The WBO ordered the Terence Crawford-Shawn Porter fight during the month before Errol Spence Jr. suffered a serious eye injury and Manny Pacquiao lost to Spence’s replacement, Yordenis Ugas.
Nevertheless, with Spence and Pacquiao at least temporarily removed from Crawford’s pool of potential opponents, Bob Arum doesn’t think there is a better foe for Crawford to fight next than Porter. The 33-year-old Porter hasn’t fought in more than a year, but the former IBF and WBC champion gave Spence – the welterweight fans and media most want to watch Crawford box – the toughest fight of his eight-year pro career.
Las Vegas’ Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) has lost only 12-round decisions to former IBF champ Kell Brook and former WBA/WBC champ Keith Thurman, both of whom were undefeated at that time Porter lost to them, and Spence. He’ll challenge Crawford for the Omaha, Nebraska, native’s WBO 147-pound championship in an ESPN Pay-Per-View main event November 20 at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
“Nobody can come up with a better opponent for Terence at this particular point in time,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “With Pacquiao having lost and Spence being out with an injury, what better fight is there for Terence Crawford other than Porter?”
Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) has opened as a 5-1 favorite over Porter, according to the William Hill sports book. Porter is unquestionably, however, the most formidable of Crawford’s six opponents since he moved up to the welterweight division early in 2018.
“It’s a terrific fight,” Arum said. “Any fighter who is trying to establish his credentials and his worth needs to have a top-flight opponent. And Crawford-Porter is highly competitive, and therefore it’s a fight that is good not only for Terence, but also for Porter.”
Arum’s company, Top Rank Inc., and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions came to an agreement on Crawford-Porter the morning of September 14, a few hours before their rescheduled purse bid at the WBO’s headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The WBO mandated a 60-40 purse split in favor of Crawford when it ordered their fight late in July. Crawford and Porter will make nearly $10 million combined in guaranteed purses for their fight.
“A big problem, obviously, during the pandemic was there were no gates,” Arum said. “You know, fighters wanna get paid under normal circumstances, and the circumstances haven’t been normal. Now we’re getting back to normal, and we can do fights that count the substantial revenue from a gate.”
Arum expects to sell out the venue formerly known as Mandalay Bay Events Center for Crawford-Porter. It can accommodate approximately 12,000 fans for boxing.
“I’m excited about it because there are a limited number of fights that I wanna see, and this is one of ‘em,” Arum said. “This is a fight that excites me, that I wanted to happen, that if I wasn’t doing it, I would buy a ticket or watch it on pay-per-view. This is a fight that means something and is worth watching, particularly since we have had such loads of garbage presented to the public as meaningful events. This now is truly a meaningful event.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.