Terence Crawford finds himself in a similar predicament Floyd Mayweather Jr. once did.
Soon after betting on himself by buying out of his contract with Top Rank in 2006, Mayweather set himself up with a super fight against Oscar De La Hoya the following year. Mayweather was 29-years-old at the time and would go on to break the bank with several of boxing's most lucrative events for the next decade, all while etching his legacy as one of the best to ever lace up the gloves.
Crawford’s contract with Top Rank reached its end when he last fought and scored a stoppage win against Shawn Porter in November. In January, Crawford sued Bob Arum and company for breach of contract while also claiming racial bias.
The WBO welterweight champion Crawford is currently a free agent and is inching tantalizingly close to an undisputed championship matchup against Errol Spence Jr., the WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight titlist.
After a years-long stalemate, Crawford 34, and Spence, 32, are increasingly warming up to the idea of finally facing each other.
Spence is tied to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. Mayweather mostly earned his “Money” mantra by hitching his wagon with Haymon, and the Hall of Fame fighter is looking to give Crawford the opportunity of the same spoils should “Bud” be inclined.
“It's no different from Chinese supporting the Chinese, Dominicans supporting Dominicans, Puerto Ricans supporting Puerto Ricans, Mexicans supporting Mexicans. I'm a Black American. I'm going to support a Black American first. I've always wanted the best for Terence Crawford -- always. We spoke on numerous occasions. We have each other's phone numbers. Hopefully, everything plays out like it should, and of course, I would love to sign Terence Crawford. I talked about getting Terence Crawford the fights that he wants,” Mayweather said in an interview with FightHype.com founder Ben Thompson.
“You see so many young fighters now starting their own promotion company. You have to be able to give fighters [$1 million and up to $6 million] in advance before you get a promotional company. I'm not talking about Terence Crawford, but fighters in general. If you're not able to do that, and be a major promoter right now, then we should wait on that. That's what I think. Everything has a time and a place. But I think every fighter should have a dream of being a promoter. Promoting is a rough job. You can look at me for instance. I wanted to be a promoter to help fighters, but the more I help them, the more they hate me. That comes with the territory. That comes with the sport. It is what it is.
“I want to put fighters in a position to get the lion's share. Before Floyd Mayweather became a promoter in the sport, the promoters were getting the lion's share and getting more money than the fighters ... I changed fighters getting crazy money.”
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]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.