WITH the Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan April 20 WBO welterweight world title, Top Rank’s Bob Arum is launching the first pay-per-view fight on ESPN.
“We got ESPN in the boxing business. 30 events we do with ESPN in a year in the States, 24 outside the States. This is the first ever pay-per-view fight that ESPN has done,” the promoter told Boxing News. “We’re going to do pay-per-view the same way it’s always been done so the audience is the whole American public. Everybody has ESPN… Very few people who have any television at all don’t have ESPN. The fact that ESPN is distributing it, doesn’t mean any other connection with ESPN. You buy it from your satellite provider, from your cable system in the normal way.”
He is happy that Crawford-Khan is the right fight to launch this platform. “Very, very promotable, we’re going to do huge numbers,” Arum said. “He [Crawford] is the best welterweight.”
“Amir wants to prove how great he is and what kind of ability he has and he’s getting paid very well and he knows as a fighter that even if he doesn’t beat Crawford, he’s going to put up a hell of a fight, get tremendous publicity and he’s going to make a Kell Brook fight down the road a lot more valuable,” the promoter continued.
Crawford is expected to box three times in 2019. “Crawford’s going to fight twice more this year. We’re going to look for the best possible opponent. We’ll have to see who that is. Remember, lurking in the woods are these Eastern Europeans who are undefeated, who are terrific fighters, like [Egidijus] Kavaliauskas and [Alexander] Besputin,” Arum said. “If guys like [WBC champion Shawn] Porter and [WBA champion Keith] Thurman are not available, then Crawford will fight those guys.”