Top Rank boss Bob Arum has gone from being Terence Crawford’s career-long promoter to an adversarial executive. 

The WBO welterweight champion Crawford is currently a promotional free agent after severing ties with Top Rank shortly after his stoppage win against Shawn Porter in November. In the post-fight press conference following that fight, Crawford made it clear he was steering his career away from the Las Vegas-based company.

By January, Crawford took his stance to an entirely different level when he sued Top Rank for breach of contract while also claiming racial bias.

Crawford has not linked up with a new boxing outfit since filing the suit, but he’s increasingly inching closer to a potential showdown against WBC, WBA, and IBF 147-pound champion Errol Spence Jr. Both fighters have shared the sentiment that the super fight is the bout they desire next for undisputed status.

For many years, the task of landing Crawford the Spence fight fell on Arum’s shoulders, and now, the 90-year-old will be on the outside looking in should a matchup finally materialize.

Sean Zittel of asked Arum for his thoughts on the potential welterweight showdown. 

“I don’t know. Again, I always thought Crawford was the better fighter. But I don’t know where Crawford’s head is at. To fight at that level that Spence showed [when he beat Yordenis Ugas], you have to have a clear head and make the right decisions, and I don’t know if Terence is capable of that anymore,” said Arum. 

“I have no idea [if Spence-Crawford will happen]. Terence is not in contract with us, and so it’s somebody else’s problem.”

Crawford was cozying it up with mentee Shakur Stevenson ahead of Stevenson's fight with Oscar Valdez in Las Vegas. 

Stevenson was holding court at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas ahead of the junior lightweight championship unification fight, and Crawford crossed into enemy territory to support his friend at his former promoter’s confines. 

In the midst of a lawsuit, Arum did not have an issue with Crawford encroaching on his property. 

“That’s fine. I’m not going to lower myself and demand that he leave my gym and so forth. I think we at Top Rank are above that,” said Arum. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on