Breaking down Terence Crawford’s ‘racial bias’ lawsuit against Bob Arum, Top Rank

The working relationship between WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford and Top Rank’s Bob Arum has already ended on a difficult note. Now things are getting serious, as Crawford is suing Arum and Top Rank, seeking nearly $ 10 million against Arum after alleging “disgusting racist bias” that resulted in him failing to secure big money fights for the champion.

For a copy of the complaint. obtained by the New York Post, Crawford alleges breach of contract and fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation. Crawford, 34, signed with Top Rank in 201, but had a history of struggling to produce fights against the best competitors in his division. The champion also discussed the comments made by Arum against him, as well as the lack of commitment to secure fights against the WBC and IBF welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr., among others.

The lawsuit continued to allege the following with respect to Arum and Top Rank:

“For years, professional boxers and others in the sporting world have criticized Top Rank owner Bob Arum for his disparate treatment of black boxers, including those same black boxers that Top Rank is contractually obligated to promote.

“Because this is boxing, a sport with a checkered history, and because Arum is now dismissed as a grumpy white elder, Arum continues to make racist and bigoted statements and deliberately damage the reputation of black boxers to no avail. This is generally because the affected boxers, who have long-term contracts with Top Rank, fear that if they speak up, they will be sidelined and will not have a chance to fight for the life of their contract, which could be five to seven. years. It’s painfully clear that Top Rank, and especially Arum, judges people based on their race.

“Arum’s sordid history with athletes of color, especially black boxers, and his preference for white and Latino boxers is well documented and known throughout the boxing world.”

Crawford, a silver medalist in the Gold Gloves, made his professional debut in 2008. Crawford became a light welterweight champion in 2014 and in 2017, he held the WBO, WBO, WBA and IBF titles. Crawford in 2018 beat Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title. He has defended the belt five times, the last fight being a November TKO victory over Shawn Porter.

Crawford’s lawsuit alleges the fighters breached contracts, while detailing the amount Crawford was paid for the bouts: In 2018, Crawford earned $ 3.5 million against José Benavidez Jr. and $ 4.8 million against Amir Khan; In 2020, he was paid $ 3.5 million to fight Kell Brook. With just one fight in 2019, Crawford is reported to be owed $ 4.5 million for a second fight that is not booked.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Crawford said he did not want to accept a pay cut. He wanted to do more before his contract with Top Rank ended. His lawsuit alleges that he won $ 6 million against Porter.

During this time, Crawford was part of the main event of all Top Rank-produced shows. While he is considered by many to be the best fighter within the sport, there has been a debate about the caliber of opponents Crawford faced while at Top Rank.

After the Porter fight, Crawford spoke to the media, with Arum by his side, at the post-fight press conference. Crawford was honest when he said he would move on, saying that Top Rank did not help secure a fight with Spence, who signed with Premier Boxing Champions.

“Bob (Arum) couldn’t secure the fight with (Errol) Spence when I was with him, so how is he going to secure the fight with Spence when I’m not with him? I’m moving forward in my career, ”said Crawford (via Boxing News 24).

Arum, who denied the allegations, said Crawford and Spence wanted too much money. The reported amount at the time was around $ 9 million to $ 10 million. Going further in the lawsuit, Arum said Crawford’s problems are his when it comes to fighting and marketing.

“Don’t call a man a racist when in reality this is due to your own failures,” Arum replied. “Its marketability fell short of this ability and that has absolutely nothing to do with the race it is. … The salient fact is that Terence’s pay-per-view numbers have always been appalling due to his failure to promote himself. “

The lawsuit adds that Floyd Mayweather made similar comments after his relationship with Top Rank ended. “Money,” who claimed he earned less with Arum, also brought up the idea of ​​racial bias. Mikey Garcia, formerly under the Top Rank banner, also filed a lawsuit against the promoter in 2014, based on a dispute over his contract and his portfolios. This resulted in Garcia being out of the ring for more than two years.

Garcia’s attorney, Brian Freedman, also represents Crawford. Unlike Garcia, according to Freedman, Crawford can overcome anything that happens.

“It is unfortunate that Top Rank did not treat Terence properly and, in fact, regularly spoke out against him,” Freedman said. told ESPN. “Unlike other fighters tied to Top Rank contracts, Terence can enforce his claims in court without Top Rank forcing him to sit down. Make no mistake, that is a game changer.”

Arum has a working history as a lawyer. He attended Harvard Law School, was an attorney for the US Department of Justice, and worked with some high-profile law firms.