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Arum hopes to get back to business

May 21, 2020 7:01 AM

As the United States starts to loosen regulations due to the coronavirus, boxing is starting to put together timelines and targets for future events.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has been hard at work, trying to make not only the biggest fights but getting all his fighters back to work.

“While the gate is very important, it’s not as important for some fights as it is for things like Fury-Wilder III,” Arum said. “One of the proposals for (Fury-Wilder 3) is Macao but we also have one being discussed in Australia.”

While Fury-Wilder III is a massive fight since it’s for the lineal and WBC Heavyweight titles, another megafight on the horizon will likely be first up. Pound-for-Pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko will face off against rising sensation Teofimo Lopez in a unification for the Ring Magazine, WBA, WBO, IBF lightweight titles. Originally rumored for New York, Arum said that the fight is now targeted for September in Nevada.

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“Only in Nevada at this point without fans,” said Arum, who added New York had too many problems currently to be considered. “A place like Nevada with all the hotel rooms makes it much easier to quarantine the fighters and control the situation unlike New York.”

Possibly the biggest news of the conversation was Top Rank working to land the megafight that has eluded another pound-for-pound star, WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford.

“Crawford needs a gate,” Arum said. “We’re talking to a couple countries about getting him a big fight. We are working on Crawford vs. Manny Pacquiao at the moment.”

This is a long time coming for Crawford, who could put himself on the mainstream map with an impressive performance against the future Hall of Famer Pacquiao. Not to mention the PPV revenue and attention Crawford will receive just being in the ring with Pac Man.

Japan’s Naoya Inoue was supposed to make his American debut at Mandalay Bay back in April and it looked at first like he’d have a long wait to return. But in the past few days, hope arrived with Top Rank getting some fighters in from overseas despite all the challenges.

“Fighters abroad have to have a visa (which Inoue does) and an arrangement to get over here which I thought was really difficult,” Arum said. “But we just had the Moloney twins from Australia arrive in  Vegas. We will be testing them either (Monday) or (Tuesday) and should be ready to go as early as June. It renewed our desire to get Inoue over here.”

Jason and Andrew Moloney are currently rising contenders in the bantamweight and junior bantamweight divisions.

Arum said he hoped the canceled fight between WBC/WBO Junior Welterweight Champion Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol would be set for end of July or early August with an outside chance of it being in California.

In other boxing news, IBF/WBC Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. has agreed to defend his titles against Danny Garcia sometime this fall according to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger. This will be Spence’s first fight back after his horrible automobile crash last October. At one point, Spence was in critical condition.

For those starving for some fight action this Wednesday on ESPN2, Top Rank will showcase a marathon of disputed decisions all from Las Vegas: Felix Trinidad vs. Oscar De La Hoya; De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley II; Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III; Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler and Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Jose Luis Castillo.

I am sure bettors in Vegas will have some great and not so great memories of these fights depending on which side their ticket was on.