WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford (38-0) is an elite fighter who, in the ring, analyzes his opponents and, when the opportunity is right, goes in for the kill.
News dropped today about a lawsuit launched by the Nebraska fighter and his former promoter, Bob Arum, and many, many fans reacted the same way: Day-um, Bud went hard at Bob!
Earlier today, a column was released by Emily Smith, Editor of the Page Six gossip column at the New York Post. Terence Crawford, through his attorney, filed a lawsuit in the state of Nevada against Bob Arum and Top Rank.
According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, the damages that Crawford seeks are “in excess of 5.4 million dollars”. The lawsuit filed alleges racial bias coming from Bob Arum and Top Rank.
It didn’t take long for the twitter-sphere to start weighing in on the situation and various opinions began to post.
Before you know it, Terence Crawford and Bob Arum began to trend on social media.
This is an interesting situation as Terence Crawford’s relationship with Top Rank has had more ups and downs than the old dragon coaster at Rye Playland in New York. Terence Crawford signed an extension with the company back in 2019, and the thought presumably was that it would bring the biggest fights that could be made for Crawford to his doorstep, it just didn’t happen until recently.
The 34 year-old Crawford is coming off his best victory as a welterweight, against Shawn Porter, and many thought it was the momentum needed for a fight against Errol Spence Jr. to get made.
Although that was the last fight on the Top Rank, deal, the thinking was that Crawford could potentially do business with Top Rank on a fight-to-fight basis. That thought was crushed when he mentioned his feelings towards not being able to land the fight against Spence at the post-fight presser.
The 90 year-old Arum heard these comments and just took it in stride, outwardly at least. But for over a year, there’s been tension in that relationship, which periodically threatened to boil over. Arum famously said, “Do we want to keep him? I could build a house in Beverly hills on the money I’ve lost on him in the last three fights. A beautiful home.”
I wonder if Terence was replaying that quote in his head before saying the things he said at the post-fight presser.
These allegations are a surprise to some but not to others. If you follow social media, whispers or rumors of racial bias have surfaced in the past years but without specificity.
Until recently, Twitter avatars with cartoon photos and account holders without real names were mainly behind some of these allegations.
Junior welterweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez’s manager, Benjamin Lieblein, told NYF in an article a few months back that there were “color and cultural lines in boxing, and you have to fit into one of those lines.” Now, news broke out about the lawsuit, and Lieblein wanted to provide a quote to NYF to follow up on the comments he made just a few months back.
“So, am I crazy? I told you. Everyone was saying, ‘he’s angry.’ Nah, I just call it like it is. My question to you is, did they release Josue Vargas? He was knocked out in like 90 seconds, and he didn’t get released, but they released us? It’s the worst kept secret in boxing. It’s not everyone. Some guys over there (Top Rank) are just socially awkward. They say things that wouldn’t be acceptable and is offensive, but they don’t understand that it is. There are people who say atrocities, and I ask myself, did that come out of their mouth? Our situation just left a bad taste in my mouth. You can do everything right, but because you are the wrong color or culture, you go to nothing,” said Benjamin.
My Three Cents
There is a lot to digest within this story, from the column that The Post put out, to the comments from Benjamin Lieblein.
The good thing for Terence Crawford is that since he is a free agent, this lawsuit won’t stop him from continuing his boxing career, but it’s safe to say it won’t be against anyone at Top Rank anytime soon.
How will this fight between Terence Crawford and Top Rank end? Who knows, but whatever the result is, you can bet we heard the last of this story as whatever happens would be done quietly. Or not… It could get uglier.