Bob Arum: Terence Crawford-Errol Spence will be ‘big PPV fight’ but needs time to build
LOS ANGELES — Now that Terence Crawford is entering the welterweight division, there’s a wealth of tasty matchups that can be formulated.
Crawford, THE RING’s No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, will take on IBF titleholder Jeff Horn in his 147-pound debut on April 14. It’s a necessary fight for Crawford to grab a title in a third weight class, but no one actually expects it to be even remotely competitive.
What would excite the masses is a battle with Errol Spence Jr., who fights on the other side of the aisle with PBC. Bob Arum, who promotes Crawford, insists he can do business with Al Haymon, and if that’s the case, Crawford-Spence stands as a truly special fight between two of the best talents in the sport.
But it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
“A fight, maybe a year from now, that everybody will want to see — it will be a big pay-per-view fight — is Terence and Spence,” Arum told RingTV.com. “It’ll be bigger in a year. Would I like Terene to fight [Keith] Thurman? Yeah, sure. So we’ll see.”
Spence, through two title fights, appears to be the real deal. The 28-year-old is a sharp, heavy puncher, his composure is outstanding and so is his timing. He’s already rated No. 8 by THE RING pound-for-pound even though he’s fought on top level just twice, wins inside the distance against Kell Brook and Lamont Peterson.
Crawford hasn’t proven himself at 147 pounds yet, but if he’s anything like the fighter who ruled over 135 and 140, he’s among the best in the sport.
“I think the whole way we’re going to look at boxing, the whole way that boxing is going to fit into the sport lexicon is not the way it is now, but the way it will become,” Arum said. “I think with ESPN and the programming ESPN is doing, and the kind of audience they’ll reach and with Showtime putting on good, competitive fights as well that boxing is going to rise to really significant heights.
“So we’ll get more coverage in the sport’s pages, more coverage on social media and who knows how big at that point Terence and Spence is. My goal is to really build the sport into a status that it doesn’t have yet.”
Indeed, with ESPN driving boxing, the sport is bound to gain popularity. Top Rank is slated to test the pay-per-view waters on the network with Crawford-Horn along with Manny Pacquiao-Mike Alvarado.
And Arum is right: Crawford-Spence isn’t big enough yet. There’s interest from boxing fans, but run-of-the-mill sports fans probably aren’t too familiar with either fighter.
Hopefully, that all changes soon, and Arum is able to deliver Crawford-Spence, a fight that shapes up as a true mega event if built properly.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger