Report- Terence Crawford “Top Rank Farewell” in October?
The waiting and wondering as to whether WBO World Welterweight Champion, Terence Crawford, would fight one more time under his Top Rank Boxing long-term agreement appears to be answered. This with the news the Crawford will potentially be back for an October title defense in what could be a farewell fight with the promotion.
Boxing Insider Dan Rafael tweeted Tuesday evening that he’s learned from Top Rank’s Bob Arum that October 23rd is being targeted for “Bud’s” potential final bout with his organization,
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) June 22, 2021
While Rafael didn’t get specific on an opponent yet, rumors continue to abound the Top Rank welterweight fighter Jose Zepeda will be Crawford’s latest opponent in a long list of “so-so challengers.” Crawford last bout would qualify under that category with an easy 4th round TKO of Kell Brook (above) in November.
And therein, lies the biggest reason why the 37-0 Crawford may become a very sought-after free agent after this next fight.
It’s no secret that the 33 year old Crawford has been unhappy with being unable to get a welterweight unification title fight for more than two years. Specifically, he has wanted to fight with WBC/IBF Welterweight Champion, Errol Spence.
But, despite all of Arum’s grandstanding and predictions about being able to make that fight happen, Premier Boxing Champions, who handles Spence, has refused to cooperate with any of their prominent fighters fighting Crawford.
Then, in order to appease Crawford last Fall, Arum had even put in a stipulation that if he did not secure a bout with Spence for Crawford before the end of 2020, Crawford would get a one million dollar bonus. Crawford obviously collected on that, as 2020 came to a conclusion, and there still was no fight with Spence.
Things got so contentious that after Crawford’s lawyer sent a letter to Top Rank about his displeasure with opponents and then, his family publicly criticized Arum, the 89 year old promoter blasted back in February, saying to Rafael then,
I don’t give a sh-t,” Arum told the site. “I don’t care because what (the Crawford camp) did was reprehensible. The lawyer sent a letter to us. OK, that’s fine. That’s what lawyers do. But you don’t release it to the press. All of this should have been behind closed doors like what men do. I’m not going to take this sh-t. I’m just not going to do it, because the truth is I’ve lost money with this guy.”
Arum went on to say in another interview with Boxingscene.com,
“It will be (another Crawford promotion) another hit on my net worth,” Arum said. “I’m being serious. I turned the whole project of Crawford over to (Top Rank president and Arum stepson) Todd (duBoef). I washed my hands of it. I’m too emotional about it. There was this last kerfuffle with the Brook fight when he didn’t sign the contracts so we couldn’t promote on (the) Lomachenko-Lopez (telecast). I have long since departed working with Crawford.”
Yeah, so, it’s not hard to figure out that this is likely the end in October for both sides.
Meanwhile, the Texan Spence is set for a mega pay-per-view with Hall of Famer to be Manny Pacquiao coming in Las Vegas in August. That fight will be not only for the Spence’s World titles, but also for Pacquiao’s WBA World Championship.
While there’s no question that Crawford is one of the most talented fighters from the Junior Welterweight and Welterweight divisions over the last decade, there’s also be no doubt that he’s basically fought average competition over the course of his last three fights. Those were against Amir Khan (who had already lost three times), little known “Mean Machine” Egidijus Kavaliauskas and then, the fight with Brook who had already been beaten years earlier by Spence.
It is believed that the Omaha, Nebraska native will be sought after by PBC to do a multi-fight deal, where the likes of the Spence – Pacquiao winner, plus other former world title fighters like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and Yordenis Ugas and others are waiting.
Crawford could look to make his own deals as well including with DAZN streaming /Golden Boy Promotions and potentially fight one of their top welterweights, like unbeaten contender Vergil Ortiz in an upcoming title defense.
Of course, there’s the tiny chance that Crawford and Top Rank could smooth things over and renew their deal. Then, again with what’s laid out above on whom he hasn’t got to fight and Arum’s incendiary comments, don’t hold your breath for anything beyond an October goodbye from Top Rank and Crawford.