By Anthony “Zute” George – Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is all kinds of complicated. Shrouded in mystery. The only thing I can say for sure is he is the most well-rounded boxer today. The Shapeshifter is what I labeled him a long time ago. While that nickname has yet to catch fire, it still holds true. There is nothing Bud cannot adjust to inside the squared circle, and he is the best switch hitter of all time.
Having said that, there are more questions than answers when it comes to Crawford. For instance, where has he been? Bud has not laced them up since November of 2020. He faced the shop-worn Kell Brook in one of the biggest ‘who cares’ fights of all time. Also, what is Bud’s future with Top Rank Boxing? A war of words with Bob Arum is never good for business. Especially since Arum has not been bashful that Crawford’s immense talent is not exactly paying dividends at the box office.
Now, I will never pretend to know the boxing business as well as Arum or the Top Rank brass. Still, I think a cure for losing money on Crawford is painfully apparent. Match him up in fights that fans care about. Just a thought.
This brings me to my next question. Why does Bud Crawford think people are going to care about this upcoming fight with Shawn Porter? No disrespect against Mr Porter. The guy never backs down and is nothing but good for boxing. However, not that long ago Mr Crawford opined that he was not interested in a fight with Showtime Shawn. Now, he expects the boxing public to pay to see it. How does that work exactly?
Why now? Porter has not had a big enough win since Bud dismissed him as a fight of interest. What changed? Is it the fact that Vergil Ortiz Jr. is the number one guy for Bud’s title? Perhaps Bud is just listening to Top Rank Boxing. He obviously needs to get back in action before the year is out, and Porter probably was the easiest fight to make that Arum can attempt to ask the fans to pay for. For whatever reason, the Manny Pacquiao fight was never in their reach-and now out of reach. Also, Spence Jr. (the other possible Super Fight for Crawford) has health issues.
This brings me to my last and most crucial question. Will it work? Will the fans buy it? Will they look past the fact that the most significant caveat attached to Porter is that he has fallen short in his biggest fights?
Footnote: This article is written from the perspective of strictly a business/status point of view. It should be clear to everyone in boxing that Crawford’s star/box office power does not match his skill set. Not even close. It is questionable that a fight with Shawn Porter at this point will move that needle.
It is a solid fight in the grand scheme of things because Porter is still good enough to give anyone a tough fight. So far, he has shown he has been just good enough to lose competitively against the top tier, yet, dangerous, nonetheless. But Pay Per View? With inflation on the rise and the Holiday season right around the corner, it does appear to be a tough ask.
Will the trend change for Porter? Will the trend change for losing money on Crawford? Or will the outcome of this fight just be business as usual (Crawford wins but does not sell)?