Saturday, January 28, 2023  |



Bob Arum ‘willing’ to work with Haymon to make Crawford-Broner



Al Haymon


First it was Showtime. Now it’s Al Haymon. Next Donald Trump? Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said he was “willing” to work with rival Haymon to make a blockbuster junior welterweight unification match between Terence Crawford and Adrien Broner. The statement was incredible, in part because Arum filed a $100 million lawsuit against Haymon in July, claiming his Premier Boxing Champions series is monopolistic and flouts federal anti-trust laws.

But in discussing Crawford’s future minutes after the Nebraskan dismantled Hank Lundy in five rounds on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, Arum spoke of the endless possibilities in front of him. And in that space of plausibility Broner was offered by a reporter as the next test for Crawford.

“Oh I would love Broner,” Arum said. “That is a good fight. I would do that fight in two seconds. I think that would be major — we’d certainly sell out the Forum (in Inglewood, California).”

To do that, Arum would have to cross the breach and work with a man who seems to irritate him almost as much as presidential candidate Donald Trump, who Arum challenged to a debate last week. Arum described what it would take to deal with Haymon to make the Broner fight possible.

“It’s like politics,” Arum said. “Your headline is, ‘Arum is willing (to work with Haymon),'” Arum said. They should say, ‘They’re willing,’ and somehow we’ll get together and do it.”

If both sides end up not being too willing, Arum said he was eyeing a possible June date at the Forum against Russian slugger Ruslan Provodnikov with junior welterweight titlist Viktor Postol “a back-up” for the fall.

“We’re going to match him as tough as we can,” Arum said. “And one of the guys who’s a possibility is Provodnikov and we’ll see if he takes the fight and we’ll go from there.”

Arum had previously discussed putting Crawford on pay-per-view in the fall. One of the boxers mentioned as a viable PPV opponent is the Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez. But Arum didn’t seem too keen on that match-up on Saturday.

“I don’t know if Marquez really wants to fight him (on a potential PPV),” Arum said. “Let’s see if Marquez gets in the ring in the summer like he says.”

Besides, what’s the hurry in putting Crawford in a position of having to fight on PPV? Arum said. “The guy is building into a big, big superstar and what’s the real rush? As long as we can get dates to show him on premium television, PPV can wait.”

Arum smiled. He was gushing about Crawford, who dropped Lundy and stopped him at 2:09 of the fifth round in a virtuoso performance.

“He is getting better,” Arum said. “We never believed that he could — and I believed but I didn’t know — that he could punch like this. He said that because making 135 he was weakening himself. And at 140 he’s a lot stronger. He’s terrific.”