Pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford signs lucrative, long-term deal with Top Rank

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
Terence Crawford, posing with his WBO welterweight belt after stopping Jeff Horn in June in Las Vegas, has signed a multi-year contract extension with Top Rank. (Getty Images)

Pound-for-pound champion Terence Crawford has re-signed with Top Rank, inking a multi-year extension, company president Todd duBoef confirmed Thursday to Yahoo Sports.

The deal was agreed to on Monday, when duBoef drove from his home in Aspen, Colorado, to Colorado Springs, where Crawford is training for what is expected to be an Oct. 13 fight in Omaha, Nebraska, against Jose Benavidez that will be broadcast on ESPN. Top Rank is expected to officially announce the fight Thursday.

Crawford, 33-0, is a key figure for Top Rank and along with WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko gives the company two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Yahoo Sports ranks Crawford No. 1 and Lomachenko No. 3. ESPN.com has Lomachenko No. 1 and Crawford No. 2. Crawford was the 2017 Yahoo Sports Fighter of the Year.

However one ranks them, the two give the company a pair of elite fighters who will give it headline attractions to buoy its long-term deal with ESPN.

Crawford is in the talent-rich welterweight division, where he holds the WBO belt after stopping Jeff Horn on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Errol Spence, who holds the IBF welterweight title, is also in the top five on most pound-for-pound lists and is No. 2 on Yahoo Sports’ list. Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia will fight on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Showtime for the vacant WBC welterweight title, while ex-unified champion Keith Thurman has only recently gotten back into the gym after a long layoff.

All of those fighters would be attractive opponents for Crawford, but they are with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. Haymon recently announced long-term deals with Fox and Showtime.

Manny Pacquiao could also be an option for Crawford, as duBoef and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum recently traveled to the Philippines to speak with him. Pacquiao plans to continue to fight and a bout with Crawford was broached to him.

“Terence Crawford told me he wants to fight everyone out there and we will do everything we can to make all of those matches,” duBoef said. “We want him to have the best fights possible and we will do everything in our power to make all of those fights, regardless of [affiliation].”

Crawford could not be reached for comment.

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