Hearn open to signing Crawford: ‘But we’d be hard pressed to deliver the handbags Terence wants unless it’s reasonable’

Eddie Hearn intends to lure promotional free agent Terence Crawford to his Matchroom Boxing banner.

Crawford’s contract with Top Rank expired following the WBO welterweight champion’s 10th round TKO victory over Shawn Porter in November. Immediately after the fight, the Nebraska native said he was quitting the promotional outfit, and in January he again punctuated that statement and sued Top Rank for breach of contract and alleged racial bias.

England executive Hearn has since expressed interest in signing Crawford in an interview with the MMA Hour when asked if he would make a pitch to sign Crawford.

“Yeah, because he’s a top pound-for-pound fighter. It comes down to the value of a fighter,” Hearn said. “Yes, I had some discussions with his representatives. The problem is what can we offer him in this weight class?

“It’s a weight class historically dominated by PBC. So it’s one thing to get Terence Crawford and pay him a lot of money, but the other is what fight are you going to give him that’s actually going to deliver for DAZN.

“We don’t have access to a lot of those welterweights that would bring value, Errol Spence, the best example. Again, it comes down to how much money will Terence Crawford generate?

“He’s an amazing fighter, but I just think maybe promotionally, [Top Rank] didn’t do as good a job on Terence Crawford to make him the draw he should be.

“I’m interested because he’s a great fighter, but I think we’d be hard pressed to deliver the numbers he wants unless he makes sense.”

Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) earned a guaranteed purse of over $6 million for the Porter fight. A career-defining fight continued to elude tri-division champion Crawford throughout his career until he more recently defeated Porter.

Prior to Porter, Crawford managed Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Jeff Horn, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Jose Benavidez Jr. in the welterweight division.

The most viable opponent Hearn can offer Crawford is evergreen Conor Benn, but the promoter wouldn’t be inclined to put his budding star behind the eight ball so early in his career.

Just as Hearn alluded to, marquee matchups for Crawford can be arranged with Premier Boxing Champions and a stable of fighters including Spence, Yordenis Ugas, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner, among others.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and audiovisual reporter. He is also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, by email at manouk[dot]acope[at]gmail.com or at www.ManoukAkopyan.com.