According to multiple reports, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (36-0) may make his in-ring return in November with a title defence against former IBF 147-lb champ Kell Brook. Neither wants to take a pay cut, despite the impact boxing behind closed doors has on finances during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
November 14 or Nov. 21 are the dates in mind for Crawford’s in-ring return, according to Top Rank boss Bob Arum. There was a four-man shortlist but as things stand, it looks as though Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) is the frontrunner to headline his latest title defence.
Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn said he spoke to Arum and Carl Morretti, in an effort to schedule Crawford-Brook later this year. During an interview to IFL TV, he said:
“I had a couple of conversations with [Bob and Carl] yesterday, I feel that’s a big fight for UK TV – so we’re trying to help out, get that over the line.
I would love to see Kell get that. I think they [Top Rank] had a conversation with Keith Thurman, and obviously they wanted too much money. It’s difficult at the moment.”
Read: Thurman plotting boxing return, eyeing Brook in potential UK fight
What about Keith Thurman? Manny Pacquiao?
Crawford’s trainer said Thurman wants $10m (£7.6m) to fight Crawford in a title bout later this year, a figure that Arum appears unwilling to agree on in the current climate.
It’s understandable he wants to be well-paid, having received similar numbers during his defeat by Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2) last summer.
Speaking of Pacquiao, Arum namechecked the legendary Filipino as a potential opponent for Terence – before saying he needed an outside investor so they could stage the bout in a foreign country with fans in attendance.
Why this would be a good matchup, potential drawbacks attached
Defending champion Crawford is yet to fight in 2020 – mainly due to the pandemic’s wide-ranging impact – and this would present an interesting matchup.
Bud hasn’t fought since his R9 TKO victory against #1 ranked WBO contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas on December 14 in New York.
Brook meanwhile, is 16 months older at 34-years-old and beat Mark DeLuca in February to win the vacant WBO inter-continental light-middleweight title.
He’s had a number of potential bouts fall through and been inactive since successive world title defeats to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr in 2016-17.
The fact that he hasn’t competed at welterweight since the aforementioned knockout loss against Errol Spence Jr – May 2017 – also doesn’t bode well for his chances of winning.
Crawford’s a bonafide 147lb fighter, Brook has since moved up in weight and unless they fought at a catchweight (150lbs), many critics have suggested it wouldn’t be as competitive a bout had they boxed a few years earlier.
A sense of perspective, as critics suggest another easy Crawford outing
As I wrote earlier this year, this is a testing time for Crawford.
He’s often criticised for avoiding the best fighters in his division, though politics within boxing and the finances involved often make it difficult for these matchups to happen.
Also read: Thurman says Crawford ‘hasn’t earned respect’ in welterweight division
In the heavyweight division just look at AJ-Fury and how long that potential bout has been in the offing for, as a prime example.
Brook was passionate when speaking to the BBC earlier this year, saying he’s looking for mega fights and to prove he belongs among the elite. This offers a great opportunity.
Information sources: ESPN, Boxing News 24