Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman went off on Top Rank promoter Bob Arum on Thursday in reacting to him saying he couldn’t even find half of the $10 million that he wanted to challenge his fighter, Terence Crawford.
Arum revealed that the former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) had his representative contact him recently to try and set-up a fight against WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs).
According to Arum, he was waiting to hear back from Thurman’s rep after they had a conversation. Arum didn’t say he was rejecting putting together a fight between Thurman and Crawford.
The only negative thing Arum said is that he couldn’t find have of the $10 million that Thurman wanted when he first approached him for a fight with Crawford.
What that means is that if Thurman wants to challenge Crawford, he’s going to have to accept far less than the $10M that he was asking for.
With the pandemic going on and the absence of audiences for events, it would mean that the only way a fight between Crawford and Thurman would sell is if they put it on pay-per-view. Would the fight sell on PPV?
Crawford has never shown himself capable of selling on pay-per-view in the past for his fights against Viktor Postol and Amir Khan, but who knows? Maybe Thurman would be a big enough name to bring in a lot of buys?
Thurman goes off on Arum
“F*** Bob Arum. Keep your mouth shut,” said Keith Thurman on social media in reacting to comments from the Top Rank promoter.
“You want a cheap a** fight? I’ll punch you in your s***, how about that? That’s the only cheap s** s*** you’re going to get out of me. I’ll give you a free lick, boy.
“Look man, I’m going to snap on Bob real quick. Bob, you’re a piece of s***. You’re one of the worst promoters in the game, okay? All of your great fighters left your a**.
“Oscar De La Hoya left your a**. Floyd Mayweather Jr left your a**. Manny Pacquiao left your a**. Did I miss anybody? Shoot, Crawford, he about to leave your a***.
“Bob, you know what’s up. You know I never ask for anything. It ain’t my fault you can’t afford a great fight. You cheap as s***,” said Thurman
Even though Thurman is coming off a loss to Manny Pacquiao and a nearly two-year layoff, he’s still arguably more popular than Crawford.
Moreover, he would be by far the most talented guy that Crawford has been matched against during his 13-year professional career.
If Arum takes a chance on paying Thurman the money he wants for the Crawford fight, it could pay off. Thurman would do all the promotional work to create interest in the fight, just as he did for his last match with Pacquiao.
The success of that fight was entirely due to Thurman’s work in giving countless interviews and working tirelessly to get boxing fans interested in the match.
Obviously, Crawford wouldn’t do much to create interest in a fight with Thurman because he’s no reserved laid back, and shy to do the trash-talking that would be needed to fans interested.
It would be better to keep Crawford in the background and let Thurman, Arum and one of the other Top Rank guys do all the marketing for the fight.
Crawford can’t make any money – Thurman
“You can barely afford to pay your own fighters good money. 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. You got Max Kellerman [ESPN commentator] sipping on all the Crawford juice, and I love Crawford too.
“He’s a great fighter since the amateurs, I love that boy. I love all my peers because we’re the real ones. Bob, what did $2 million dollars buy you for your last fight?
“A bull s**** a*** fight,” said Thurman in commenting on Crawford’s recent fourth-round knockout over past his best Kell Brook last November.
“Come on now, Bob. I speak that realness. Thurman ain’t no punk.
“You’re not going to knock me in the ropes, watch me curl up like a dog, the fight is over,” Thurman said.
At this point, it’s obvious that Crawford can’t make money, but that’s not on Arum entirely. A big part of it is on Crawford.
He’s not able to create interest in his fights with the hyping that is needed by fighters nowadays on social media and through interviews, press conferences.
Outside of the ring, boxing is theater and the fighters that do well have to be able to communicate in an entertaining way. Crawford lacks what it takes to be an exciting guy outside of the ring, and it’s hurt his career.
If Crawford had a personality like a young Muhammad Ali, Arum would be sitting on a gold mine right now.
Thurman: You ain’t getting me at a discount
“When is a Thurman fight over? Knocked down body shot,” Thurman continued. “Fought with injuries, hurt hand, hurt elbows.
“Me and Shawn Porter were Showtime’s fight of the year [in 2016]. Me and Danny Garcia was a great fight [in 2017], and I fought him with bone spurs.
“Me and [Manny] Pacquiao was a very exciting fight, and I fought him almost one-handed, okay?
“Now, you mad because of the PBC opponents, you can’t afford a PBC fighter. You can’t afford us, Bob. I’m sorry, alright?
“You cheap, you want 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 going to get me on no discount. You ain’t going to pay no full price, but you ain’t getting no discount.
“Look, Bob, stop talking s***, alright? You’re a horrible f**** promoter. You got all this talent, and you can’t do s*** with it, alright?
“PBC, we make money together, alright? We make money together.
“You wouldn’t have a dime in your bank account if it wasn’t for all the Mexicans, Africans, Filipinos, and all the other ethnicities that you ever worked with throughout your whole career, alright?
“And then you don’t want to pay people. This is world-class boxing. You can’t afford a world-class fight?” said Thurman.
Well, it’s pretty clear that if Thurman wants to fight Crawford, he’s going to have to accept less than $5 million, and it might be as low as the $2 million that Kell Brook received recently.
It’s unclear how much Thurman got for his last fight against Manny Pacquiao, but I’d be willing to guess that it was a heck of a lot more than $2 million.
Thurman tells Arum: “You can’t afford me”
“You got ESPN backing you. They ain’t got no money, Bob?” ‘One Time Thurman said. “Man, look, stop talking s***, alright?
“There ain’t going to be no [Crawford vs. Thurman] fight. You can’t afford it. You offered Shawn Porter $1 million dollars [for the Crawford fight].
“What’s $1 million dollars after taxes? $600,000? Man, get the f*** out of our face, Bob. Get the f*** of our faces, alright?
“You can barely help Crawford make any money. He’s one of the best fighters you’ve had for years.
“He can’t make no money. Man, look. I don’t need no $10 million dollars, but I need some respect, and the respect comes in a check, alright.
“It’s not my fault that I’m the opponent, and I’m worth more money than your undefeated champion [Crawford]. Your undefeated welterweight champion.
“That ain’t my fault. That’s your fault, Bob. That’s evidence of you doing a s**** a** job [promoting], Bob. Man, stop talking s***, Bob,” said Thurman.
If Thurman is looking for more than $5 million, then it’s true, Arum can’t afford him.
The likely only way Arum could come up with that kind of money is if he makes Thurman the A-side in the promotion, which probably won’t please Crawford too much.
I don’t think Crawford realizes that belts don’t matter in this era in boxing. The A-side fighters are the ones that sell tickets, bring in high ratings and pay-per-view buys. Thurman ticks every box in those categories.
Keith ready to fight everybody
“Terence Crawford wanted to fight me last year, okay?” Keith Thurman said. “Terence Crawford wants to fight Shawn Porter.
“Terence Crawford wants to fight Keith Thurman. Terence Crawford wants a great fight.
“Your f**** promoter can’t afford it, Terence, alright? He can’t put a good show for you. There’s no good show.
“That’s right, f*** Bob. Anybody that wants to write the check and see some world-class fighting and world-class boxing, that’s me, baby.
“That’s what I bring to the table every day of the week. I breathe this. I’m about that life, I’ve always been about that life, since seven-years-old, baby.
“I’m one of the best fighters in the world, today, tomorrow, yesterday, I will be one of the greatest. If you don’t want to make great fights, Bob? That’s on you.
“That’s on you and your cheap a** wallet, Bob. You understand? You and your cheap a** wallet. You can’t afford greatness, you just can’t.
“I don’t care who I fight. Thurman vs. everybody. That’s just how it is, man. 2021, come back season.
“I ain’t gone nowhere. I don’t even got to come back, but they’re going to get that wrath. They’re going to get that spartan in me. This is spartan, baby.
“They going to get it. Look, man, all I want to do is do my best. I’ve been through a lot of things.
“I’ve been through a lot of injuries. I’m finally feeling good. New hair, I don’t care. New energy, we’re in this. Thurman vs. Crawford is fire, yes sir. Fire.
“They [Top Rank] can’t afford it. They can’t put up a respectful number to make something happen, you know? We don’t need $10 million, Bob.
“We don’t need it. We just need some respect, baby. You don’t have to pay full price, but you ain’t going to get no discount, either,” said Thurman.
Errol Spence Jr has already said no to a fight against Thurman, and it looks there’s no chance of him getting a fight with Crawford either.
Thurman might have to look at rematches with Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter as options for his next fight. It’s unclear how much Thurman would get fighting those guys, but probably not the big money that he received for his last fight with Manny.