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Crawford out until 2017 with no HBO dates

Crawford's victory over Postol unified 140-pound belts and earned his second Ring Magazine title, but it did poor PPV numbers. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

Terence Crawford wanted to fight three times this year.

The 140-pound champion hoped to gift his hometown of Omaha with a final fight of 2016 following his sterling performance against Viktor Postol in July. But those plans were scrapped, along with the idea of a third fight, says Crawford’s manager Cameron Dunkin. HBO couldn’t accommodate the junior welterweight unified titleholder, and barring something unforeseen, Crawford won’t fight again until the first quarter of 2017, leaving him with just two fights in 2016 (and one of those was on HBO PPV), Dunkin told

“We all want him to be fighting three times a year and wouldn’t mind him fighting four times,” Dunkin said in a phone interview. “The more he’s out there the more exposure he’s going to get and it will turn him into a name. He comes off a great win against Postol and all of a sudden he’s off for six or seven months. It’s not good.”

HBO’s effort to oblige its biggest stars has at times stalled in the face of a boxing budget stretched thin this year. The competition to get dates on the network has been fierce, and Crawford suffered from not being able to secure a lucrative fight on pay-per-view with Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 5 after Jessie Vargas was chosen. He was also hurt from trying to make a fight with boxers advised by Al Haymon, many of whom had unrealistic expectations about what they should get paid, Dunkin said.

“You can’t pay them more than Terence,” Dunkin said. “You can’t pay the two together. Where are you going to come up with three or four million dollars? You’re not. These guys are like, ‘Man, I want to make $4 million,’ you know (Adrien) Broner.”

Times have certainly changed at HBO, says Dunkin, who recalled a time at the network when a number of his fighters appeared with frequency as many as three times on HBO annually, “and they all made millions and millions of dollars and that’s not where we’re at now and it’s going to get tougher for these guys,” he said.

Crawford (29-0, 20 knockouts) does not have an exclusive contract with HBO, according to a source. However, Dunkin said that promoter Bob Arum has always done business with HBO, making it somewhat unlikely to think that Crawford could end up on rival Showtime despite Arum’s suggestion earlier this year he could bring his fighters to Showtime to get dates. HBO would likely have the right-of-first-refusal if something like that ever happened, the source said. “Bob talked about Showtime and stuff like that,” Dunkin said. “But at the end of the day Arum has built his guys on HBO and that’s where the guys have come from.”


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Ring Magazine Dec 2016

You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of RING magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: Double Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields. The U.K. Issue featuring cover star Carl Frampton will be available soon.