The veteran promoter is considering Shakur Stevenson moving up to 135 and facing Teofimo Lopez in about a year’s time.
Bob Arum gets flak from certain circles, which isn’t exactly puzzling. He’s someone who doesn’t pull a punch when it comes to communicating, and now and again, some of his shots stray south of the border.
Arum doesn’t shirk combat, he relishes it. The napalmic war of words he and Don King had in the 70s and 80s were hardcore beefs. Those guys treated business like it was war, and their verbiage reflected that. Guess what? Today, Arum is 89, and that hasn’t changed all that much.
How to Watch Stevenson vs Clary
Date: Saturday, Dec. 12 | Start Time: 10 pm ET (Main Card), 7 pm ET (Prelims)
Location: Top Rank Bubble, MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV
Stream: ESPN+ (Prelims) | TV: ESPN (Main Card)
Online Coverage: BadLeftHook.com
You saw it last month, when the promoter was interviewed and asked about his welterweight ace, Terence Crawford. And you saw it years before, when the Brooklyn-born promoter sought to protect his turf as rival Al Haymon worked to make his larger. To people who don’t treat business like Bob does, it can seem “personal.”
But it is useful to not simply cherry pick Arum’s “greatest hits” of verbal volleys. Arum speaks his mind, and he is arguably due more credit than he commonly receives when he offers up a surprising take on a match that Top Rank is offering.
For instance, 23-year-old former featherweight titleholder Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KO) faces Toka Kahn Clary (28-2, 19 KO) this Saturday on ESPN.
I spoke to Arum on Wednesday, and asked about the Top Rank main event. Does have a chance to beat Shakur in this fight?
“No, he’s got no chance,” Arum stated, after a millisecond pause. “But I don’t think anybody has a chance against him. I don’t think he gets tested until he goes to 135 pounds, where Teofimo Lopez is.”
I hadn’t much considered that clash, as I’d guess Teofimo is on a track to get to 140 before Shakur would go to 135. But Arum is considering all angles, and that’s one possible destination on the pathways of both men.
“End of next year, let’s see where we are, let’s see what happens,” Arum said of the potential Lopez-Stevenson bout.
“We wanna make good fights for Teofimo, we feel he’s better than Ryan Garcia, than Tank Davis, those guys,” Arum said.
Lopez has expressed copious interest in fighting fellow young gun Ryan Garcia, who is the top attraction in the Golden Boy stable, and Arum says he’s spoken with Eric Gomez about the idea, and that Oscar De La Hoya has reached out, too.
Oscar seems to be pivoting some himself, being that Canelo Alvarez has moved on from Golden Boy:
Happy 89th @BobArum I will always forever be grateful.
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) December 9, 2020
“Me and Oscar always had a great relationship, until Richard Schaefer came in conniving and broke the relationship asunder,” Arum said. “Look at the fights we have been doing, we work with Golden Boy all the time. We have a good relationship. Sometimes we win the fights, sometimes they win. It’s good, it keeps the fighters busy.”
And Arum busy. He’s 89, and you don’t hear a hint of chatter that he’s near a career end. And why is that? Because he keeps busy.
Source: Boxing – Bad Left Hook