Bob Arum says a representative for Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman reached out to him to see if he’s interested in seeing up a fight with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Arum said he’s waiting to hear back from him to see if he can put the fight together.
This is the same rep that contacted Arum before about a fight between former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs).
Apparently, on that occasion, Thurman wanted $10 million to be the Crawford opponent, which didn’t work. Arum says he wouldn’t know where to find even half of that amount.
You can argue that Thurman might be a little spoiled from the big payday he got for his last fight against Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.
Thurman has been trying to lure IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr into the ring, but he’s not interested in giving the needy former champion a title shot.
‘One Time’ Thurman burned his bridges a long time ago by choosing to ignore Spence over a five-year period when he was trying to get a fight against him.
Now when the shoe is on the other foot, and Spence is the champion, he’s not going to throw a bone to the faded Thurman.
“We’re going to give him two fights this year,” said Bob Arum to Barbershop Conversations about Terence Crawford’s next fight in 2021.
“It probably can’t be [Errol] Spence for the first fight, although let’s see what happens. Give it a couple of weeks to see what happens with the pandemic, and then he’ll fight in the winter,” said Arum.
It’s pretty farfetched that the pandemic is going to disappear in time for Arum to put together a fight between Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) and Crawford in the first half of 2021. The vaccine for COVID 19 likely won’t be available for the U.S population under 75-years-old until mid-summer.
Arum needs to focus on finding an opponent for Crawford to stage behind closed doors inside ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Keith Thurman would be ideal for Crawford, as long as he doesn’t ask for too much.
The only way that Top Rank will support the purses for Crawford and Thurman would be to stage the fight on ESPN pay-per-view.
That’s not a good idea for this fight to put on PPV, though, as Thurman hadn’t beaten anyone good since his close 12 round majority decision victory over Danny Garcia back in 2017.
Sadly, Thurman has fought only twice in the last four years, beating Josesito Lopez in a competitive fight and losing Pacquiao.
“Yeah,” said Arum when asked if Keith Thurman had reached out again for a fight with Crawford. “It wasn’t with Keith. It was with some representative of Keith’s.
“He’d been in touch with me before, and now he was calling me again. He said, ‘Keith would be interested in fighting Crawford,’ and I said, ‘Give me the terms that you want, and let’s see if we can do it.’
“That was a couple of days ago, and I assume I’ll hear back from him,” said Arum.
Hopefully, Arum doesn’t hold his breath, waiting for Thurman’s representative to contact him again because it might not happen. If Thurman is looking for that Manny-money to fight Crawford, he’s in for a reality check.
Whatever Crawford’s last opponent Kell Brook, that’s probably all Thurman will be offered.
Shawn Porter spoke recently, warning Crawford to lowball him, as there were rumors that he was offered $1 million for the fight. If that’s all Porter was offered for a fight with Crawford, it suggests that Thurman won’t be getting more than that.
It would be different if Crawford were a popular pay-per-view-level fighter like Errol Spence, but he’s not. Crawford’s opposition and counter-punching, switch-hitting style of fighting has held him back and prevented him from becoming a star.
“Would you?” said Arum when asked if he attempted to talk Thurman down from his $10 million asking price the last time he attempted to set up a fight with Crawford.
“Where the hell am I going to get half of that?” said Arum about Thurman’s $10 million requests from last time.
Thurman looks like he’s trying to hustle his way into cash-out title shots rather than him putting effort into trying to work his way to a title shot like most fighters.
It’s disappointing what Thurman has done with his career, as it wasn’t long ago that he was viewed as the #1 welterweight on the planet after Floyd Mayweather Jr retired.
It’s not just the injuries that Thurman has suffered that has impacted his career negatively. It’s the money he’s made. Thurman made a lot of money in a short period of time with his fights against Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
That money did something to Thurman’s ambition, making him lazy and content. So instead of Thurman getting back in the ring quickly after his grueling win over Danny Garcia in 2017, he sat on his backside, talking about throwing away entire years with his need for a “get-back” year.
The hunger that Thurman had when he was coming up was completely absent and nowhere to be found.
“I don’t know what that means,” said Arum when given this quote from Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe: ‘Boxing is bigger than the fans.’ “Because boxing is without the fans, as we’re demonstrating, but it’s very, very hard to do boxing.
“So that statement, I wouldn’t subscribe to. But particularly, what saved us during this period is when we were putting fights on in ‘The Bubble,’ which we’re still going to do in February.
“The fans saved us because we did tremendous ratings. We were up last year, 45% from the year before. So ESPN was very, very pleased and that was because of the fans, even though we didn’t get any money from the gate. The fans are all in for it,” said Arum.
Arum did many fights on ESPN during the pandemic, but he didn’t have anything that stood out. It would have been nice if Arum had set up a fight between Artur Beterbiev and Canelo Alvarez.