Bob Arum Says Terence Crawford Far And Away The Best Welterweight In The World
Bob Arum is a Hall Of Fame Promoter who is still doing major work at the ripe old age of 88. He’s seen it all in his 60+ years in the boxing game. So he typically has a good idea of how to judge a boxer’s ability and their quality.
Despite his long and distinguished boxing pedigree, it came as a bit of a surprise what he had to say about his fighter, Terence “Bud” Crawford (37-0, 28) in the aftermath of his fourth round stoppage win over Kell Brook (39-3, 27 KOs). During the post-fight interview, Arum said this about Crawford when asked about a potential fight with the likes of unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) and WBA “Super” champion Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
“Let me tell you something. Spence and (Danny) Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) are fighting on Dec. 5th. You really wanna make a big Pay-Per-View, I will put Terence Crawford in with both of them one at a time! He’d beat both of them on the same night.
“He is far and away, the best Welterweight in the world! He goes back to the great Welterweights like Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns. He would’ve been competitive against them. The Welterweights around now are not competitive with Terence Crawford.
“Errol Spence will try to avoid Terence Crawford as long as he can because he knows he can’t beat him. You saw the performance tonight. He’ll take out Errol Spence in about the same number of rounds like he took out Kell Brook.”
AN ULTERIOR MOTIVE?
Now that’s a lot to digest. But let’s have some fun and break this down. First, Arum was pretty animated throughout the night and was probably still feeling some kind of way in the aftermath of the official “no-contest” decision regarding the previous bout between Joshua Franco vs Andrew Moloney II.
Second, it must be noted that in the lead-up to Spence-Brook, there was a lot of talk about possible friction between Arum and Crawford. It’s no secret now that the fighter from Omaha wants to fight Spence and Pacquiao who are under the rival brand, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
Fans have been clamoring for Crawford to test himself against the top Welterweights from the PBC. Arum mentioned that a deal was in the works to fight Pacquiao this year. Negotiations were not finalized because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he did say that a Crawford-Pacquiao fight could take place in the Middle East in the Spring of 2021.
So while Arum’s rhetoric about the current Welterweights could be him speaking his truth, it could also be a tactic to publicly show he’s doing whatever he can behind the scenes to make the big fights possible. The claim he could beat both Spence and Garcia on the same night is nothing more than hyperbole.
BUD AN ALL-TIME GREAT WELTERWEIGHT?
In contemporary times, Crawford is a great fighter and arguably the best Pound-4-Pound boxer in the sport. You can’t knock his achievements so far in his career. But for his promoter to claim that he could compete with the great 147 pounders of yester-year like Leonard and Hearns will have plenty of folks asking, “say what now?!”
In terms of Hearns as a Welterweight, you’re talking someone who at 6’1” and a 78” reach, could move around the ring with ease, had terrific boxing, and his straight right hand was one of the best in the history of the sport.
The 147 pound version of Leonard could do it all in the ring. He has speed (faster hands and quicker feet than Crawford), power, defense, intelligence, and was tough as nails.
Finally, the thing that both Hearns and Leonard have over Crawford is those men fought the best fighters in their era. That’s something “Bud” has yet to do today as a Welterweight. You need to fight and beat the best in your era before you can be compared to great fighters from a previous era.
Could you argue that Crawford could compete in any Welterweight era in boxing? Possibly. Can you then go on to claim he’s on the level of All-Time Great Welterweights like Hearns and Leonard?
Serious followers and historians of the sport would say “not quite yet.” In this instance, the promoter may be guilty of being a prisoner of the moment.
Bob Arum’s view of where Crawford stands both now and in history will have folks talking for sure. Let the discussion commence!
By: Michael Wilson Jr.