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By Steve Kim Updated on July 26, 2021

WBO Orders Crawford-Porter

Late Wednesday night the World Boxing Organization announced that they had ordered negotiations to begin for a fight between their welterweight belt-holder, Terence Crawford, and Shawn Porter. The two sides have 30 days to negotiate an agreement, and then a purse bid (with a 60/40 split in favor of the defending champion) would take place if the two sides don't strike a deal.

Now, while this news brought about much rejoicing in the boxingsphere, the reality is that this is only the first step.

It's fairly obvious that Crawford needs a fight of this caliber. It's not clear if the same applies for Porter, who given his association with the PBC has more in-house options available to him. Which is one of the reasons why he has the likes of Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, and Danny Garcia on his resume'. 

While Crawford, who defeated Jeff Horn back in 2018 for this title, has faced the not-so-fearsome foursome of Jose Benavidez Jr, Amir Khan, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Kell Brook, in subsequent defenses of that belt. Porter, the former WBC welterweight champion (and currently ranked fifth in this weight class by Ring Magazine) would represent the most appealing match-up of his current title run.

Which is why for him it's a necessity. Crawford is rated second at welterweight (behind unified belt-holder, Errol Spence) by Ring, and is a consensus top three pound-for-pound fighter, but his overall ledger is lacking. 

What was interesting is that as this edict was announced by the WBO, Porter tweeted out this message -- and then quickly deleted it. 

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Not sure what to make off that but it's clear that his initial reaction was that he wanted this fight. Perhaps the higher ups at PBC didn't want him to tip his hand so early before negotiations even commence.

When Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank (which represents Crawford) was asked if he believed that a deal could be made before a purse bid was held, told SNAC.com, "We're all adults, and hopefully that'll be the case. But again, it is what it is. One thing is that unlike so many of the mandatories -- this is a really good fight."

In the past some wise acres (OK, it was me) have dubbed the WBO, 'We're Bob's Organization', given their cozy relationship with Top Rank, but Arum insisted, "We didn't ask the WBO to do anything. We had tentatively booked another fighter for Crawford, and we were prepared to send contracts and everything, when the WBO contacted us, and told us what they're going to do."

Arum says that most likely a Crawford-Spence bout would be a pay-per-view event (and yeah, I can hear your groaning now). But in order to satisfy both ends, it may be the only way to stage this fight. Under his current Top Rank deal (which ends in October) Crawford receives in the neighborhood of $4 million per fight, while Porter several months ago griped publicly that he insulted by Arum's past offer of 'just' $2 million for this assignment (Shawn Porter Turns Down $2 Million Offer To Fight Terence Crawford | Boxing Report 247)

So just doing the math, a Crawford-Porter pay-per-view at $80 (and yeah, yeah, I know it should be cheaper, but generally this is what they go for basically nowadays) that reaches 200,000 buys means that the promotion gets around $8 million. Now, there are other forms of revenue that include: ticket sales/site fee, sponsorships, international and rebroadcast rights, but out of the pay-per-view end that would mean that with a 60-40 split that Crawford would receive $4.8 million, with $3.2 million for Porter.

It will be interesting to see what the actual demands are with both sides, and what this fight would procure in a purse bid.

But keep this in mind, just because a purse bid takes place, it doesn't actually mean the fight will come to fruition. Anyone else remember the Peter Quillin-Matt Korobov fight that never was? Also, it seems like Crawford is Oklahoma and Texas, with Top Rank the beleaguered Big12. Perhaps the PBC may have no problems letting this fight happen on Top Rank's dime, as they gladly welcome him into the fold in 2022.

So how much of an investment does Top Rank make into a departing entity? And what is the long-term forecast for this relationship with Crawford. 

"We're going to make him the best possible offer," explained Arum. "And if we're not going to make the best offer and everything else being equal, he'll fight for somebody else. You understand, that in essence this is a business, and he knows that when we do a fight for him, that it's done professionally, etc, etc. But if he can go elsewhere and make significantly more money, why wouldn't he do it?

"This is a business -- and it's not a complicated business."

FINAL FLURRIES

Arum says Top Rank is getting ready for a busy fall, ''five or six events and the Fury-Wilder fight'' he said from the end of August through the end of October.....He also noted that the bout between WBO 130 pound champion, Jamel Herring, and Shakur Stevenson is being slated for November. At this point it's about the two sides deciding how to ''divide up the money," said Arum....Yeah, I though the Joe Joyce-Carlos Takam bout was stopped prematurely....Hamza Sheeraz, who fought on that undercard is a junior middleweight to look out for... Went to the Dodgers game on Friday, the new Dodger Dogs which are no longer from Farmer John, weren't bad....

 

About Author
WBO Orders Crawford-Porter
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for UCNlive.com.
  • Was a boxing reporter for ESPN.com from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.