Top Rank must pay Middendorf in Crawford contract deal

Terence Crawford
(Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank)

Top Rank were dealt a swift one-two by the US Federal Court when a Terence Crawford related legal beef came to a head recently.

Crawford signed with little-known TKO Promotions way back in 2010 in a bid to take his career up a level. Shortly after, Crawford appeared on a Top Rank card and before long was signed to join Bob Arum’s promotional stable, as agreed by TKO. At this point even though Top Rank effectively “took over” Crawford’s career, TKO would hang on to the Omaha man’s coat tails by receiving 8% of future world title defences – should Crawford ascend to that level.

As the TKO brand flagged, Chris Middendorf of Middendorf Sports took over this agreement (all of which was officially documented and agreed). Things were motoring along fine until 2014 when Crawford bolstered his Top Rank deal.

By the time Crawford boxed Viktor Postol in a unification bout, the cheques had stopped rolling out to Middendorf. This continued through Crawford’s subsequent fights post-Postol. Middendorf went legal and decided it was time to recoup his lost percentages of Crawford’s earnings as his rise to the top intensified.

Top Rank unsuccessfully tried to claim that the Postol and Indongo payments were not owed, as unification fights are not title defences, however, Judge John Gerrard ruled against them.

Gerrard ruled that despite Crawford’s new deal in 2014, the underlying terms of the agreement to pay Middendorf were to be unaffected.

Crawford has not made any statements of note on the matter, and it is unlikely to disrupt preparations for his upcoming fight with Amir Khan on April 20.

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