As BoxingScene.com first reported on Friday, welterweight world titleholder Terence Crawford is in talks to make his second title defense against former world titlist Luis Collazo on March 23 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Some fans in the boxing world on social media appeared a little more optimistic that the much-talked-about fight between Crawford and IBF beltholder Errol Spence would happen sooner since Collazo is aligned with Premier Boxing Champions and advisor Al Haymon, who also represents Spence.
Unfortunately, Crawford-Collazo is likely nothing more than a stay busy fight.
Crawford is represented by Top Rank. Its CEO, Bob Arum, filed a $100 million federal anti-trust lawsuit against Haymon on July 1, 2015, claiming that Haymon's PBC series is monopolistic and violates federal antitrust laws as well as the federal Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. They settled 10 months later, but the terms of the settlement remain confidential.
Less than seven months later, Crawford (34-0, 25 KO's), 31, an Omaha, Nebraska native who trains out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, scored a one-sided eighth-round TKO of John Molina Jr., a PBC fighter, in what was the fourth defense of his WBO super lightweight title and the first defense of his WBC belt. Crawford also stopped another PBC fighter in his next bout -- 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz -- inside 10 rounds.
When promoters blame one another and television networks for fights not getting made -- it's mostly garbage, because they all do business with one another. They want to protect their investments, and although that is completely understandable, it is also disingenuous to blame it on anything else.
On three consecutive Saturdays in March we'll get WBC champion Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas, Spence vs. Mikey Garcia, and Crawford-Collazo. But none of the 147-pound champions will be fighting one another. Promotional politics is to blame, and there is no reason why they should not be fighting one another.
Garcia deserves praise for taking the risk of losing a year or two of his prime because had he stayed with Top Rank, he would have been a frozen duck, with little to no choice on who he would fight next. Let's be honest, many of these fighters are not business savvy, which is why they require promoters in the first place. But those who are skilled and can get themselves out of that net, tend to be more successful.
Garcia (39-0, 30 KO's), unhappy over his purses, sued Top Rank in 2014 to get out of his contractual agreement. Both parties fought it out until they came to an agreement in April 2016. Now, Garcia has essentially control of his career and has been actively pursuing the more significant bouts. Now, he is going to be in the fight of his life come March 16 against the much-bigger Spence. Retired five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. paid $750,000 to get out of his contract with Arum in 2006. From there, Mayweather took unprecedented control over his career, fought the best of the best, and became the wealthiest man in the history of the sport.
Money is a huge factor no matter how you slice it. Top Rank is paying Crawford about $3.6 million a fight, while Spence is earning approximately $1.2 million a fight, although he could be paid around $3.5 million for the Garcia fight per industry sources.
If Crawford and Spence continue to ride the boat, they probably won't fight until at least 2021, when both fighters are 31 and 34, respectively. This is certainly not fair to the fans, who deserve to see both fighters go at it when they are both in their primes. 2019 is the perfect time to do it, but unless they take control of their careers, it probably won't happen.