In a big surprise, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford has filed a lawsuit in Nevada against his former promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank company, claiming racial bias against him. Crawford had been signed with Top Rank from 2011 until his contract expired two months ago.
Arum claims that Crawford’s lawsuit is an “extortion attempt on his part and “frivolous,” according to ESPN. According to Arum, Crawford’s failure to build his name is because of his inability to market himself.
Crawford, 34, is no longer signed with Top Rank after his contract expiring last November with his fight against Shawn Porter on ESPN PPV.
The New York Post broke the story earlier today. If Crawford wins his lawsuit, he could make $5.4 million to $10 million.
Despite having loads of talent and winning three-division world titles, Crawford has failed to become a big pay-per-view star like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao, and Canelo Alvarez.
Crawford is ranked #2 pound-for-pound with Ring Magainze and is seen as the #1 welterweight. However, his fights have failed to attract a lot of attention for whatever reason.
He’s not fought the stellar opposition needed, and he’s a counter puncher and not easy to hit. In the past, the fighters that typically have become massive stars brought drama due to their aggressive styles, power, and sometimes porous defense.
“Bud Crawford’s lawsuit against Top Rank is frivolous,” Arum said to ESPN. “His vile accusations of racism are reckless and indefensible. He knows it, and his lawyer knows it. I have spent my entire working life as a champion of Black boxers, Latino boxers, and other boxers of color. I have no doubt the Court will see Crawford’s case for the malicious extortion attempt that it is.”
Crawford is not easy to hit, and with counter punching, he rarely was the one that initiated the offense. His fighting style may have ultimately held him back from becoming super popular.
Is it for lack of trying on Top Rank’s part that Crawford has failed to get the big fights and attract many PPV buys for his contests or is his style of fighting not attractive to the fans, promoters, and other fighters?
It’s easy to understand why the handful of fights Crawford has had on PPV failed to bring in a lot of buys. He was facing the wrong guys to sell on PPV.
Crawford’s three fights on PPV were against these fighters: Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, and Viktor Postol. There was no way that Crawford or any boxer would sell on PPV fighting Postol and Khan.
By the time Crawford fought Porter on PPV, he’d already been beaten by Errol Spence Jr, Kell Brook, and Keith Thurman, and some fans saw him as a gatekeeper. Porter was no longer a big enough name for him to be a viable opponent for Crawford to fight on PPV, which is why it failed to bring in huge numbers.
Crawford’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, worked with Mikey Garcia in his suit with Top Rank in 2014.
“Unlike other boxers bound to Top Rank contracts, Terence can assert his claims in court without Top Rank forcing him to sit out,” Freedman said. ”
Arum’s recent comment that he “Could build a house in Beverly Hills on the money I’ve lost on him in the last three fights.”
According to ESPN, that comment from Arum could be interpreted as him denigrating Crawford and hurting his reputation and potential to be signed by another promotional company after he left Top Rank.
The Spence-Crawford fight hasn’t happened because of the enormous purse guarantees both fighters needed for this match to occur, said Arum. He says Crawford and Spence both wanted $9-10 million for their clash, but Arum didn’t know who would put up that kind of dough.
“Spence wants a lot of money for the fight, and so does Terrence, and who is going to put up that money — $9 or $10M a piece, and how are you going to make that money back?” said Arum to the New York Post.