If ESPN doesn’t start matching their marquee names in fights that are at least competitive in their PPV offerings, then the fans are going to stop paying no matter how glossy, exciting and well presented the build-up is.
The fact that the fight ended in a low blow that referee Dave Fields ruled as accidental just ads to the misery of American fans who shelled out $59.95 or $69.95 in HD. UK viewers paid £19.95 ($25.93). In fairness to Fields, it was Virgil Hunter who stopped the fight because he felt Khan could not continue.
Bizarre endings happen in the sport occasionally but when you have paid $60 and the fight is predictably one sided as most analysts predicted, the paying customers are going to feel short changed.
Crawford who is in most P4P lists top 3, is not benefiting from Top Rank’s careful matchmaking. This is meant with no disrespect to Amir Khan who is as brave as any active boxer on the scene today. He still has good speed and skills but has not had any meaningful wins at 147lbs since his 2015 win over Chris Algieri.
“Bud” Crawford is one of the best boxers on the planet, he needs to fight elite opposition, and if not elite, at least the next best guys. Apart from Spence Jr, Thurman, Garcia, Pacquiao and Porter there are matches against Yordenis Ugas, Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner and Jesse Vargas that are likely to provide the Omaha, Nebraska native with more competitive rounds due to the fact that they are fighting top opposition regularly.
Having said all that, Khan landed some good shots on the classy Crawford at times but didn’t win any rounds on my scorecard. A 1st round flash knock down by Crawford set the tone of things to come and Khan never threatened to win the fight at any time. Khan would start as a big underdog in fights against any of the reigning welterweight champions so I hope he retires and enjoys the fruits of a hard career.
It’s a shame the fight ended the way it did but there was only ever one winner.
Crawford said after the fight that he wanted to face the unbeaten IBF title-holder Errol Spence Jr: “The fight I want next is Errol Spence. Whenever he is ready, he can come and get it.”
Top Rank boss Bob Arum stated before the Khan fight that he wants to match Crawford with Spence Jr and that he intended to contact Spence Jr’s advisor Al Haymon to get a deal made. This would be a PPV worthy fight. Let’s see if it happens.