By: Hans Themistode
Regular everyday hard working people are facing the harsh reality of taking less money for more work due to COVID-19. Unemployment has risen to numbers that haven’t been seen since the Great Depression and simply making ends meet has become more and more arduous.
The stress of less money can become a burden, but for professional boxers that have graduated to the elite level, seldom are they checking their bank accounts. Their purses have reached seven and sometimes eight figures which allows them to live comfortably. But even with their status in the sports world, COVID-19 has proven that they aren’t too high up on the pyramid to be affected by it.
With fans not expected to be in attendance for live boxing events for the next several months, the cash flow of most fighters have cratered. Those seven figure paydays are much closer to six in today’s climate. It’s a reality that some are willing to accept at the moment, but not WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford.
The three division world champion has yet to step inside of the ring in 2020. But when he does, he’s expecting plenty of zero’s on his paycheck.
“You have to pay me,” said Crawford during The Last Stand podcast with Brain Custer. “Don’t tell me that I have to take a pay cut because of a pandemic. I don’t feel that’s right.”
The world titles, fame and piles of cash haven’t always been associated with Crawford’s name. His current status in the boxing world may qualify him as arguably the best fighter in the world thanks to his speed, power and boxing IQ but it’s his memory that drives him the most.
At times, the WBO titlist sits back and remembers what it was like when he first came onto the scene. No television slots, no world titles and fighting in the most obscure places in the world. Coming out of that difficult situation on the other side has helped build him into who he is today. But if you believe he’s willing to go back to fighting for pennies, then you don’t know Terence Crawford.
“I’ve been there before. I didn’t come out of the Olympic trials and get this big signing bonus and be on TV like all my 2008 alumni’s. I’m the one that had to work from scratch. Fighting in bars with cow shit smelling all through the arena. Fighting in Iowa City with 50 people. Like I was doing that.”
There aren’t many options on the table for Crawford. Fans in attendance spend millions of dollars at boxing events. So without them buying overpriced popcorn and beer while cheering for their favorite fighters from ringside, it would be difficult for Crawford or anyone of his status to rake in the sort of money he once did during a worldwide pandemic.
But while many believe Crawford will simply have to bite the bullet and accept a lesser paycheck at the moment, the pound for pound star has no issue with sequestering himself until he can get what he believes he deserves.
“Yea, maybe,” said Crawford when asked if he would be willing to sit out until fans are in attendance . “If that’s the route that we have to take then so be it.”