January 15, 2022

Boxing Beat: Longtime partnership between Crawford and Arum shifts sourly toward the courtroom

Rob Warren
NFL-Sports Blogger
Photo By:Mikey Williams

Crawford and his legal team have filed a lawsuit at against Top Rank Boxing in Nevada alleging the 90-year-old Bob Arum the Chairman of Top Rank of racial bias.

Terrance Crawford and his long time promoter Bob Arum are at odds, with an upcoming showdown in the court of law.

Crawford and his legal team have filed a lawsuit at against Top Rank Boxing in Nevada alleging the 90-year-old Bob Arum the Chairman of Top Rank of racial bias.  The suit specifically alleges that Arum “continues to make racist and bigoted statements and purposefully damage the reputations of Black boxers.”

Terrance Crawford who is one of the most prominent African American fighters in boxing, and whom is ranked very high on most pound for pound lists, had been signed with Top Rank since 2011.  Crawford rose to prominence under the Top Rank Boxing promotion banner, winning titles in three weight classes, (Lightweight 135 lbs., Junior Welterweight 140 lbs., and welterweight 147 lbs.).  

As Top Rank made its move away from HBO to sign a content providing deal with ESPN, Crawford was a centerpiece of that deal.

Bob Arum responded to the lawsuit saying “Bud Crawford’s lawsuit against Top Rank is frivolous,” Arum said in a statement later Wednesday.  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 boxes, 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.”

One of the perceived largest fights in boxing would be Terrance Crawford against Errol Spence junior whom does not operate with a computer but fights under the banner of his advisor Al Haymon of PBC (Premier Boxing Champions).

 Both sides Bob Arum on behalf of Terrance Crawford when he was under contract with Top Rank, and the PBC side the fighters have access for guaranteed purses that make the fight too expensive to put on.   It has not just been the failure for the Crawford-Spence fight that upset Crawford. Crawford’s legal team claimed breach of contract as well as fraudulent and negligent representations. 

Arum was known while he was promoting Crawford to take pot shots at his own fighter and saying things like “I could build a house in Beverly Hills on the money I’ve lost on him on the last three fights”.  Arum also told the New York Post in an interview that “his (Crawford’s) marketability didn’t measure up to his boxing ability, and that has nothing to do with the race that he is.”

If Crawford and his legal are able to prove their case and win, the results could be restitution of close to 10 million dollars in lost wages.

This would not be the first time that the long time promoter lost a major in ring star over. The list of fighters that have fought for Top Rank and left them is another to start a new wing at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota. 

Fighters that have left Top Rank on not so great terms include Floyd Maweather Jr, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Mikey Garcia, and Nonito Donaire. Mikey Garcia ended up losing two years of his career being frozen out by Top Rank because Mikey didn’t agree with the long term plan for his career that Top Rank was producing.

Terrance Crawford is without a doubt is a top pound for pound fighter, but this issue being prevalent in the present as.  Other promoters may see the lawsuit and the continuous back and forth and not want to sign Terrance Crawford.  

Hopefully this issue is resolved sooner rather than later so the teams of all parties can start negotiations in good faith to make Spence vs Crawford big main event.  Right now it is in major Jeopardy.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 15: Terence Crawford, Bob Arum and Amir Khan during a Terence Crawford and Amir Khan Press Conference on January 15, 2019 in London, England. Amir Khan has agreed to face undefeated WBO world welterweight champion Terence Crawford in the United States on 20 April. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

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