April 10, 2021

Arum: Thurman’s People Called About Crawford Fight, But Money Demands Are Crazy

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Bob Arum wants Terence Crawford to fight Manny Pacquiao next more than any other welterweight.

The high-profile opponent Pacquiao barely beat in his last fight interests Crawford’s promoter as well. Arum considers Crawford-Keith Thurman “a terrific fight,” but he isn’t optimistic it can be made based on his recent conversation with one of Thurman’s representatives.

“Thurman’s people got in touch with me, but they’re out to lunch,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “They have such crazy expectations that just don’t exist anymore. Their money demands are crazy. They said they were free agents, which I’m sure they are. But again, who’s gonna pay what they’re looking for?”

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Arum didn’t divulge the dollar amount Thurman’s representative requested, nor would he identify who contacted him on Thurman’s behalf. BoxingScene.com has otherwise learned that Thurman likely will headline a FOX broadcast December 26, thought his opponent hasn’t been chosen.

The 32-year-old Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) is expected to return to the ring November 14. ESPN likely will televise Crawford’s upcoming defense of the WBO welterweight title, but Arum is still seeking an opponent for the Omaha, Nebraska, native.

A Pacquiao-Crawford fight would require international investors to offer a large site fee to bring the bout to a venue outside the United States, where fans could watch it in person.

Arum also continues to discuss a potential Crawford-Kell Brook bout with Brook’s handlers. Crawford-Brook could take place in a “bubble” environment, without fans, in the U.S. or the United Kingdom, according to Arum.

“Brook is a very good opponent,” Arum said. “Brook fought [Errol] Spence, and he gave him a good fight.”

The 34-year-old Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) has lost only to Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) in welterweight bouts. Spence knocked out Brook in the 11th round to win the IBF 147-pound championship in May 2017 in Sheffield, England, Brook’s hometown.

The 31-year-old Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since suffering his lone loss – a 12-round, split-decision defeat to the Philippines’ Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) in July 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Pacquaio, then 40, won the WBA “super” 147-pound championship from Thurman, of Clearwater, Florida.

Thurman then had surgery 11 months ago in which bones were fused in his left hand. The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion has been careful while using his repaired jab hand in the gym, but he expects to be able to box before the end of this year. 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.