By: Hans Themistode
Bob Arum is a busy man. The long-time headman over at Top Rank is currently prepping for tonight’s showdown between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Masayoshi Nakatani. He’s also promoting the highly anticipated heavyweight showdown between WBC/Ring magazine titlist, Tyson Fury and former belt holder Deontay Wilder.
Amongst other things, Arum is also hard at work as he attempts to build former Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson into a star. While Arum may have a full plate of responsibilities, one thing that certainly will no longer entertain is a possible showdown between his fighter, current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, and unified titlist, Errol Spence Jr.
For a number of years now, fans have held out hope that the two would finally enter the ring against one another to end the debate surrounding who is the best fighter at 147 pounds. Yet, after Spence Jr.’s most recent comments, Arum is now firmly of the belief that their clash simply will never come to pass.
“I most likely have two more fights at 147,” said Spence Jr. during a recent interview on Barbershop Conversations. “I’m going to go across the street [to Top Rank] to see what they’re talking about [for a potential Crawford fight]. If they are not talking about nothing, I’m moving up to 154. After the (Manny Pacquiao) Pacman fight hopefully we can make something happen.”
With Spence Jr. and Pacquiao set to face off on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena, Arum is fully convinced that it will be the last time anyone sees the Dallas native competing at 147 pounds.
“Forget the Spence thing,” said Arum to a group of reporters. “Spence knows he can’t beat Crawford and he’s going to go up in weight after the Pacquiao fight, so forget that.”
With Spence Jr. seemingly off the table for good, Arum has turned his immediate attention to his current stable of fighters. For the most part, fans have grown somewhat tired of watching Crawford compete against the competition available to him at Top Rank. While fans have become enamored with possible matchups for Crawford against the likes of Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas and several others – all of those aforementioned names are currently associated with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). And to this date, Arum has continued to have his issues with them in terms of working out fight agreements.
Whether Arum can work something out with PBC or not is ultimately inconsequential. In his opinion, he has the two biggest fights for Crawford, both now and in the not so distant future.
“Crawford’s biggest fight out there is Josh Taylor and Teofimo (Lopez) moving up,” explained Arum.
In the case of Taylor, following his win against Jose Ramirez a few weeks ago, the British native became the first undisputed champion at 140 pounds since Crawford accomplished the feat in 2017. He hasn’t shied away from the possibility of facing Crawford either but in terms of timing, Arum views that matchup as a real possibility in 2022.
As for Lopez, the unified 135-pound champion is seemingly years away from fighting at 147 pounds. He has, however, shown a clear interest in moving up to 140 pounds to face Taylor.
While Arum continues to discuss the future of Crawford, he is slowly turning his attention to the here and now. The former three-division titlist hasn’t stepped foot inside the ring since November of 2020 when he took on former belt holder, Kell Brook. Crawford made it look incredibly easy on the night, stopping the long-faded former champion in the fourth round. With regard to what could be next for Crawford, Arum revealed that they are currently going over several names.
“I have no idea. His people are now sorting through. There are plenty of good candidates. Welterweight, Jr welterweight, we’ll come up with the best possible opponent.”