By Mark Elezaj
Terence Crawford has been ordered by the WBO to face former world champion Shawn Porter next.
In a letter sent to both Top Rank chairman Bob Arum and Premier Boxing Champions Tom Brown, they were informed that they have 30 days to negotiate the Crawford bs Porter fight and If no deal could reached within that time frame, that a purse bid will be ordered and the rights to the title bout will be auctioned off.
“Please be advised that the parties herein have thirty (30) days upon issuance of this notice to negotiate and reach an agreement for the above-referenced WBO Welterweight Championship Contest,” Luis Batista Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee noted in the official letter.
“If an accord is not reached within the timeframe stated herein, a purse bid will be ordered per the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”
Both sides will have until August 20th to reach an accord in order to avoid a purse bid hearing, although just because a bout between two fighters is ordered by a sanctioning organization, there still is no guarantee that it will happen at all.
“I’ve been begging for a real challenge for years,” Crawford told ESPN. “All the so-called elite welterweights have shown no interest in fighting me. Now one of them is finally being forced to.
“I’ll show once again why I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Be ready.”
Bob Arum is optimistic on the possibility of the Terence Crawford-Shawn Porter fight happening.
“Last year, there was no mandatory involved,” Arum told BoxingScene.com.
“This year, it’s a fight that’s been demanded by the [WBO], and let’s see how we can get it done. It’s a lot different vibe when an organization mandates a fight that is a real fight. It’s another thing when an organization mandates a fight that is not competitive, which happens so many times. But nobody can say that this fight isn’t competitive.”
Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) without a doubt will be Crawford’s toughest fight to date.
When asked if the fight with Porter would enhance the Crawford’s legacy Arum responded, “F— his legacy,” Arum said. “F— any of that. He has to fight this fight to keep his title, and I’ll leave his legacy or lack of legacy up to you. Terence is a terrific fighter. He’s fought everybody that we can get for him and, obviously, Porter is the biggest name that he will have fought recently.”
If Top Rank and PBC are unable to complete a deal and the Crawford-Porter fight does go to a purse bid, The WBO announced that the purse split for the fight would be 60-40 in Crawford’s favor.
The WBO’s purse bids typically favor the champion by an 80-20 margin, but after the WBO evaluated the purses for both boxers’ past three fights, it was determined that a 60-40 split would be fair.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get it done,” Arum said of working with TGB and PBC. “I mean, it’s a good fight and we’re prepared to do it. Let’s see how it works out. I thought [the WBO was] very fair to Porter, Porter’s side, with the 40 percent. And I think it’ll do reasonably well on pay-per-view.”
“The way we left it was that [Top Rank president] Todd [duBoef] would talk to the PBC people, who we’re working with now, to see what could be done on a cooperative basis,” Arum said. “In 30 days, we’ll either get it done or it’ll go to purse bid. But I’m optimistic that we can get it done. It’s a terrific fight and I think people will be interested. And I think it’ll do some decent money.”
Also, speaking exclusively to Dan Rafael, Arum has revealed that both sides do in fact want the fight, and it’s just a matter of finding the perfect date.
“The way we plan to approach it is the first thing we’re going to do is talk with Porter’s (team) at PBC and see what they want to do.
“Do they want to do it jointly? We’re doing a fight jointly Oct. 9 (for the rescheduled Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder third heavyweight title fight). We’ll have to see where they stand on it and then they’ll talk to Porter, we’ll talk to Crawford and try to put it together.”
Crawford was originally set to return to the ring on October 23rd before the WBO made its call for a mandatory title defence.
“Oct 23 is not in play and we wouldn’t want to do it in October because it would be a pay-per-view and we already have an October pay-per-view (Fury-Wilder III), so it would be November,” Arum explained.
If the fight does happen, it will be Crawford’s fifth defence of his WBO title after beating Jose Benavidez Jr., Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Amir Khan and Kell Brook.
~ The Fighting Voice ~