Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Crawford to battle Porter, and maybe, hopefully, this signals new era of cooperation between Top Rank and PBC

Fighters Network

They held the Terence Crawford-Shawn Porter sorta super-fight press conference Saturday, hours before a lil superfight in itself, the third Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder faceoff.

And it felt good to take it in, it felt like maybe boxing is getting out of its own way more so, and that we may well be over the camel hump with COVID, and are largely past the pandemic disrupting the momentum the sweet science has been lacking for the last two years.

Is the good will warranted? We have high profile, highly-anticipated fights on the books, tonight at T-Mobile and on PPV, on November 6 when Canelo shows Caleb Plant that beating the Mike Lees and Cousin Vinny Feigenbutzes doesn’t prepare you to do battle with an Alvarez, and on Nov. 20 at Mandalay Bay, when Crawford receives that step up tussle he’s been long craving.

That touches on why I’m hesitant to get too high, and proclaim this a new day, a new period of collaboration, which will benefit the sport as a whole, and the fans who have to watch way too many build-up fights.

Bob Arum works with the 34 year old Nebraskan native with a 37-0 record, Crawford, and Al Haymon, the former music promotion mogul who transitioned to boxing and has made the PBC into a major league unto itself, has 33 year old Shawn Porter (31-3-1) under his umbrella.

Arum and Haymon shared the peace pipe, and got mellow, and are working in concert to have Tyson Fury, a Top Rank boxer, and Deontay Wilder, a PBC athlete, facing off. And the OGs signed off on this welterweight match. Does that signify a trend that will endure, and birth more matches which garner majority fan approval? Maybe. Hopefully.

Terence Crawford at press conference t hype fight versus Shawn Porter

Crawford looked chill and pleased that this big match is soon to come. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Regarding this welterweight attraction, no surprise, Crawford (RING No. 2 at 147) and Porter (RING No. 4 at 147) both had an aura of confidence on display as emcee Mark Shunock queried them, promoters Arum and Tom Brown on behalf of Haymon, and trainers Kenny Porter, father of Shawn, and Brian McIntyre.

Crawford made clear it will feel real nice to be in with someone regarded so highly.

He considers himself the top pound for pound boxer on the planet–“I already consider myself the best fighter in the world”–and a win over Porter only cements that status.

Porter, meanwhile, acknowledged that he’s not been in with anyone like Bud, and that it’ll be a stern test.

But he aims to win, and a win will bring him to the door of the Hall of Fame.

“My legacy is gonna depend on beating Terence Crawford,” said the Ohio native, who makes Las Vegas his home.

And back to the premise introduced up top…

This was genial affair, Porter mentioned it first, that he considers Bud and him friends. “No friends til after the fight,” answered Crawford, with Porter nodding in agreement.

Crawford, did, though, inject some slight drama when he addressed Tom Brown, the California fight game lifer who came up

Fans know Porter wants all the tough fights, he isn’t to be blamed for a lack of interaction between the 147s of PBC and Bud. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

under Dan Goossen, who’d said that it’s been good to see Top Rank and PBC working in conjunction more.

Brown said these big fights happen more so when the fighters ask for it, and then their wishes are fulfilled. Hold the line, said Bud, implying heavily that it’s not been on the fighters as to why we didn’t see streets being crossed, so the PBC welterweight family could get into it with Bud a few times.

And Arum didn’t really go out on a limb to herald a new era, when asked about the recent romancing between Top Rank and Al he slid laterally and talked about how it’s a good value for fans when these asked-for scraps get made, because PPV is less costly than tickets to watch in the arena.

Brown actually offered a bit more optimism, hinting maybe that there will be more cooperation between mega powers. That’s when Crawford interrupted, with a fact check attempt. “It’s a new day,” Arum shouted.

I’ll take it, and try to send out positive vibes that we get more of this positive collusion.


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