Saturday, May 27, 2023  |



Bob Arum takes quick breather, gets back to working, and talking

Fighters Network

Bob Arum last talked to Tyson Fury maybe a month ago, but will get on the horn with the long and tall talent soon.

That’s because the Las Vegas-based deal-maker will before that be checking in with Al Haymon, he told RING on Friday. Haymon is the rarely seen power broker whose Premier Boxing Champions has settled into a good groove, with a FOX deal in their pocket, as they continue to be content providers to the Showtime platform.

With the US still knee deep in a coronavirus quagmire, the options to place the third Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder fight are not as copious as people hoped when California and New York did a decent job rebuffing wave one of the coronavirus creep in America, in February into March. It only seems sensible to start thinking further ahead, because America has not progressed in flattening that curve, collectively.

There’s a proposal making the rounds which sees Fury trying to defend his hardware and rep in February, of 2021, outside of the US, Arum shared.

No, the US economy cannot and will not make the type of comeback that certain political poohbahs promise until the coronavirus is better tamed. Until the virus gets dampened, it is not a great bet that we see Fury fight Wilder in the US.

Arum is thinking Haymon will like the sound of it, and if so, The Bobfather will put in a call to “The Gypsy King” and see what he’s thinking.

Fight fans saddened by the delay in the crafting of the Fury-Wilder trilogy event should maybe take solace in the fact that Arum says there will be more “Bubble” fights, and people who want more names, in higher stakes fights, they’ll be rewarded.

“We’ll do bigger fights, a lot more title fights,” Arum told me during a Friday phoner. Oscar Valdez had his hand raised Tuesday, in the main event of the six week run, which aided ESPN, which had lost most of their live events, and gave some work to a few dozen pugilists.

Knock on wood, and cross those fingers that citizens coast to coast up their game in treating the virus as a more than an inconvenience, so more fighters can return to ply their trade. ┬áIn August, into September, Top Rank will be looking to solidify bouts that won’t be construed as ‘test runs.’ Arum mentioned a Miguel Berchelt tango with fellow 130 pounder Oscar Valdez; that would get good marks, and get circled on calendars. “We’ll have a big Shakur Stevenson fight in “The Bubble,” said Arum, referring to the second season, of sorts, which will start unfolding after his staff gets a couple weeks to decompress. Two name 126ers could collide, as well. “A Jessie Magdaleno versus Emanuel Navarrete fight might be be there and Sean Gibbons says (super flyweight standout) Jerwin Ancajas is coming (to the US). Also, hopefully Naoya Inoue, once he has his Visa interview, hee can come here, in September. We’d like to do a big Inoue fight in ‘The Bubble.”

Everyone is wanting the nation to sort out the virus deal, because it affects everything. Like travel. Arum is optimistic Inoue can do his Visa process, and fly to America for a ‘Bubble’ bout.

Right now, it’s looking like TR does an eight card second run, six in that Vegas MGM space, with two taking place in the UK. Carl Frampton and Mick Conlan gloving up on August 15, from over the pond, those featured faceoffs will be made available to American fans on the ESPN platform.

You can be looking forward to title clashes when Top Rank comes back from the R n R stint, and also probably “a big heavyweight fight” as the summer wanes. No, Jarrell Miller won’t be involved in the heavyweight bout he teased. Arum is standing by his promise not to deal with Miller again. Whatever went on there, whether it was a rogue nutritionist or whatever, Arum said, the kid has to prove he can act responsibly.

We talked about the state of the game, bigger picture. Yes, Arum is seeing the moves that DAZN is making, how they hooked on the get content from David Feldman’s Bare Knuckle Boxing, starting in August.

DAZN is welcoming the BKB family into their sphere. Here is a certainty…The purse strings have tightened and spending is being cut drastically at the sports streaming service.

“DAZN made a contract deal with BKB because they wanna stay in the space, but at a price. Even Canelo is going to take some kind of haircut, and of course Gennadiy Golovkin got a crazy contract from them. You see Eddie Hearn doing that show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I’ve never heard of any of those guys! Basically, Eddie Hearn came in, tried to buy his way in, gave a lot of money to fighters, paid these guys who had no drawing power. Maurice Hooker? Jessie Vargas? Paying well over a million a fight, gimme a fucking break. And that has affected the market. Now it’ll go back to value…People like us, and Al Haymon, we aren’t taking advantage of anybody, he pays them what they are worth, but the days of Mikey Garcia making $7 million to fight a nobody are over I think.”

The last five plus years have seen boxing “enjoy” an infusion of capital, with investors fueling Haymon’s PBC attempt to return the sport to glory days saturation, on “free TV,” and then DAZN’s cash frenzy making Hearn, Alvarez and Golovkin happy. ESPN has also invested in fight sports at an unparalleled level, but Arum says suits there are pleased with their decision to partner up with his company as they try to elevate their direct to consumer market share.

“The market for awhile has had no relationship to financial reality,” Arum said. “Look, sometimes there’s been competition, with Don King and myself, but you always knew what King was doing, he was in it for the money, looking to make a buck, it was normal competition. This.. It hasn’t helped boxing as whole.”