Welterweight champion Terence Crawford is suing his former promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, alleging racial bias, ESPN reports.
Filed on Wednesday, the suit alleges that Arum "continues to make racist and bigoted statements and purposefully damage the reputations of Black boxers."
The suit also claims that "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," and that "Arum makes no secret of his deep-seated bias against Black fighters."
Additionally, Crawford claims in the suit that he signed to fight Egidijus Kavaliauskas in 2019, the agreement included a $900,000 payment if Top Rank didn't present him with a fight with Spence by the end of 2020.
Crawford is seeking damages of $5.4 million in prize money he claims he lost due to Top Rank's failure to deliver a second fight in year two of the extension he signed in 2018, as well as their inability to land a blockbuster with Errol Spence Jr.
"It is unfortunate that Top Rank did not treat Terence properly and in fact spoke out regularly against him," Crawford's attorney, Bryan Freedman said.
Arum responded to the suit and the allegations in a statement.
"Bud Crawford's lawsuit against Top Rank is frivolous," Arum’s statement read. "His vile accusations of racism are reckless and indefensible. 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 alleges a breach of contract as well as fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation claiming that Arum made disparaging comment" about him to ruin his reputation and to halt the possibility of working with new promoters. In the suit, Arum allegedly remarked that he "could build a house in Beverly Hills on the money I've lost on him in the last three fights."
In 2011, Crawford signed with Top Rank and quickly rose up the boxing ranks capturing titles in three weight classes becoming one of the best boxers in the world.
Currently, Crawford is ESPN's No. 1 ranked welterweight and No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer.