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Top Rank wanted Terence Crawford-Danny Garcia pay-per-view fight in March 2019

Photo by German Villasenor
Fighters Network

Terence Crawford is headed toward a matchup with Luis Collazo on March 23 at New York’s Madison Square Garden; it’s another routine title defense for “Bud,” an elite fighter who’s yet to share the ring with another such talent.

Collazo wasn’t Top Rank’s first choice, though. Before Top Rank president Todd duBoef began negotiating a deal with Collazo manager Keith Connolly, the promotional company made overtures to a different fighter advised by Al Haymon.

Both duBoef and Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti recounted to The Ring on Tuesday the details of an offer delivered to Angel Garcia for his son, Danny Garcia, to meet Crawford (34-0, 25 knockouts) in a welterweight title fight on that same date.

The offer, presented by Moretti during a phone call with Angel: $3 million guaranteed plus upside of the pay-per-view revenue. The plan was for Crawford-Garcia to headline Top Rank’s first PPV show on ESPN. Of course, Garcia is aligned with PBC, meaning he fights exclusively on Showtime/FOX.

“It was a totally professional discussion,” Moretti recalled. “He said he would discuss it with Danny. Never heard back.  I appreciate him taking the call. I think that door is always open. Absolutely.”

Moretti says he spoke with Angel two-and-a-half weeks before an April 20 bout with Granados on FOX was announced on November 13. That means it’s likely Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) and Granados already had an agreement in place when Moretti and Angel chatted. Danny didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment from The Ring.

Crawford and Garcia are headed in different directions for now, but Top Rank maintains interest in making the matchup later in 2019; duBoef and Moretti say collaborating with Showtime or FOX on a show isn’t a hurdle.

duBoef says they considered offering the fight to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter (both of whom outpointed Garcia) but there were obstacles. Thurman hasn’t competed in almost two years due to injuries to his elbow and hand (he returns January 26 against Josesito Lopez); Porter has a mandatory defense lined up vs. Yordenis Ugas on March 9.

“Danny was sitting there and we felt you know what? It’s a really terrific fight,” duBoef told The Ring. “We didn’t want to value the loss. (Garcia’s September loss to Porter) was an entertaining fight; close fight. Garcia has marketing value as it relates to Crawford.”

duBoef and Moretti say the offer was made directly to Angel rather than Al Haymon to ensure the fighter received information about the opportunity. Top Rank chairman and Haymon haven’t done business with each other in years, so they claim there was fear Haymon wouldn’t present such an offer to his fighter.

“I don’t know who to present to with these guys,” duBoef argued. “They say they’re the promoter, they’re not the promoters. They say they’re the agents, they’re not the agents.”

If Angel told Moretti they wanted to discuss the fight further, duBoef says, at that point Top Rank would have reached out to Haymon to try and hammer out the deal. “I just want to make sure these guys get the offer,” he said.

“They know who represents these guys. We’re a management company, we’ve always been a management company,” Tim Smith, vice president of communications for PBC, told The Ring. “Phone numbers haven’t changed.”

Top Rank has few viable options for Crawford at 147 pounds, a weight division where Haymon is rich with talent. Besides Thurman, Porter and Garcia, there’s Broner, Errol Spence Jr., Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao, who signed with Haymon last month.

So it behooves Top Rank to work with Haymon. Crawford is 31, but he’s yet to be party to a marquee fight (he’s coming off a 12th-round KO of Jose Benavidez last month.) A big reason for that: the lack of talent at both lightweight and junior welterweight at the time he reigned over those divisions. Now that he’s a titleholder at 147 pounds, there’s a myriad of compelling matchups to be made.

The bout with Spence is the true mega fight for Crawford, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, The Ring’s No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, but it seems unlikely to take place in 2019. In the meantime, a bout with Danny Garcia would present a tasty appetizer.

Crawford and Garcia exchanged barbs on Twitter in August 2016. They compared resumes, with Garcia telling Crawford “you doing what I did three years ago. I ain’t no little (Yuriorkis) Gamboa or stiff (Viktor Postol). I end careers, check my track record. … If you wanna do real numbers tell Bob to call Al.”

Indeed, Garcia owns the superior resume, even if he would be counted as an underdog against Crawford. The 30-year-old Philadelphian owns a knockout victory over a prime version of Amir Khan and a clear decision win over Lucas Matthysse, who was tearing through the 140-pound division at the time. Garcia was an underdog heading into both fights.

He was competitive in fights with Thurman and Garcia, too. Two years later, in August 2018, they engaged in a war or words on the social media platform again.

“I would say after (your) fight but then again I don’t even know if (you’re) going to win this fight. You real life must (have bumped your) head and lost (your) mind like you don’t know who I really am,” Crawford tweeted.

Garcia replied: “I’m not going back and forth with you; I’m fighting somebody else. But you have no notable wins. I already beat you for free why wouldn’t I do it for some millions.”

Just maybe, they’ll settle it in the ring one of these days. But for now, they’re on separate paths.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger