Bob Arum Preparing Too Many Dishes Could End Up With a Smorgasbord
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Thu, 30 Jul 2020
Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum could be likened to a master chef preparing for too many main dishes all at the same time.
The worst thing is that he could end up with a smorgasbord that the discriminating foodie or epicure would be hard put to appreciate.
The thing is Arum has never been known to handle and promote a slew of big name superstars simultaneously with equal success and efficiency.
When he had Oscar de la Hoya, his focus was solely on Oscar. The same was true when he had Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao.
But those talented threesome had long deserted him and have even established rival boxing promotions of their own.
Arum is left with Terrence Crawford and Vasily Lomachenko who since five years back he has been trying to develop into crossover boxing superstars but with very little success despite their ranking very high in the pound for pound list. Crawford could not even fill an average sized arena in his hometown in Omaha while Loma has yet to prove his pay per view drawing power despite his prodigious record.
Unable to get the mileage from Crawford and Lomachenko, Arum signed up in succession late last year Tyson Fury and Naoya Inoue who were then coming off their biggest career wins over Deontay Wilder and Nonito Donaire, respectively.
Suddenly, at the start of 2020 everything seemed to looking roses for Bob. He had a potentially bigger Fury-Wilder rubber match in the offing and a grand championship US debut lined up for Inoue versus up and coming Filipino bantamweight WBO titlist Johnriel Casimero. He also had Loma tangling with the fast rising Teofimo Lopez in a potential pay per view blockbuster-finally for both fighters.
Flushed with pride, Arum even had the temerity to declare that Crawford didn't need to go after and beat old man Manny Pacquiao to become a superstar. He said efforts were being exerted to get Errol Spence or at least Shawn Porter in the ring with Terrence in title unification fight worthy of Crawford's time and at par with his current caliber and level in a thinly veiled jab at Manny.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck and everything not only comes to a standstill but is even thrown back to square one as far as boxing is concerned.
Having the biggest stake in pro boxing, there is no wonder Arum has been at the forefront of reviving the fight sport and bringing it up to a level where paid live gate, though limited and restricted, can still be possible.
But even there, things have fallen behind his expectations.
In desperation, Arum has seemingly turned himself into some sort of a master chef trying to cook up a variety of main dish to entice the usual patron.
But he seems to be bungling the job along the way.
Having shot himself in the foot with that earlier insulting tirade against Pacquiao, he is now having a hard time convincing Manny of his change of heart and of his grand intention to lead the return of big time boxing with a fight between the Filipino legend and Crawford as the aperitif at the same time main course.
In fairness, Pacquiao has not closed his door entirely on Arum and the possibility of a Crawford fight but on condition that it has to be made with the safety of everyone most primordial. Given the worsening situation in the States, this is a very tall order.
Hence, Arum is back shopping around for a suitable venue outside of the USA which on the other hand would require willing sponsor or sponsors to help pay for site fee.
His focus back on Crawford, however, Arum seems to be giving just token attention to his other prized wards Inoue, Lomachenko and Fury.
Especially Inoue whose grand US championship debut was the triple title unification bout versus Casimero set for last April 25 which was cancelled due to Covid 19 and has yet to be rescheduled with clear definiteness.
Arum and Inoue appear to be waiting for each other with Arum saying he is awaiting Inoue's arrival in the US and Inoue waiting for words from Arum regarding definite plans for his grand US championship debut.
On the other hand, the potential blockbuster lightweight unification between Lomachenko and Lopez and the Fury-Wilder rubber match are also hardly given their due promotional boost by Arum though Arum has also been churning out moving target scheduled dates for them happening.
Like a master chef, Arum has been filling up his menu of main dishes and has been preparing and cooking some of the available ingredients albeit the absence or uncertainty of some of the main ingredients as the definite opponents, venues and dates.
He could end up with a smorgasbord which the fans may find wanting of their expectation or even unappetizing.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.
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