Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Bob Arum on Horn-Crawford, Pacquiao and how to fix bad judging

Photo courtesy of Top Rank

Brooklyn-born promoter Bob Arum is in his sixth decade promoting prizefights and fighters and the octogenarian deal-maker is still knee-deep in star building, and working to make the sport relevant and attractive to fans.

He touched base with the Everlast podcast TALKBOX this week and shared the latest news on the Top Rank stable, which includes the man the Boxing Writer’s Association of America just voted as the top hitter, pound-for-pound, on the planet, Nebraska’s Terence Crawford.

“I’m glad they did,” he said. “I was with Terence; he flew in to L.A. Monday and we had lunch together at the Polo Lounge. And we discussed his future and he’s a wonderful young man and a tremendous, tremendous talent and I think, in the next five years or so, we’re gonna see the era of Terence Crawford.”

“Bud” looked as good as he has, to this point, dominant, aggressive as all hell, in his most recent outing, when he downed Julius Indongo (KO3) August 19, on ESPN. So, when will he next glove up?

Arum said Crawford, 30, (32-0 with 23 knockouts) is giving up his 140-pound straps and will ply his trade at welterweight. “He’ll be the mandatory contender for (WBO welterweight titlist) Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs). That’s what me and Terence were discussing. His next fight will be in February or March and will be against Jeff Horn.” Unless, that is, the Aussie Horn, 29, gets upset if his planned scrap against Brit Gary Corcoran, in December, doesn’t go his way.

And Manny Pacquiao, 38, (59-7-2, 38 KOs), he’s still a superstar, even if aging has affected him. When is he fighting next?

“I don’t know if he’s gonna fight. He’s really into the political situation. He’s being groomed by people in the Philippines to be the next President,” Arum said of the current senator. “So, when it’s a choice of doing the public good or taking the time to work in a gym to prepare himself for a fight, he’s going to adopt the former.”

Arum being Arum, he was willing and able to speak from the heart on any number of topics. We discussed judging and the possibility (or not) that boxing’s powers that be finally wake up and act on the fact that too many weird and wild decisions sap credibility from the game. “The judging in boxing can be deplorable. You have to get a super-panel of judges, which all commissions agree to. You have to take out the appointment of judges from the hands of the executive directors of the commissions because that’s all wrapped in politics, and they rotate the judges, without regard to their ability necessarily.” Arum cited, as an example, his experience dealing with the Las Vegas commission ahead of the November 2016 Vasyl Lomachenko-Nicholas Walters match. Glenn Trowbridge, Burt Clements and Adalaide Byrd got the assignment to score it. (Yes, that Adalaide Byrd.) Prior to the bout, Las Vegas gave Top Rank a list of proposed judges who they decided would work the main event. Byrd was on the list, Arum said, and Top Rank objected. Arum added, “They asked on what grounds were we objecting and we pointed out scorecards she had in the past and she’d been inconsistent and, in certain events, was incompetent and therefore we didn’t want her. And they said that’s not grounds to object to her. And I said, ‘What is the grounds?’ They said, ‘Well, whether she’s biased or crooked.’ That’s crazy!…They just ignore you! Lo and behold, she was appointed in that fight. Luckily it didn’t matter because Lomachenko stopped Walters. But look what happened in the Canelo (Alvarez)-(Gennady) Golovkin fight.”

I asked Arum if he had a bone to pick particularly with the Las Vegas commission. “Unfortunately yes, absolutely. There’s no question about it…It seems to me the commission in Las Vegas is overprotective of judges and referees who come from Las Vegas or Nevada. That’s not right; that’s not right. They’ve got to broaden the field. Also they have a tendency not to listen to anyone else…And this is not only the current (Nevada State Athletic Commission) Executive Director (Bob Bennett). The guy before that (Keith Kizer) had this CJ Ross person, who judged for Tim Bradley in the first fight with Manny Pacquiao, a ridiculous scorecard and they brought her back for the Alvarez- (Floyd) Mayweather (Jr.) fight, which she had the score as a draw, when Mayweather clearly defeated Alvarez.”

Arum, as always, pulling no punches.





You can follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069.






Struggling to locate a copy of THE RING Magazine? Try here or…


You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of THE RING Magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: Canelo-Golovkin



  • learnmore

    You should of asked Bob, why did their pass on Bradley Skeete for Gary Corcoran? absolutely amazing for a fighter who is confident that he beat Manny Pacquaio. UK welterweights, I would put Brook, Eggington, Skeete way above Corcoran

    • Will Arbuckle

      Fringe contender, play it safe, make money

      • ceylon mooney

        frickin shameless

        im shocked hes letting rigo-loma happen tho

    • ceylon mooney

      hes gettin us ready for pacquiao-bradley IV

    • Keano

      Conor Benn would already beat Corcoran

  • Chris Smith

    Glad to see Crawford will be getting his 3rd division title in the first 2-3 months of the year. He could be primed for another excellent year.Hopefully he’s able to attract the audience he deserves too provided ESPN can figure their programming out!

    • Demetrius Worlds


  • Ten Count Toronto

    just out of curiosity, how far ahead was Walters on Adelaide Byrd’s scorecard before the retirement?

    • wadabs

      Is that in US dollars ? Las Vegas has been the US Boxing, money & schemes.

  • Ten Count Toronto

    Corruption can’t really get any more obvious than Crawford being installed as a mandatory 147 without having fought a single Weltherweight bout just for TopRank’s promotional convenience.

    Kind of sucks for Horn too as this will neither pay as well as a Pacquiao rematch nor provide at least one winnable title defense for him to cash in on and spend a few extra months with the belt.

    I’m not sure it’s great to have Crawford staring his 147 campaign with the WBO belt as well. This means he could be kept busy with in-house defenses against Vargas & Gomez, meaning it would probably be no sooner than 2019 that Spence, Thurman, Gracia or even Peterson are even up for discussion.

    • ceylon mooney

      theres a WBO rule about moving up as champ–you get first dibs

      • Ten Count Toronto

        And by the time it;s over, Spence will no longer be able to make 147 while Thurman, Crafwford & Peterson will be nto their 30″s and at most 70% the fighters they are now.

        • ceylon mooney

          i think, as of right now, crawford cant lose against anyone at 147 except spence. i really think he is as good as he looks. porter is a frickin powerhouse but his recklessness is tailor made for crawford; spence, if he cleans up his act without losing that aggression, might could beat him. hes damn powerful.

          • Demetrius Worlds

            How come everone wants to put bud out there this young man has done everything.he clearly a champion.i say team Crawford do y’all thing.go omaha ne boys wrack everything.

          • ceylon mooney

            dunno man–i wanta see the champ take everyone out. its exciting when a boxers record can match his talent. this dude went thru everyone in style. i think he can do it at 147.

          • Demetrius Worlds

            That fight what else can you say other than i want to see it

        • Mauro Hermida

          If we are talking about Lamont Peterson, he is already in his 30s.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            There you go, see how time flies while peopel are sitting on the shelf. Having said that I do think that all things considered Peterson at this moment – with the time off and the more natural weight – is perhaps a more formidable opponent than he would have been at 140 at any time after the Khan fight – but not for long though!

  • Nixtradamus

    Bob Arum *IS* the face of corruption in boxing!

  • Foob

    Go Jeff Horn!!!
    The sporting world admires and salutes u champion!!!!!

    • Demetrius Worlds

      Your reaching for real.you know dam well that belt was handed to him

      • Foob

        Jeff Horn avsolutely murdered Manny

    • Demetrius Worlds

      Yes horn looked way better than anyone excepted!i have to knock a champion out

  • Foob

    Go Jeff Horn…
    The dominator!!!!

  • Mark Schoeman

    So are we really pretending that Arum did’t benefit from Vegas judging the last 40 years? Pretending the very fact that promoters have a voice in judge selection isn’t proof of the broken system? Pretending that Arum would have protested Byrd if her bad scorecards favored Top Rank fighters like the good old days of last century, rather than just being wildly eratic?

    This is like asking a top heroin dealer how best to address the opioid epidemic….