Derrick James Breaks Down Spence v Crawford: “It Can’t Be 50/50”

Derrick James Cites Common Foe Shawn Porter to Justify Spence v Crawford Split

Derrick James explains Errol Spence v Terence Crawford split
Derrick James explains Errol Spence v Terence Crawford split

Trainer Derrick James Runs the Numbers on Spence v Crawford


For years, fans and pundits have talked about a showdown welterweight showdown between unified champion Errol Spence Jr (27-0, 21 KOs) and WBO champion Terence Crawford (39-0, 28 KOs). Unfortunately, the fight has yet to happen. The biggest reason for the match not happening is a fundamental difference over money. Both argue they are the A-side and deserve a bigger percentage of the financial pot.

During an exclusive interview with 3Kings Boxing, Spence’s trainer, Derrick James, broke down the money angle. He used each man’s fight with Shawn Porter as context as to who is money man at 147 pounds.

NUMBERS DON’T LIE

“The mutual opponent they have is Shawn Porter. That’s Terence Crawford’s biggest fight numbers. It had 130,000 pay-per-view buys at $69:99. Times 130, that’s $9,098,400. Shawn got paid $4 million, Terence got paid $6 million. That’s $10 million. They didn’t even make that in the PPV numbers. They fought at the Mandalay Bay, not at the MGM Grand, not at Staples.

Errol fought him at the Staples Center and sold out 20,000 seats. […] But even more, now multiply this. $75.99 x 700,000… $52 million dollars. So, with the same opponent, one guy makes $52 million, the other guy makes $9 million. So, if you see what percentage that is, nine million is rounding it up, seventeen percent of $52 million dollars.

If you think about it, nine million is seventeen percent of fifty-two million. So, we’re not saying that the split should be 83/17, but it can’t be 50/50.”

James went on to applaud Crawford for who he is as a fighter but said he simply doesn’t put butts in seats. He advises Crawford to have a reality check and take a real look at the numbers if wants the match to happen.

THE REAL CASH-COW AT 147

Crawford has held the WBO welterweight title since June of 2018. But Spence has been the bigger money-maker in the division. A further numerical breakdown shows that his December 2020 win over Danny Garcia and his victory over Mikey Garcia in March of 2019 did better PPV numbers than Crawford’s fight with Porter.

The reality is that throughout his career, Crawford has never brought in serious numbers. Proof of this has been shown throughout his highly publicized lawsuit with his former promoter, Bob Arum, who has admitted he regularly lost money while promoting Bud’s bouts.

The fighter who attracts the most fans and the most coin has the greater say-so at the negotiating table. Spence’s next fight will be on April 16 as he faces WBA champion Yordenis Ugas. Crawford is on the shelf after filing a lawsuit with Arum.

Most believe that deep down, Spence and Crawford want to fight each other. But for that super-fight to happen, one must humble themselves and pull back from their demands. That person must be Crawford at this point in time, from a strictly monetary standpoint. Derrick James gave the evidence why, and it’s extremely hard to argue it.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1962 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.