Philippines, 19 Jun 2024
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Terrence Crawford: P4P #1 and Good Businessman

Last July 29, 2023, “Pound 4 Pound” (P4P) best fighter in the world and unified welterweight champion Terrence “Bud” Crawford (40-0, 31KOs) became the undisputed welterweight champion (147lbs) by defeating former unified champion Errol Spence (28-1, 22KOs) by 9th round TKO. This was Crawford’s second time in proving he is the best by unifying a division, because he previously did it in the 140lbs division.

Crawford is now 36 years old having turned professional at the age of 21 back in 2008. Six years after his professional debut he won his first world title by upsetting the favored Ricky Burns in Scotland to win the WBO lightweight (135lbs) title. His first defense was against former amateur star and two division world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in an exciting back and forth fight that saw both fighters have their moments but it was Crawford who would prevail in exciting fashion by stopping Gamboa in the 9th round.

By 2017, Crawford who had already moved up to the 140lbs division, had unified it and was looking for more challenges in 147lbs division. Crawford defeated Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title in 2018. There was no shortage of excellent fighters in the welterweights. Fighters such as Errol Spence, who was considered the most talented, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Andre Berto, etc. All those fighters held some version of the welterweight titles whether it be the WBA, WBC, or IBF. The problem was Crawford fought on the “wrong side of the street”, as the expression goes. It was a reference to him fighting for promotional outfit Top Rank headed by Bob Arum and all those other fighters were or are affiliated with promotional outfit Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).

The two promoters were unable to come to financial terms for Crawford to fight any of their fighters. It took 4 years before Crawford was able to face Shawn Porter who he beat convincingly but by then Porter was ready for retirement and had no title. After the Porter fight, Crawford was contractually free from Top Rank and could negotiate directly with PBC for an Errol Spence fight as Spence had defeated nearly all the top welterweights at PBC and was the unified WBA/WBC/IBF champion.

Initially not being able to come to terms with Spence, Crawford opted to take a fight against contender David Avanesyan for a reported 10 million dollars prize. The second time he negotiated with Spence he was able to come to terms. The deal negotiated with Spence yielded both Crawford and Spence each reportedly over 20 million dollars as their fight was a financial success with Pay Per View (PPV) at 700,000 buys generating 59 million dollars on sales alone.

After the Spence fight, Crawford has expressed that he is only interested in “Big Fights”. He initially said he was not interested in challenging undisputed Super middleweight (168lbs) champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez but he has changed his stance because of the magnitude of a potential bout. Crawford was to face Spence in a rematch, but the contractual time for him to have given Spence a rematch has elapsed due to Spence having eye surgery. Another exciting fighter would be IBF champion Jaron “Boots” Ennis, but Crawford has not entertained fighting him because there is “nothing to gain” from fighting him (Ennis) as Crawford put it no doubt referring to not enough money for the fight.

Crawford was set to face former welterweight champion Tim Tszyu in what would have been a blockbuster fight possibly in Australia. However, Tszyu lost his WBO title to Sebastian Fundora back in March. Even though the winner of Fundora vs Tsyzu, which was Fundora, was ordered to begin negotiations with Crawford for a fight, it appears Fundora is interested in fighting Errol Spence who stepped in the ring and challenged Fundora after he literally defeated Tszyu.

Many have criticized Crawford for his inactivity since he last fought in August 2023 waiting for a “Big Fight” while nothing appeared to be materializing. This month, May 2024, it was announced that Crawford was working with Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alsheikh, the Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority.

The Saudis have no problem signing “Big Fights and paying big purses. Fights such as Fury vs Ngannou, Joshua vs Usyk, Bivol vs Beterbiev, etc. It was announced that Terrance Crawford will challenge WBA Jr middleweight champion Israil Madrimov (10-0-1,7KOs) on August 3, 2024 at the BMO stadium in Los Angeles. This will be the first Saudi card in America featuring a star studded undercard. Crawford no doubt will be getting similar money that he received for the Spence fight (over $20million plus).

One has to admire Crawford for remaining steadfast until he received the compensation he believes he deserves after not being able to initially secure big fights since arriving in the welterweight division and beating Jeff Horn. A good businessman knows his worth, take his time, and lets the right offer come to him. It’s clear that Crawford is just as smart in learning the boxing business like previous fighters such as De La Hoya and Mayweather.

If Crawford defeats Madrimov he could face Canelo in a “Big Fight” or the winner of Tsyzu vs Ortiz. That would be a “Big Fight” as well. Crawford will no doubt continue to prove that he is P4P the best in the world but he will take the “Big Fights” to earn large purses because he is just as good a businessman as well.

***Ralph Rimpell is a writer based out of New York and is a Boxing Correspondent for Ralph holds an undergraduate degree from City University of New York. He has been a Boxing Writer for over ten years having written for several top boxing websites on the World Wide Web. Before becoming a writer, Ralph's passion was for professional wrestling until he realized professional wrestling was entertainment and not a real sport. It was at that time the 1984 US Olympic team made up of future stars such as Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, etc. entered the professional ranks and signed with promotional outfit Main Events.It was also at that time a young exciting Heavyweight originally hailing from Brooklyn named Mike Tyson also turned professional and became the face of boxing. Young boxing fan Ralph just couldn't get enough of boxing as a large part of it was being broadcast on "free TV". As time went on, Ralph felt boxing writers were not being forthcoming with their boxing coverage, opinion pieces, interviews, etc. So Ralph decided to write an article and submitted it to a Boxing website thinking it would be deleted and ignored by the Editor. To Ralph's surprise his article was posted on their website and the readers embraced it. The rest is history.

"I thank God for the Internet because it has created opportunities for writers like myself who likely would not have been given an opportunity to write for print publications. I hope someday soon to expand my role in Boxing on different levels." -- Ralph Rimpell

Contact Writer:

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ralph Rimpell.

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