The business relationship between WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford and Top Rank’s Bob Arum ended with a TKO. Now things are getting litigious.

Crawford is suing Arum and Top Rank for nearly $10 million, alleging “revolting racist bias” that resulted in him losing millions by failing to secure big-time fights.

In the lawsuit, Crawford, 34, claims breach of contract and fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation. Crawford, who signed with Top Rank in 2011 but had a difficulty producing fights against top competitors in his division, also mentioned comments made by Arum against him, as well as a lack of commitment to secure fights.

“For years, professional boxers and others in the sports world have called out Top Rank’s owner Bob Arum for his disparate treatment of Black boxers, including those very same Black boxers that Top Rank is contractually obligated to promote,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Because this is boxing, a sport with a checkered history, and because Arum is now dismissed as just a grumpy old white man, Arum continues to make racist and bigoted statements and purposefully damage the reputations of Black boxers without any consequences. This is generally because the affected boxers, who are in long-term contracts with Top Rank, fear that if they speak up, they will be placed on the sideline and not given the opportunity to fight during the life of their deal, which could be five to seven years. It is painfully clear that Top Rank, and especially Arum, judges people based on their race.

“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.”

Crawford made his pro debut in 2008 and became light-welterweight champion in 2014. By 2017 he held the WBO, WBO, WBA and IBF titles.

In 2018, Crawford beat Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title and has defended it five times, the last being a November TKO victory over Shawn Porter.

In 2018, he made $3.5 million against Jose Benavidez Jr. and $4.8 million against Amir Khan; in 2020, he was paid $3.5 million to fight Kell Brook; with only one fight in 2019, he’s allegedly owed $4.5 million for a second fight not being booked.

“Bob (Arum) couldn’t secure me the (Errol) Spence fight when I was with him, so how is he going to secure me the Spence fight when I’m not with him? I’m moving forward with my career,” Crawford said.

Arum denied the allegations and said that Crawford and Spence wanted too much money. The reported amount at the time was around $9-$10 million.

“Don’t call a man a racist when really this is because of your own failures,” Arum responded. “His marketability didn’t measure up to his ability and that has absolutely nothing to do with what race he is … The outstanding fact is that Terence’s numbers on PPV have always been dreadful because of his failure to market himself.”

The lawsuit adds that fellow boxer Floyd Mayweather made similar comments after his relationship with Top Rank ended. And Mikey Garcia, former Top Rank talent, also issued a lawsuit against the promoter in 2014, based on money.

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