(This is an excerpt from correspondent Andrea Crawford’s podcast,
The Knockout Queen & the Iron Decider)
It’s been almost 10 years since my husband, Marvin Crawford, and his partner, Eddie Porter, broke each other’s chops in a bloody, exciting welterweight fight that drew 1,500 screaming fans to Madison Square Garden. It was April 11, 2007, with someone declaring, “It’s not a great time to break a man’s chops,” before “sweet disaster” hit Eddie.
A year later, they both got there. Marvin landed a convincing eighth-round knockout of Amir Khan in what would prove to be the last time the two of them fought. Manny Pacquiao was an obvious counterattacking option, though Manny was upset by Timothy Bradley in their return in June 2012. The Crawford-Porter rematch also started badly for Crawford.
By the fourth round, he was falling behind on the scorecards after Porter had dumped him on his butt with an easy counter in the second. Then, Crawford staggered the Virginia fighter with a hard right and proceeded to force him to the canvas for the final time.
Marvin announced his retirement in December, but he’s not hanging up his gloves, and any indications that he won’t work with Eddie again are missing. So, while this is no heavyweight fight (it’s at 170 pounds) but it’s still a marquee one for both men, and one that at least one of them will be best remembered for. And as Oscar De La Hoya recently described boxing, they’ll both help this country continue to lead the way in cross-over movements.
In mid-April, HBO announced that it was going to shift its middleweight tournament from home-country favorite Gennady Golovkin to another part of the United States. Instead, it’s becoming a nationally televised, team-based series, although the path is still open for Golovkin to still win the inaugural tournament at least. And only a third of the middleweight contenders will receive the chance.
I would argue that it still makes sense to make a national tournament, because the most exciting stories are the ones that play on national TV and with national TV pay-per-view success. This takes away the small-time, individual purses, but it presents an opportunity for bigger paydays on television and from pay-per-view.
The concern is always the same. There’s no guaranteed win at this level, and with the chance for bigger paydays come bigger risks. And there’s always a concern that if you lose a round or two on national TV, then all of a sudden the pain may not seem so bad.