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Bob Arum Explains Real Reason Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford fight is unlikely to happen



Bob Arum with Terence Crawford. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Bob Arum with Terence Crawford. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum says illegal streams are the biggest barrier to making a unification fight between undefeated welterweight champions Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr 28-0 (22) and Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 38-0 (29).

Negotiations are currently underway between the camps of WBC, WBA and IBF 147-pound champion Spence and WBO counterpart Crawford.


The bout has long been talked about by the fight crowd, but has so far failed to come to fruition.

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The biggest hurdle to making the fight, according to Crawford’s former promoter Arum, is piracy.

“It has tremendous interest from people who follow boxing, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into revenue from pay-per-view, which is the biggest source because of the piracy,” the Top Rank boss told FightHype.

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“The fighters realise how big a fight it is and they want to get paid big amounts of money. The promoter, in this case PBC, has to look at it and say, ‘Hey, we’ll put it on, we’ll give you nice guarantees, but you’ve got to really live from the upside’, which the fighters realise now will not develop.”

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One solution, says Arum, is to drop down the cost of the pay-per-view to reduce the temptation of piracy – and hope for the best.

“So again, unless somebody wants to subsidise that fight, I don’t know how it gets done,” he continued. “One solution might be, and if you pay big guarantees to the fighters, you can’t crap around with experiments. But if you look at our friends in the UK, who still do very robust numbers on the pay-per-view.

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“You say, ‘Why?’. Is it because the English fans are so honest that they won’t tap into a stream? Or is it because it’s a much smaller course to get the pay-per-view into the UK. It’s 20 pounds or 25 pounds for a really big fight.

“People then don’t bother to steal the signal. They’re willing to pay the freight. But if you start, as we do here, you have $80 pay-per-views; that’s a whole different exercise.

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“The problem is, that’s a theory. If we drop the cost of the pay-per-view down to $20 or $25, which is what we started with on pay-per-view. Would people then forgo pirating the signal and pay the money to watch the fight legitimately?

“How do you experiment because if you’re wrong, for example, if you figured at the high price to get 250,000 buys at $80 and now you go to $25 on a big fight, who’s to say you’re going to stay at 250,000?

“My inclination is you reduce the piracy in that way. But again, to put up hard-earned money on a hope, that’s not a good business decision.”

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Hammed Tajudeen is the Editor-In-Chief of Blaze Newz Nigeria, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication.

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