPV?
“We could make a big fight vs Porter, but who’s going to pay for it?” said Arum to The Athletic.
“There’s a limit to what I can get out of ESPN. And on PPV… Crawford’s never done anything on PPV. Nothing against him. It is what it is.”
Porter, 33, has largely been inactive since losing to Errol Spence Jr in September 2019. Since that loss, Porter has fought just once, beating fringe contender Sebastian Formella by a 12 round unanimous decision last August in a gimme.
Although Porter has done things in the past, he’s done zero since his loss to Spence, and he seems like he’s fishing for big payday fights rather than taking risks.
Porter had a chance to fight recently when he was called out by Conor Benn, but he chose not to accept the challenge.
Arum is looking at this from a logical standpoint, having twice staged PPV fights for Crawford against Amir Khan and Viktor Postol. Neither of those fights brought in a lot of PPV buys.
Granted, those were not the ideal types of opponents to match against Crawford on PPV. Heck, you could have matched Errol Spence against Postol and Khan, and those fights would have resulted in low PPV numbers as well.
Crawford vs. Porter isn’t a fight Arum can take overseas to sell it to one of the Middle Eastern countries like he recently successfully attempted to with Manny Pacquiao. Arum wanted to set up a fight between Crawford and Pacquiao in Abu Dhabi, but the talks fizzled out.
Arum states that WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) is unproven on pay-per-view, which is what a fight between him and Porter would need.
ESPN has limits on what they’re willing to pay, according to Arum.
It would be interesting to hear what Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn would have to say about Arum sounding defeatist about the prospects of putting a fight together between Crawford and Porter.
Hearn was furious this week with the way Arum gave up on the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight after Fury lost his arbitration case with Deontay Wilder.
Also, we don’t know if Arum has confidence in Crawford being able to beat Porter. It’s a and style for Crawford, who is a classic counter puncher, switch hitter.
Crawford’s gimmicks to win fights might not work against smotherer like Porter because he would take the switch-hitting and the counter punches. The fight would be a trench warfare type of battle, and Crawford might not do well.
It surprised Hearn that Arum was willing to give up so easily on the Joshua-Fury fight and move Fury to take on Wilder rather than attempt to put together a step aside deal. Hearn believes that he could have found a step aside number that Wilder would have eventually agreed on.