WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford has filed a lawsuit against boxing promoter Bob Arum.
Crawford recently became a free agent in November following his win over Shawn Porter after completing his current deal with Top Rank. It was not a surprise for anyone, either.
Crawford and Arum haven’t seen eye-to-eye for many years and despite having one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, the latter has repeatedly gone on record stating that he couldn’t draw big money.
As per the New York Post, “Bud” has now filed a lawsuit against Arum for “revolting racial bias” that prevented him from securing big money fights.
The lawsuit claims Arum “launched a smear campaign against Crawford to paint him as an unexciting, unprofitable fighter who could not draw viewers.”
“In truth, Top Rank, a company with zero Black executives, and only two or three Black employees, refuses to admit that it simply does not care about, support, or know how to promote Black fighters. Recently, while most businesses have become sensitive to issues of race and social justice, Top Rank has not.”
Top attorney Bryan Freedman has partnered with Crawford as they are suing for almost $10 million in damages.
Bob Arum Responds To Terence Crawford Lawsuit
Arum has since responded by stating none of Crawford’s struggles were due to his race, but rather his inability to sell tickets.
“Don’t call a man a racist when really this is because of your own failures,” Arum said in response. “His marketability didn’t measure up to this ability and that has absolutely nothing to do with what race he is…The outstanding fact is that Terence’s numbers on PPV have always been dreadful because of his failure to market himself.”
Arum went into further detail about how he lost money promoting Crawford.
“Absurd. My whole career — I may have made mistakes — but one thing I cannot be accused of is being a racist. I have promoted scores of top Black boxers,” he said. “We have promoted a number of pay-per-view fights for Terence, all of which have lost money, a lot of money, then to claim we purposely and deliberately lost money because we are racist is nonsense. It is part of what is wrong with our culture.
“I am flabbergasted. If he believes I didn’t do a good job he [Crawford] can plead that [in his suit], but don’t call a man a racist when really this is because of your own failures. The absurdity that I would choose to lose a lot of money, close to $20M, because I was a racist makes absolutely no sense. I stand by my record.
“[Crawford] cost me and my company because he had guarantees that were very, very, large based on his ability. But his marketability didn’t measure up to this ability and that has absolutely nothing to do with what race he is. A lot of it depends on the willingness of the fighter to market himself, and if you even knew about all the times we pleaded with Crawford to do this program and that media opportunity, and he refused because he was concentrating on his training, or whatever.
“Throughout boxing history the most marketable fights have been….whether it was Ali or Foreman or many others…all of those guys knew how to sell themselves. As promoters we can make the opportunities but the fighters have to sell themselves, they have to be media friendly, they have to promote themselves to be successful at the box office.
“There’s a limit we can do, we have a huge social media team, we did all we could on Crawford’s fight with Porter but all we did on pay-per-view was 135,000 homes and that is not because of any racism on our part. His [Crawford’s] previous fights got less than 100,000, he simply doesn’t sell. With Porter we were hoping for at least 250,000 or even 400,000 views but people weren’t interested in buying it….We lost a barrel of money.”
All in all, the next few months promise to be intriguing.
What do you think of Terence Crawford filing a lawsuit against Bob Arum?