Terence Crawford Files Lawsuit Against Top Rank, Alleges Racial Bias by Bob Arum

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2022

Terence Crawford poses for photographers after defeating Shawn Porter by TKO in a welterweight title boxing match Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
AP Photo/Chase Stevens

Terence Crawford filed a lawsuit against boxing promoter Top Rank on Wednesday, alleging racial bias by chairman Bob Arum.

Mike Coppinger of ESPN obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which was filed in Nevada, and alleges Arum "continues to make racist and bigoted statements and purposefully damage the reputations of Black boxers."

Crawford is seeking $5.4 million in damages he says were caused by Top Rank's failure to offer him a fight against Errol Spence Jr. and failing to live up to its end of a contract extension signed in 2018. According to the lawsuit, Top Rank promised Crawford a payment of $900,000 if he was not offered fight against Spence by the end of 2020.

"Arum's sordid history with athletes of color, especially Black fighters, and his bias favoring white and Latino fighters is well-documented and known throughout the boxing world," the lawsuit reads.

Crawford parted ways with Top Rank in November after being signed to the promotion company for a decade. He is currently a free agent, and attorney Brian Freedman said his ability to file a lawsuit while not still signed to Top Rank is a "game-changer" because the promotion can't keep him from fighting while in litigation.

Freedman previously represented Mikey Garcia in his 2014 lawsuit against Top Rank, which ended in an out-of-court settlement. 

Arum responded to the lawsuit via a spokesperson, calling Crawford's accusations "reckless and indefensible."

“Bud Crawford’s lawsuit against Top Rank is frivolous. His vile accusations of racism are reckless and indefensible," the statement said. "He knows it, and his lawyer knows it. I have spent my entire working life as a champion of Black boxers, Latino boxers, and other boxers of color. I have no doubt the court will see Crawford’s case for the malicious extortion attempt that it is.”

Crawford is the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and has won all 38 of his professional fights.