Friday, June 09, 2023  |


Bob Arum shares thoughts on Jose Ramirez, Linares-Loma, Verdejo’s first loss, and more

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. Photo by Top Rank
Fighters Network

Promoter Bob Arum is enough of a character, and is so candid, that he every now and again overshadowns some of his fights and fighters.

The action was pretty solid Saturday night at the MSG Theater, with the Jose Ramirez v Amir Imam main event delivering in the action department and the fact that Puerto Rican young gun Felix Verdejo was upset by Antonio Lozada certainly delivered in the drama department. So Bob’s broadsides didn’t dwarf the bouts but Arum, as always, put his stamp on the show, with his after-the-fights chat with ringside media.

Some takeways from that session:

—The promoter said he think Ramirez will be fighting WBC mandatory Regis Prograis, but not before each man fights an interim bout. He’d like Prograis to fight on a Ramirez card, in the summer, in a nearby to Fresno park, to get the two on a collision course. Prograis in fact was in the arena, came over and said hi to Arum, and Arum told him he’d broached this subject with Prograis promoter Lou DiBella. Regis to me said he’d rather fight Ramirez next. Prograis charmed the media, by the way. He was patient and cordial with everyone. He gave props to Ramirez, and no, didn’t promise he’d blast him out. He saw that the Cali boxer has stout whiskers, he said, but he does think his power pack is better than Imam’s.

—Arum was not in a meltdown about the Verdejo loss. Basically, s__t happens, Bob said. He thought young Felix was winning until he got caught. He said that after Oscar Valdez, Ramirez and Verdejo were signed after the 2012 Olympics, “And everyone at Top Rank thought Verdejo was the best prospect, and look what happened,” Arum said. “Maybe he could put it together,” he said, but his growth hasn’t been what was expected.

—The Ramirez vs Imam fight, Arum said, was “all you could ask in a fight.” He lauded Jose for his stance on social issues, and noted how Jose takes a stance on water rights in the Central Valley of CA.

—Arum said Terence Crawford’s hand report was good. No ligament damage, and the doc told Bud not to punch for a few weeks. They are figuring out specifics to have him fight Jeff Horn; it will take place in Vegas.

—“The farmers in the Central Valley will kill me if I don’t do Ramirez’ defense there,” Arum said, so he wants to bring the Cali boxer back there, though NY was kind to Ramirez. Almost 4,700 were in the building to watch him. Arum said Ramirez and the Puerto Ricans and Imam and Conlan all sold tix. (I will note that the crowd wasn’t overly raucous, there were no fights in the stands and I didn’t see one puddle of vomit on the walk from MSG to the F train.)

—May 12 will be a hot one, with Vasyl Lomachenko, and yes, Vasyl was in the building. He will be in the bigger building in May, though, the big room. Loma was there with manager Egis Klimas, who was watching that guy (below)…

—Oleksandr Gvozdyk will next fight the winner of Adonis Stevenson v Badou Jack, but Arum said he won’t have The Nail sit and wait. They got dates galore now, with more ESPN action, so three fights a year will be the norm for TR boxers.

—Mick Conlan will “fight or six times a year for us,” and he liked how Mick looked on this night, did Arum.

—Arum spoke on his brush-up against Don King. King said this week it was war on Arum, but Arum was like whatever. If Imam had won, he wouldn’t have gone out of business.

—The promoter thinks it’s not a big deal to make a deal with GBP for their Linares to meet Loma. It was some phone calls, he said, no biggie.


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