By Jeff Aronow: Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford has reportedly filed a lawsuit against his former promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank on the grounds of “racial bias,’ which kept him from getting big fights and making many millions.
According to the New York Post, the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion Crawford is suing for up to $10 million. The lawsuit was filed in Nevada on Wednesday.
Arum’s reaction to the lawsuit is one of surprise, as he says it’s Crawford’s own inability to market himself that has hurt his career and that Top Rank has lost money on his pay-per-view events due to low PPV numbers and the large purse guarantees that he had.
Arum says he tried to make a fight between Crawford and IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., but because of the large guaranteed purses that the two fighters wanted for the contest, he couldn’t do it.
The worry here for Crawford is that by filing a lawsuit against Arum for failing to promote him and create huge-money fights for him, he could put himself in a position where other top promoters may think twice about signing him.
If they’re concerned with Crawford blaming them if they’re unable to get him the fights he desires, they choose to steer clear of signing, particularly with the Nebraska native nearing 35-years-old. That’s not young for a boxer.
“[Crawford] cost me and my company because he had guarantees that were very, very, large based on his ability,” said Arum to The New York Post. “But his marketability didn’t measure up to this ability, and that has absolutely nothing to do with what race he is,” said Arum.
Crawford hasn’t done a great deal of trash-talking to create noise on social media compared to some fighters. Crawford is polite and doesn’t seem to relish the trash-talking that some fighters enjoy doing.
In hindsight, that might have helped Crawford make himself into a bigger star if he’d worked tirelessly in social media and given a lot of interviews.
The other things that may have prevented Crawford from getting the big fights are related to his ability. He’s been on top of the game for so long, and he’s dominated in a way that makes him a poor choice if you’re promoter for another fighter.
Additionally, Crawford is a counter puncher and southpaw, and those types of fighters historically are avoided.
Fighting southpaws is no easy task, and when you add that Crawford is a counter puncher & quite mobile, it’s daunting.
“A lot of it depends on the willingness of the fighter to market himself, and if you even knew about all the times we pleaded with Crawford to do this program and that media opportunity, and he refused because he was concentrating on his training, or whatever,” said Arum.
“His [Crawford’s] previous [PPV] fights got less than 100,000; he simply doesn’t sell,” Arum said. “With Porter, we were hoping for at least 250,000 or even 400,000 views, but people weren’t interested in buying it….We lost a barrel of money,” said Arum.
We’ll see how this goes for Crawford, but hopefully, he doesn’t struggle to get other promoters willing to sign him if he loses the case. Boxing is a small sport with only a tiny handful of top promoters.
If Crawford wants huge guarantee purses for his fights that don’t match the pay-per-view numbers from his past battles, it could be difficult, if not impossible, for him to get the matches he wants against Spence and other top welterweights.
Crawford has been with Top Rank since 2011, and his contract with them expired in his last fight against Shawn Porter. Arum said recently that he’d be open to working with Crawford for a fight against Josh Taylor. It’ll be interesting to know if Arum would still be available to that idea now.