Top Rank Promotion’s Vice president of boxing operations, Carl Moretti, has a full plate ahead of him as Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford headline two big events in August. The fights will be broadcast Live on ESPN, as part of a recent deal to put quality fights on basic cable.
In part 2 of my interview “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Carl Moretti, he speaks on Terence Crawford’s upcoming fight against Julius Indongo. Carl also talks about Crawford’s future at 140 and if a Manny Pacquiao bout is possible. Additionally, Moretti shares his views on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and gives his thoughts on how he thinks that fight could effect the sport. Here is what Carl Moretti had to say.
Jenna J: Terence Crawford will be having a unification fight with Julius Indongo on ESPN. What do you think of this type of undisputed unification fight?
Carl Moretti: It’s interesting in a lot of ways, obviously we haven’t see this very often in boxing at any weight division. It’s the first time that a junior welterweight or super lightweight division will be unified and along with that, you got a fighter in Julius Indongo who went to Russia to win the IBF title when he was a huge underdog. He went to England or Scotland to beat Ricky Burns for his title and now he is coming to the United States and not only that, he’s coming to Nebraska to try and take Crawford’s two titles.
It’s unique in that way and obviously you got a fighter who’s a road warrior who has no fear of coming to the states to try and do that. Indongo’s a tall southpaw who can punch, and outside of the four titles being on the line this is a real tough fight for both guys because we know Crawford’s ability but I think that puts so much more stake into it and we can’t wait for it to happen. Pre-sale on tickets have been terrific and we expect a huge crowd in Lincoln that night.
Jenna J: This fight is at 140 pounds, is it expected to be the last fight at 140 for Terence Crawford?
Carl Moretti: No, not necessarily. He’ll make that decisions afterwards. He makes 140 comfortably but he’s not just going to 147 unless there is a reason or a clear path, whether it would be a title fight or whatever it might be. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is his last fight at 140, I think we’ll sit down with him after the fight and see what he wants to do. I know there are a couple of mandatories that he’d have to go through because of them creating the exception to do this fight, but I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily his last fight at 140.
Jenna J: If he does move to welterweight, is Manny Pacquiao still a consideration for him?
Carl Moretti: Well, I don’t know right now. You got the rematch being discussed between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao, so depending on what happens with that decision, it could impact Crawford in some ways or it could not. If Manny decides to retire, then Jeff Horn could look at a fight with Terence Crawford if that made sense for everybody. But like anything else, it’s tough to predict now what’s going to be the case four months from now. You just have to play it out on every angle.
Jenna J: With the ESPN deal with Top Rank, it seems like it’s a step in a direction to move away from pay-per-view events, is that maybe what you see it as?
Carl Moretti: Well I don’t think you’re ever going to ever get rid of pay-per-view events for a lot of reasons, economic and everything else. Mainly, when fighters reach a certain level and they expect certain purses and deserve those amount of purses, you’re never really going to get it away from pay-per-view.
The key is to try and put matches and fighters that have happen been seen to the public often. If you’ve got a fighter in a huge match that both guys have been seen by a lot of people and they want to see it, much like Golovkin and Canelo, then that’s a well deserving pay-per-view fight, you just can’t put it out there or expect both guys to fight on regular television for the kind of money that they deserve or the kind of money that’s warranted for those types of fights. I don’t think it’s a matter of moving away from pay-per-view, it’s just trying to put the right product on pay-per-view through exposure and build up.
Jenna J: There is a big pay-per-view coming up in August and I am hard pressed not to ask you about it -Mayweather McGregor – what are your thoughts on the promotion for that event and what they are doing?
Carl Moretti: Ringling Brothers Circus is going out of business but maybe this is a new circus. Don’t look at it as boxing, I would more look at it as a spectacle. Something that I don’t know if we’ll ever see the likes of again because of the personalities, and I don’t know if we want too. It’s something that is just happening and at the end of the day. people can buy it or not buy it. No one is putting a gun to anyone’s head to purchase it.
At times it’s amusing. It got a little bit out of hand with the language and everything but at the end of the day, it’s up to you the consumer if you want to buy it or not. I think we all kind of know what’s going to happen in the ring, but I don’t think that’s why people are tuning in. I think they are really tuning in to see the pageantry all around it and what happens and go from there.
Jenna J: There is a little bit of backlash after Pacquiao Mayweather, because a lot of people paid and they didn’t get what they thought they were going to get. Do you think there will be any backlash from this when people pay for it and they don’t get what they think they’re going to get?
Carl Moretti: I hope not. I like to think that people realize what they are buying. It’s like when you go into a store or you buy a car or a new suit, if you’re expecting an Armani suit and it comes out like something from Marshall’s, you know the difference, so I hope that people don’t get disappointed because of that. But that’s up to the individual or the people buying it who want make that decision. I hope there is no backlash from it, I hope nothing crazy happens other than the usual zaniness that could happen.
Jenna J: You being the VP of Top Rank promotions, what else is coming up from Top Rank for the rest of the year?
Carl Moretti: Just stay tuned to social media and our website and you’ll find out shortly.