Bob Arum: Spence is holding up Crawford fight

Bob Arum of Top Rank is blaming the Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr fight not happening squarely on Spence’s shoulders, who he says doesn’t want to make the match.

Arum believes that IBF/WBC 147-pound champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is holding back from making the unification contest against WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) because he doesn’t think he can win.

That’s just the straight-up view that Arum has of the 31-year-old Spence. He doesn’t have the nerves to take the fight with the Nebraska native Crawford, so he’s making excuses by talking percentages and such.

Arum isn’t sure when or if the Crawford vs. Spence fight can happen. It’s up to Spence. The Top Rank promoter Arum states that Al Haymon and PBC are both on board with making the Crawford-Spence fight, but it’s Spence blocking it.

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“I personally like Terence [Crawford]. The people around him have done bad things, but I think it’ll work itself out, and everything will be OK,” said Bob Arum to the Three Knockdown Rule. “Terence wants big fights, and we hope to deliver big fights for him.

Bob Arum, Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford - Boxing News

“That depends on the fighters,” said Arum on whether he can make the Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr fight. “I talked to Al Haymon, and he seems amenable to the fight.

“The only one that seems like he’s holding back on it, maybe because he doesn’t feel he can win the fight, is Errol Spence.

“That’s the truth. Errol Spence is the obstacle in making that fight, not Al Haymon, not PBC. It’s Errol Spence. He throws out numbers, percentages.

“Again, we’re very confident in that fight; we believe Crawford will beat him. Unfortunately, Spence believes the same thing. The major issue is Spence doesn’t want to fight him. Don’t you understand?

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“Don’t blame Al Haymon, don’t blame PBC. Blame Spence. He doesn’t want to get beat by Crawford,” said Arum.

From the sounds of it, we’re not going to see Spence and Crawford fighting anytime soon. As long as Spence is holding up the progress in making the match, it’s not going to get done.

However, what might be hurting the fight from happening is Crawford wanting a larger percentage split than Spence. That’s a non-starter for a fight between them because Spence has proven to be the bigger PPV draw than Crawford.

Bob Arum, Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford - Boxing News

The number of boxing fans showing up to watch Spence’s fights in recent years clarifies that he’s a top-rated fighter.

Does Crawford rate a higher percentage split against Spence? That’s the magic question. You can go even further by asking, ‘Does Crawford rate even a 50-50 split? If Spence doesn’t believe he does, the fight won’t get made.

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Crawford will likely need to agree to the smaller split for him to have a chance to get the Spence fight.

Spence arguably has more options for appealing fights than Crawford does at this point, and few would deny that. Blaming Spence for not agreeing to fight Crawford fails to address the real reason why he doesn’t want to fight him.

Spence clearly doesn’t agree that Crawford is on his level as far as being a pay-per-view attraction.