Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford will remain his own boss for the foreseeable future.
It was revealed that Crawford, the WBO welterweight champion and three-division titlist, will continue to run his own business affairs going forward. Crawford ended a 55-week-long inactive streak with a sixth-round knockout victory over David Avanesyan at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
The bout was also Crawford’s first since splitting from Top Rank, while coming in lieu of a more desirable showdown with unified WBA/WBC/IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22KOs). Crawford and Spence had been talking for months before the unbeaten switch-hitter decided that he wanted to go in a different direction. This resulted in Crawford signing a one-fight deal for $10,000,000 with BLK Prime for his win against Avanesyan (29-4-1; 17KOs).
“Listen, I’m a free agent,” Crawford stated in the ring. “This was a one fight deal.”
This distinction was made in order to confirm that there are no restrictions on his end regarding major fights in and around the Welterweight division.
Al Haymon advises Spence and he fights under the Premier Boxing Champions banner. Most fights are on Showtime and its Pay-Per-View arm, with occasional Fox Sports PPV events. Crawford was deep in negotiations for a superfight that was desired by the industry. However, Crawford was fighting primarily on ESPN and its companion platforms while Crawford was with Top Rank.
There reached a point where Spence’s side was confident that a Crawford fight was next, only for the 35-year-old Omaha native to stall and eventually bail prior to signing the final contract.
The decision led to Crawford accepting a spot atop BLK Prime’s inaugural PPV event. Final PPV sales won’t be known for at least several days, though BoxingScene.com confirmed that Saturday’s card drew 14,630 in attendance, a career-best for a Crawford boxing event in his Nebraska home state.
His insistence led to him retesting the free agent market, and possibly getting Spence back at negotiations.
“Hopefully, we can go [back] to the drawing board and these big fights can come back in the near future,” Crawford envisioned.
Jake Donovan, a senior writer at BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox