Terence Crawford is one of the top pound-for-pound boxers of the past five years. In the ring, he’s dominant. However, mainstream fans never bought into Crawford’s dry personality and boring fighting style. Thus, Crawford is a name only to hardcore fight fans.
Despite Crawford’s obvious flaws as a box office draw, he’s blaming and suing his former promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum, for his lack of financial success. Crawford, a black fighter, claims Arum, a white man, is a racist.
Bob Arum (L) and Terence Crawford (R) victory pose as he defeats Shawn Porter for the WBO welterweight championship at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Here’s a summary of Crawford’s claims:
“Arum clearly allows his revolting racial bias to impact the fighters he is obliged to promote.”
“Because this is boxing, a sport with a checkered history, and because Arum is now dismissed as just a grumpy old white man, Arum continues to make racist and bigoted statements and purposefully damage the reputations of black boxers without any consequences. This is generally because the affected boxers, who are in long-term contracts with Top Rank, fear that if they speak up, they will be placed on the sideline and not given the opportunity to fight during the life of their deal, which could be 5 to 7 years.”
Bob Arum speaks during the Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter undercard press conference at Islander Ballroom at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino on November 18, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
“It is painfully clear that Top Rank, and especially Arum, judges people based on their race. Arum’s sordid history with athletes of color, especially black fighters, and his bias favoring white and Latino fighters is well-documented and known throughout the boxing world.”
Arum responded by telling the Post that Crawford is claiming racism to cover up his own failures.
Don’t call a man a racist when really this is because of your own failures,” Arum says.
“His marketability didn’t measure up to this ability and that has absolutely nothing to do with what race he is…The outstanding fact is that Terence’s numbers on PPV have always been dreadful because of his failure to market himself.”
Top Rank boxing founder Bob Arum looks on during the weigh-in for welterweight fighters Terence Crawford and Amir Khan of the United Kingdom at Madison Square Garden on April 19, 2019 in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
For context, Terence Crawford built a niche brand around fighting for his hometown, where most of his fights took place, Omaha, Nebraska. Not exactly the fight capital of the world. Arum adds that he lost $20 million promoting Crawford.
Crawford is 38-0 with 29 KOs in his career. But he’s never fought Bob Arum.