Lem’s latest: Arum on Hershman, Donaire’s confession
NEW YORK — Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum is rooting for Ken Hersman, who left his position as Showtime's General Manager of Sports to replace the former president of HBO Sports, Ross Greenburg.
Hershman will assume the role in January that was vacated when Greenburg, after having been at the helm since September of 2000, announced his resignation in July .
"I hope that he does a good job. He certainly understands the sport. That remains to be seen," said Arum. "I was surprised by that move, but it remains to be seen."
Arum made his comments during a Thursday press conference at Gallagher's Restaurant, where media members crammed into an event promoting Saturday night's HBO-televised clash between WBO and WBC bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) and WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KOs) at Madison Square Garden.
"I'm always optimistic. I really think that the people who run HBO are very, very bright people," said Arum. "I believe that Hershman will adhere to the vision that [HBO President of Sports Programming] Michael Lombardo, and [HBO co-president Richard] Plepler have, and so I'm very optimistic."
Given that his adversarial relationship with Greenburg was widely known, Arum was asked if he anything to do with his leaving.
"No. That's for sure," said Arum. "That is for sure for sure."
And with Hershman?
"I would rather not comment on that right now. Ask me in six months from now [about] my relationship with Hershman, and I'll be happy to comment on that."
DONAIRE LOST HIS FIRST BIG FIGHT TO A GIRL
Gifted with the pad and pen as a fifth-grader, Donaire shared the story on Thursday about one of the first times he wound up on the wrong side of a butt-whupping.
"I liked to draw and I like to sketch, and I came up with this great drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog. I mean, it was fantastic. I was so proud of it," said Donaire, the current WBO and WBC bantamweight titleholder.
"All of a sudden, it disappeared, and I couldn't find it. Somebody had stolen it from me. But I knew that this one girl liked it and that she took it."
Donaire confronted the classmate.
"I came up to her and asked her, 'Why did you take it?' I had already been boxing, and if I had hit her, I would have knocked her out. But from the beginning I was taught that what I learned in boxing, you never take it outside of the ring," said Donaire.
"So I just stood there, and she scratched the crap out of me. So I was more crying because I knew that I would come home suspended and my dad would be mad at me. So I got beat up by her. I got beat up by a girl in fifth grade and people made fun of me. People think that I'm a tough guy, but I'm not."
MIKEY GARCIA'S INTRODUCTION TO BOXING
Mikey Garcia literally followed his family into boxing:
"I kind of went into one of my nephew's exhibition fights, and they needed an opponent, and my brother signed me up and said, 'Hey, go step up into the ring.' So I said, 'Okay.'"
"So we borrowed gloves, we borrowed head gear, we borrowed trunks, we borrowed shoes, we borrowed everything. I wasn't ready to fight, but from that day forward, I started training and I started working. I was 13 when I did that."
The 23-year-old Garcia will take a mark of 26-0 that includes 22 knockouts against Juan Carlos Martinez (18-12-1, 6 KOs) in Saturday night's co-main event.
HAROLD LEDERMAN WEIGHS ON IN HOPKINS-DAWSON
HBO's ringside scorer Harold Lederman shared his thoughts on the ending of last Saturday's controversial light heavyweight bout between RING and WBC titleholder Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson, the latter of whom was initially awarded a second-round technical knockout after the fighters became entangled and Hopkins suffered a bout-ending shoulder injury after being slammed to the canvas.
The 46-year-old Hopkins' left shoulder and was deemed unfit to continue by referee Pat Russell, who did not view Dawson's shove as a foul, accidental or otherwise. The WBC's board of directors on Wednesday declared the bout a "technical draw," giving the title back to Hopkins.
Lederman said that the fight should have ended as a no-decision from the get-go.
"I tell you the truth, I would have called it a No-Decision. They made contact. I thought that it was an accidental foul. Therefore, if it doesn't go four rounds, then you don't go to the scorecards," said Lederman.
"And therefore, it's a No-Decision. I really felt that it should have been a No-Decision. I just can't see on an accident like that, that you take away a guy's title."
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]