Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier: Remembering When The World Stopped To Stare
By: Hans Themistode
The throne always belonged to Muhammad Ali. He had just been unjustly and temporarily removed from it.
In the 1960s there wasn’t a soul alive that didn’t believe Ali was the best fighter in the world. Unless you were Joe Frazier of course.
With Ali forced to spend three years and a half of his prime sequestered on the sidelines due to his refusal to be inducted in the Vietnam war, Ali was given no choice but to spend the next several years away from the sport while he was at the top of his game.
When he returned, his name was scribbled out and instead, replaced with Joe Frazier.
While they would go on to fight on three occasions, the very first time they graced the ring against one another was unlike any other fight in history.
In essence, the world stopped.
Looking back now 50 years later, even some of the greatest to ever step foot inside the ring sat back and reminisced about what they witnessed.
“I was amazed watching that fight,” said former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes during a recent joint conference call. “It was amazing that Joe Frazier took the punches that he took and kept fighting.”
For Holmes, 21 years of age at the time, he simply couldn’t believe what he was watching. While he would eventually go on to become a champion in his own right, all he could do was fixate on was the piece of history that was taking place right before him.
The scenery for their legendary fight which took place in Madison Square Garden was unforgettable and captivating. In fact, former multiple-time heavyweight title challenger Gerry Cooney remembers vividly how it all looked.
The sound of the ring floor, the aura that filled the air and of course, the stars that flooded the arena. As Cooney thinks back to that time, he remembers rubbing elbows with them all. Or, at least, he thinks he did.
“I could swear on everything holy that I was in the Garden watching Clyde Frazier, Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio,” said Cooney. “I could’ve sworn I was there watching the whole thing. It was so magical between those two guys.”
At 14 years of age however, that was merely impossible. Yet, the feel of their big fight made Cooney believe he was there cheering on Frazier as he dropped Ali with a left hook in the 15th round. But as he continued to scream and point to the ring as his man continued to win, he recalls actually doing that from his bedroom, not the actual fight.
“You gotta love Muhammad Ali but I was always an underdog guy. When he dropped Ali it was like wow, he really won the fight.”
Big fights have become far too common in the sport of boxing. Fans and boxers alike have called every fight that flashes across their television screens a big one. Yet, with the paltry numbers that routinely check-in, those assumptions are made to be wrong time and time again.
In the case of Ali vs Frazier, it wasn’t just a big fight, it was the fight of all fights.
“This was such a big fight that the people in Vietnam and the United States stopped the war to watch the fight,” said an excited Cooney.
Although the joy and exuberance were plain to see in the eyes of everyone involved, promoter Bob Arum sits back in his chair and begins his own detailed thought process of what went down on that unforgettable night.
It wasn’t just that both Ali and Frazier gave the world an incredible fight but more than anything, they proved something that even Arum never knew.
“Going into that fight, I believed Ali was invincible,” said Arum. “I didn’t think Frazier was in the same class as Ali. We used to take bets on how few shots Ali would take when he fought but the Ali that came back after three and a half years off was a different Ali. Before then, we didn’t know if he could take a shot because he never got hit, but what we found out later is that he could take an unbelievable shot. It was incredible.”
There aren’t many moments that are permanently ingrained in the minds of everyone. But on March 8th, 1971, the world stopped spinning in order to witness what many believe is the greatest fight in boxing history.
While it was important to find out who would win, in hindsight, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
Other great historical contests have taken place since then but at some point, they have lost their luster. In the case of Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier however, it will forever be the most compelling and unforgettable fight of all-time.
“It will never be diminished,” said Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins. “Never.”
Bob Arum: “Nakatani Is A Really Hard Punching lightweight And We’re Looking To Him As The Opponent For Lomachenko”
By: Hans Themistode
Following Vasiliy Lomachenko’s surprising loss at the hands of Teofimo Lopez in mid-October last year, promoter Bob Arum did not want to bother him just yet. Lomachenko had always dreamed of becoming an undisputed world champion and needed only one more win to achieve his ultimate goal.
Lopez though, would hear none of it as he outboxed Lomachenko to a clear unanimous decision victory. Not only did the loss strip Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) of the world lightweight titles that were in his possession, but it also dropped him from the consensus number one pound for pound spot as well. With Arum giving him nearly four months to sulk and dust himself off, the long time promoter has begun discussions with his star about his return.
Although Lomachenko was adamant in his desire to run things back with Lopez, that ship has seemingly sailed. With that being said, Arum believes he’s found a more than suitable replacement for his return fight.
“The Japanese boy, (Masayoshi) Nakatani,” said Arum during a recent interview with IFL TV. “He knocked out (Felix) Verdejo and gave (Teofimo) Lopez all he could handle. Nakatani is a really hard-punching lightweight and we’re looking to him as the opponent for Lomachenko.”
As previously mentioned by Arum, Nakatani is currently riding the high associated with the best stretch of performances in his career. In July of 2019, Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) took it to Lopez during their showdown. Coming in, the Japanese native was viewed as an easy victory. However, he proved that he could compete at the highest level.
The results on the night weren’t exactly what he was looking for, but after taking a year and a half to recover from his back and forth battle with Lopez, Nakatani would return to the ring. As was the case in his previous contest, Nakatani was once again the underdog, this time against Felix Verdejo. A short and unsuccessful night at the office appeared to be on the cards for Nakatani as he was dropped twice during the first and fourth rounds.
Nevertheless, he not only climbed back to his feet each and every time but he also went on to hand Verdejo a savage beating. One that culminated in two knockdowns in the ninth round before the referee waved things off entirely as Verdejo fell flat on his face in an attempt to beat the count.
The win for Nakatani has now placed him in the driver’s seat for Lomachenko’s return to the ring. Unlike the Ukrainian’s last contest which was held in the empty arena of the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada, Arum has revealed that he isn’t planning on subjecting his fighter to that lonely atmosphere once again.
According to Arum, he’s confident that by the time Lomachenko’s fight date comes rolling around, a limited amount of fans will be able to attend events.
“We’ve talked with him and we’re looking at early summer. He’s tired of fighting in bubbles, he’s a big-ticket seller so we think we can do a big fight in early summer in the United States. We’ve been talking with MSG, so we believe by June, they’ll be able to accommodate hopefully 50-60 percent.”
Shawn Porter To Bob Arum: “What Makes Kell Brook Worth More Than Shawn Porter? You Really Don’t Want Terence Crawford To Have That Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
In the sport of boxing, sometimes words can get misconstrued. However, former two-time welterweight belt holder Shawn Porter made his words as clear as possible when regarding who he wants to step into the ring next.
“I prioritize Terence Crawford,” said Porter following Errol Spence Jr.’s win over Danny Garcia.
Porter, of course, held a birds-eye view as he watched Spence Jr. dismantle Garcia during their pay-per-view main event late last year. While Porter is positioned to take on Spence Jr. due to his high ranking in both the WBC and IBF sanctioning bodies, the Ohio native appeared more interested in taking on WBO belt holder Terence Crawford.
Although Porter currently sits in the mandated position, promoter Bob Arum is apparently playing hardball with the welterweight contender. During a recent interview, Arum revealed that the guaranteed dollars he would be willing to offer Porter would fall well short of what the rugged fighter has grown accustomed to making.
“I’m not guaranteeing more than a million dollars,” said Arum during an interview with Barbershop Conversations. “I’m just not, not in these times.”
“These times,” that Arum is referring to, is the current worldwide pandemic. Still, even with fans absent from arenas, Porter believes Arum’s excuse for not offering him more zero’s at the end of his paycheck is flat out bullshit.
Considering his stature in the sport of boxing, as well as what Arum paid Crawford’s most recent opponent, Porter simply isn’t buying the excuses that Arum is trying to sell.
“I said it before, I will not fight Terence Crawford for a million dollars,” said Porter on his podcast The Porter Way Podcast Clips. “You paid Kell Brook two million, reportedly, to fight Terence Crawford. What makes Kell Brook worth more than Shawn Porter at this point in time? Especially in the United States.”
While at one point, Brook was considered the cream of the crop of the welterweight division, the 34-year-old has suffered numerous knockout losses, making his fourth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Crawford not surprising.
With Porter’s bank account is currently filled to the brim with millions upon millions of dollars, accepting a lesser offer then given to Brook simply doesn’t make sense to the 33-year-old.
Although the potential of raking in a million dollars would make most individuals jump out of their seats, Porter merely yawns and remains stone-faced.
“I get it, for a lot of people a million dollars is a lot of money. However, with the money that I’ve been able to make I understand the business of boxing. To even begin negotiations at two million dollars is an insult. Everybody in the sport of boxing knows that the welterweight division is the hottest in boxing and if anything, second to heavyweight. We command a lot of money and attention. This fight would do all of that and more. A million dollars isn’t chump change to somebody else but to Shawn Porter, it’s chump change.”
“I guarantee that if there’s fans in the stand, that we will fill up whatever stadium you want to take the fight to,” continued Porter. “If we do it on pay-per-view we’re going to sell more pay-per-views than Terence Crawford’s ever sold before because now he’s fighting Shawn Porter and I am a pay-per-view draw.”
For years now, Arum has said time and time again that Terence Crawford isn’t just the best fighter in the welterweight division but also that he’s the best fighter in the world. Those words however, ring hollow to Porter. Sure Arum may say one thing about the skills of Crawford but for the number one ranked contender, he believes Arum wants to keep Crawford as far away from him as possible.
“You know the only way you can stay away from Shawn Porter and justify it is by saying that a million dollars isn’t chump change. You really don’t want Terence Crawford to have that fight.”
Bob Arum Responds To Keith Thurman’s Rant: “What The Hell Is He Talking About?”
By: Hans Themistode
Former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman tore Bob Arum a new one with a seething rant recently. The Florida native had long expressed an interest in facing WBO belt holder Terence Crawford. However, talks broke down as Arum refused to acquiesce to Thurman’s financial demands.
Words such as “cheap,” and “a piece of shit,” were at the top of Thurman’s list in terms of how he felt about the long time promoter.
After taking the time to listen to what Thurman had to say, Arum is puzzled as to why he is the target of his derogatory rant.
“I saw that but what the hell is he talking about?” Asked Arum during an interview with IFL TV. “I’m being cheap? I’ve been in this boxing business for many years. There were fighters that always said promoters like myself and particularly (Don) King, that if there was a pie, that we were getting this percentage and that we should get a smaller percentage.
“That was one thing, that was legitimate. As a promoter are we taking too big a share of the pie? That makes sense but what doesn’t make sense is to say to a promoter that we know that it’s a pandemic and we know that there’s a limited amount of money but go into your own pocket and pay me what I want to get paid. For Christ’s sake, there has to be some kind of business element. Don’t tell me I got to go in my pocket for millions of dollars to make the fight happen. Why? What’s the reason for that? It makes no sense.”
For Thurman, his argument surrounding the need to get paid more money stems from Crawford’s level of opposition. As of late, the pound for pound star has received a ton of criticism for the lack of well known and established fighters on his resume. Despite Thurman’s recent defeat against Manny Pacquiao and his penchant for sitting on the sidelines due to injuries, no one questions the credentials of the former unified welterweight titlist.
In the mind of Arum however, he isn’t keen on losing money during the midst of a pandemic. As for the matchup itself, the 88-year-old promoter believes it’s a terrific one. But he doesn’t plan on shelling out the money in order to make it happen. Instead, he has offered another idea to make their bout come to fruition.
“I would tell Thurman have somebody else promote the fight and let them lose money. I promise I’ll buy a ringside seat to watch the fight.”
Bob Arum On How Much He’s Willing To Pay Shawn Porter In Possible Terence Crawford Clash: “I’m Not Guaranteeing More Than A Million Dollars, I’m Just Not”
By: Hans Themistode
Regardless of how much Shawn Porter believes he should be paid to face WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford, promoter Bob Arum refuses to open his wallet anymore than he has to.
For the former two-time welterweight titlist, Porter currently finds himself in an ideal situation. At the moment, the Ohio native occupies the number one spot in both the WBC and WBO sanctioning bodies, as well as the number two ranking in the IBF.
With a wide variety of championship bouts at his disposal, Porter expressed a desire to take on WBO belt holder Terence Crawford. However, with Arum offering Porter only one million dollars for his services, the former champions balked at the offer, claiming that it was somewhat of a slap in the face. To Arum, on the other hand, he simply doesn’t understand how Porter, or anyone for that matter, could scoff at the possibility of pocketing a cool million dollars.
“I read someplace that he felt that I insulted him by only offering him a million dollars,” said Arum during a recent interview with Barbershop Conversations. “I’m old fashion, I don’t know why a million dollars would be an insult to anybody.”
For the 33-year-old Porter, there’s a reason why he feels offended by what he believes is a paltry offer from Arum. Not only is the Las Vegas, resident a multiple-time belt holder, but he also managed to rake in over 300,000 pay-per-view buys in his September unification bout against unified champion Errol Spence Jr. in 2019.
When juxtaposing resumes to previous Crawford opponents, Porter believes he is of a much higher stature. In Crawford’s most recent appearance in the ring, the WBO belt holder made quick work of British product Kell Brook with a fourth-round stoppage victory. While Brook was once a former champion in his own right, at the age of 34, his best days are seemingly behind him.
Although his time in the ring against Crawford was a short one, Brook was reportedly paid two million dollars for his efforts, making Arum’s one million dollar offer to Porter an even bigger insult according to the rugged contender.
Still, even with Porter viewed as the most accomplished and dangerous opponent Crawford has ever faced, Arum has drawn a line in the sand.
“He should work a deal with me on upside. I’m not guaranteeing more than a million dollars, I’m just not, not in these times.”
Bob Arum: “Tyson Fury Has Said To Me That Not Today, Not Tomorrow And Not Ever Will He Fight Wilder After What Wilder Said To Him”
By: Hans Themistode
Former WBC heavyweight belt holder Deontay Wilder is still working behind the scenes as he attempts to get Tyson Fury into the ring for a third time. After settling for a controversial draw in their first showdown in December of 2018, Fury closed the door definitively on their rivalry with a seventh-round knockout win in February of 2020.
Since then, Wilder has attempted to enforce a mandated third contest between them. However, due to lingering injuries as well as a worldwide pandemic, their trilogy has been pushed back on several occasions. Now, according to promoter Bob Arum and team Fury, the time has run out as their contract has reportedly expired.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the former long time titleholder from pursuing one final showdown. At the moment, both men are entangled in mediations over the possibility of a third contest. Despite both parties sitting down to hash things out, Wilder has apparently placed his foot in his mouth.
Several months ago, the Alabama native released a seething rant that pointed the finger directly at Fury. Claiming that the Gypsy product cheated during their second matchup. With time to dissect exactly what Wilder accused him of, Fury has decided that he will never share the ring with him again. No matter the circumstances.
“There was mediation over Christmas and New Years,” said promoter Bob Arum during a recent interview with Barbershop Conversations. “I don’t know, maybe the mediator will be able to solve the situation but we have a real problem. Tyson Fury has said to me and the mediator that not today, not tomorrow and not ever will he ever fight Wilder after what Wilder said to him. He regards it as a slur not only against him but against the Gypsy nation.”
While Fury is completely uninterested in sharing the ring with Wilder again, he feels the complete opposite about current unified heavyweight titlist, Anthony Joshua. With the two British stars in possession of every single heavyweight world title, the pair are locked in intense negotiations to determine who will become the first undisputed heavyweight belt holder since Lennox Lewis accomplished the feat in 1999.
For Wilder, the surly knockout artist refuses to be left in the cold. But while he continues to fulminate over why he should be given one more opportunity, Arum believes that the decision is solely up to Fury.
With a two-fight deal against Joshua reportedly nearly complete, Arum is under the impression that an undisputed title fight will be next for his heavyweight star. And whether he likes it or not, Arum is convinced that neither Wilder nor his legal team will be able to stop it.
“The idea of anybody stopping the Fury vs Joshua fight just can’t happen.”
Bob Arum: “I Don’t Know What PBC Is Doing, They’ve Done So Many Pay-Per-View Events Which Have Largely Been unsuccessful”
By: Hans Themistode
Things have changed in the sport of boxing ever since COVID-19 has wrapped its disease-ridden arms around it. Not only are events held with a meager amount of spectators or in some cases, inside of an entirely empty arena, from a financial standpoint, the deadly disease has forced several notable boxers to take a significant pay cut.
While promoters such as Bob Arum have paid his stable of fighters wealthy sums, in many instances, prominent names such as Teofimo Lopez have balked at the numbers floated in their direction.
Arum, 89, has continued to carefully count his money before dispensing it. Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on the other hand, has had no such issues as none of their fighters have been asked to take a reduction in pay.
Even with a worldwide pandemic taking place, PBC has pushed many of its bigger events to the Pay-Per-View side of things. Yet, with the numbers that they have continued to churn out, Arum simply can’t understand why they continue to dig their hands into the pockets of fans.
“I don’t know what PBC is doing,” said Arum during a recent interview with Barbershop Conversations. “They’ve done so many of these Pay-Per-View events which have largely been unsuccessful. It must be costing a ton of money. Whether it’s the Charlo brothers or even Tank Davis who’s a big talent. His fight with Cruz was a good fight but not a Pay-Per-View fight. Not for the price they were charging.
“People have to realize where we’re at economically in this country. You’re not going to get the public to shell out big bucks in this climate. Unless it’s something so overwhelming that they decide to do it.”
In totality, PBC has put together three Pay-Per-View events. A twin doubleheader on September 26th, featuring unified 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo and his twin brother WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo. The final numbers for their showing were reportedly between 100,000 to 120,000 buys. Another event, which took place on October 31st between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz reportedly pulled in 200,000 to 225,000 buys. Their final Pay-Per-View event of the year took place just a few weeks ago featured Errol Spence Jr.
According to Arum, what qualifies as something “overwhelming,” would be the long-awaited showdown between the previously mentioned unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBO belt holder Terence Crawford. Despite Spence Jr. reeling in roughly 250,000 Pay-Per-View buys for his one-sided victory against Danny Garcia on December 5th, Arum is under the belief that a matchup between the two undefeated 147-pound titlist would bring in much higher numbers.
“Listen, if Crawford doesn’t fight Spence and Spence doesn’t fight Crawford everybody is fooling themselves. If you want to do a big Pay-Per-View event then you got to put Crawford and Spence together.”
For as critical as Arum has been to Spence Jr. and his ability to draw, Crawford has struggled even more. In a 2016 July Pay-Per-View headlined by Crawford and Viktor Postol, the Nebraska native reportedly pulled in somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 buys. Three years later, Crawford would headline his own Pay-Per-View again, this time against Amir Khan. Crawford’s number would increase to 150,000 but when juxtaposed to the figures of Spence Jr., the difference is glaring.
Spence Jr.’s 250,000 Pay-Per-View buys represent his worse since he appeared on the platform. In back to back fights against Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter respectively, Spence Jr. pulled in roughly 350,000 buys apiece.
Regardless of his success however, Arum is convinced that only a Crawford vs Spence showdown would drive up Pay-Per-View sales and fatten both of their bank accounts.
“Who is Spence going to make money with if not Crawford? Manny Pacquiao isn’t going to fight either one of them now. He’s waiting to fight Conor McGregor after McGregor does the UFC fight. Now you can’t blame Pacquiao for that because Conor McGregor is just a good money grab.”
Bob Arum: “Shakur Stevenson Mark My Words Will Eventually Be The Face Of Boxing”
By: Hans Themistode
At this moment, very few will argue that Canelo Alvarez is the face of boxing. That may be good and well, however, his name at the top of virtually every pound for pound list and billboard across the world will soon be replaced according to promoter Bob Arum.
“Shakur Stevenson mark my words will eventually be the face of boxing,” said Arum during an interview with IFL TV.
Ever since making his pro debut in 2017, Arum hasn’t stopped gushing over the former 2016 Olympic silver medalist. The normal slow pace of a prospect was immediately sped up as Stevenson won his first world title in his second year and 13th fight. Now, just one year later, Stevenson is attempting to reel in his second title in just as many weight classes.
Landing a punch on the 23-year-old has become nearly impossible as his defensive abilities are always on display. During his short, yet successful career, Stevenson has been compared to some of the best to ever step foot inside of a ring such as Floyd Mayweather.
Having spent numerous years working with Mayweather, Arum understands the comparisons but he also believes Stevenson is beyond even the newly inducted hall of famer.
“He is a tremendous talent. At this stage in his career he’s better even than Floyd Mayweather was at the same stage and we promoted Floyd for ten and a half years.”
While Stevenson has continued to put in the work in the gym, those who he has surrounded himself with have helped mold him into who he is today. Arum in turn, has taken notice of his supporting cast and has heaped praise upon every single one them.
“I’m really thrilled with Shakur, I like the people around him. The trainer, his grandfather, the manager. Everyone is working together to make Shakur the superstar that he will be.”
Bob Arum Unimpressed With Anthony Joshua’s Stoppage Win Over Kubrat Pulev: “He Was A Little Better Than Ordinary”
By: Hans Themistode
A crowd of one thousand fans stood on their feet and cheered as unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua placed the finishing touches on IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. After dropping his man twice in the third, Joshua closed the show in the ninth round at Wembley Arena.
Amongst the cheering fans who were thrilled with his performance was future hall of famer Floyd Mayweather Jr. As the two embraced afterward, Mayweather appeared to be congratulating him on his performance. But while Mayweather and the crowd tipped their cap to Joshua, promoter Bob Arum sat stone-faced in his palatial estate, unimpressed.
“No, goodness no,” said Arum immediately following Joshua’s victory when asked if he was impressed. “He was tentative and didn’t really show the ability to get away from a punch. He was a little better than ordinary. That’s the truth, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. He didn’t appear to pose any kind of problem for Tyson Fury.”
For months now, Arum claimed that Joshua would end up flat on his back when the two met in the ring. Arum’s assumptions, by and large, were true, just for the wrong fighter. Joshua pummeled Pulev and quickly ended any dreams of the 39-year-old becoming a world champion. His performance though, was mediocre at best according to Arum. The fact of the matter is, it wasn’t what Joshua did do, but more so what Pulev didn’t.
“Well, Joshua was clearly the better man. Kubrat couldn’t pull the trigger. He landed a couple of good shots but he couldn’t follow up and Joshua got him out of there. But I don’t think it was a particularly stellar performance by Anthony Joshua but it was good enough to get the win by stoppage.”
Joshua’s win, while heavily picked apart by Arum, did place a smile on the 89-year-old promoter’s face. The victory served as the final hurdle before an all-British heavyweight showdown between Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury.
With the 39-year-old Pulev now out of the way, Joshua has effectively cleaned up his side of the street. As for Fury, he appeared to be entrenched in a messy legal battle with former WBC titlist Deontay Wilder. The two fought to a split draw in 2018 before Fury laid out the surly big man earlier this year. Fury was contractually bound to Wilder for a third contest, something that the former belt holder enacted immediately. However, due to numerous postponements for various reasons, their contract has reportedly expired.
Despite that, it hasn’t stopped Wilder from attempting to secure their trilogy. His attempt to legally enforce anything regarded Fury however, is extraneous.
“The contract has run out. It’s clear that it expired sometime in October.”
Deals for fights of this magnitude tend to linger and protract for long periods of time. In this case, Arum is expecting a quick and easy negotiation. The long time promoter has already scheduled a phone call with fellow promoter Eddie Hearn and has put together the framework of what would be a two-fight deal.
“I think we talk on Monday. It would be a 50/50 deal. The first fight is 50/50 and then the winner on the second fight gets 60%.”
Bob Arum: “I Don’t Give A Shit If Team Crawford Got Mad At Me”
By: Hans Themistode
Bob Arum was all smiles when his WBO welterweight star Terence Crawford scored a fourth round knockout win over former belt holder Kell Brook this past weekend. Yet, Arum was apparently fuming behind the scenes.
Crawford, 34, has never been loquacious. The soft-spoken Nebraska native has always been content with letting his hands do the talking for him. So it came as no surprise that he didn’t go on an adamant rant over who he would like to face next. Crawford simply stated that he would like to resume talks to face Manny Pacquiao while also reiterating that if a fight with unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. did not come to fruition, then he would have no problem with it.
Arum now, is sick and tired of being the mouthpiece for his fighter, and he’s tired of watching his bank account dwindle away because of his lack of star power.
“He’s got to promote like (unified lightweight champion Teofimo) Lopez does,” said Arum following Crawford’s victory. “He’s got to promote like (former featherweight champion) Shakur (Stevenson) does. Like (Floyd) Mayweather did. Like (Manny) Pacquiao did. If he doesn’t, then who the fuck needs him? He may be the greatest fighter in the world, but, hey, I ain’t going bankrupt promoting him.”
The words of Arum weren’t taken too well by team Crawford and his star has since fired back.
“If he feels that way then he can release me now,” said Crawford on the Ak and Barak show. “If he feels like I’m not an asset to his company then he can release me now.”
The hurt feelings and sideway glances coming from both parties is something that Arum could care less about. Business is business and the 88-year-old doesn’t believe he did or said anything wrong.
“I don’t give a shit if team Crawford got mad at me,” said Arum to The Athletic. “This business is not about getting mad. This business is about facts and the reality of the situation. What’d I say that was wrong? I’ll show him how much we’ve lost on his fights.”
For years now, Crawford has asked to face some of the bigger names in the welterweight division including Manny Pacquiao, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and of course, Errol Spence Jr. Crawford though, has settled for the likes of Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez and most recently, Kell Brook.
More than any of those matchups, fans have been begging for a showdown between Spence Jr. and Crawford. Yet, with the unified titlist currently associated with Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon, the road to their contest has been an arduous one. With that being said, Arum is still willing to put up a significant amount of money in order to make the contest happen. And although he has always believed that Crawford is the best fighter in the world, if his promotional rival in Al Haymon decided to snatch Crawford away from it, then he would have absolutely no problem with that.
“If we did this fight with Spence and put our money in for half of the risk, and Crawford wins and Haymon wants to sign him be my guest for Christ’s sake! I don’t have to make a lot of money with him on this (Spence fight). I know I’ll break even or make a couple dollars. In other words, I am not going to go in my pocket anymore for Terence Crawford. I’m no longer in the business of losing money on Terence Crawford.”
Terence Crawford: “I want Pacquiao, Everything was already 95 percent done”
By: Hans Themistode
WBO welterweight star Terence Crawford has never been one to call out fighters. He’s simply been content with fighting the best out there no matter who it is. Yet, following a fourth round win over former welterweight belt holder Kell Brook, Crawford kept his answer short and sweet when asked who he wants to go after next.
“I want Pacquiao,” said Crawford following his victory.
Crawford, 33, has been linked to a possible showdown with Pacquiao for years now. But most of the boxing world has pushed for him to face off with unified champion Errol Spence Jr. While a matchup with the aforementioned Spence Jr. is something that he would take in a heartbeat, Pacquiao (62-7, 39 KOs) is at the top of his list.
“Yeah, of course,” said Crawford when asked if he wants to face Pacquiao more than Spence Jr. “I want Pacquiao.”
Facing off with the 41-year-old WBA welterweight titlist was apparently just within the former three division champions reach. Just before COVID-19 made its unwanted presence felt, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) revealed that both his team and team Pacquiao were on the verge of finalizing a deal for a contest that would take place in the Middle East this year. However, with such a big event, the mere thought of having it inside of an empty arena was unsatisfactory which led to the deal falling apart.
Unfortunately for Crawford, COVID-19 is not only still running rampant, but thriving. Spikes in various parts of the world have been reported as there doesn’t appear to be a reprieve in sight. Still, if there is any possibility at all to return back to the negotiating table, Crawford is all in.
“I want to revisit that fight,” explained Crawford. “It’s a fight that should have happened right now but because of the pandemic, they weren’t going to allow fans in the middle eastern so we had to put a halt to that. Everything was already 95 percent done. We had the venue and the money was almost there but not quite there. That was the only thing we were waiting on but the only thing that messed up the fight was the fans.”
For years now, several notable names have expressed a concern in a possible matchup between the two. The soon to be 42 year old Pacquiao has been boxing for a quarter century. Former promoter of Pacquiao and the current promoter of Crawford were amongst those waving the stop sign in front of a possible matchup between the pair.
“He doesn’t want to fight Crawford,” said Arum to FightHype during an interview last year. “He didn’t want to fight Crawford when I was promoting him. There’s no disgrace in Pacquiao not fighting Crawford. Pacquiao is not competitive with Crawford. He’s a great fighter still, but he’s not competitive.”
Despite his trepidation for Pacquiao, Arum seemed more willing to help push that fight over the finish line as recently as this year. For Crawford, he doesn’t view Pacquiao as someone who would avoid him. With 25 years as a professional boxer coupled with eight division world titles, the future first ballot hall of famer has never shied away from a challenge. Even at the age of 41, Pacquiao has shown that there is still plenty left in the tank.
“Manny is a true champion. He’s never shied away from any challenge at any time. He’s fighting young lions and beat two of them in Broner and Keith Thurman.”
Bob Arum: “Spence And Garcia Are Fighting December 5th, Terence Crawford Beats Both Of Them The Same Night”
By: Hans Themistode
Unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and former two division world titlist Danny Garcia are currently hard at work as they prepare for their December 5th clash. Yet, no matter how hard they work on their craft, according to promoter Bob Arum, neither of them will ever be able to compete with WBO belt holder Terence Crawford.
After witnessing his welterweight star adjust to a game Kell Brook in the early goings last night, before dropping and stopping him in the fourth round of their ESPN main event, Arum’s belief in Crawford has skyrocketed. So much so that even if the 88-year-old promoter stacked the deck against his man, he still doesn’t see him losing.
“Let me tell you something and I mean this,” said Arum following Crawford’s victory. “Spence and Garcia are fighting December 5th. If they really want to make a big Pay-Per-View, I’ll put Terence Crawford in with both of them one at a time and he’d beat both of them the same night. He is far and away the best welterweight in the world.”
Since making the move to 147 pounds in mid 2018, the 33-year-old Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) has proven that size is no issue at all, having stopped every welterweight he has faced thus far. When discussing Crawford’s ability, Arum gushes over his smooth transition from southpaw to orthodox, his ring IQ, speed and of course–power.
The combination of skill and grit not only makes Crawford the best fighter in the welterweight division in Arum’s book, but the long time promoter is also under the impression that his skillset would match up with anyone’s across boxing history.
“He goes back to the great welterweights like Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns. He would be competitive with them. The welterweights around now are not competitive with Terence Crawford.”
Bob Arum Responds To Deontay Wilder’s Cheating Claim: “He’s Mimicking Donald Trump, In Other Words, He’s Lying”
By: Hans Themistode
Since suffering a brutal loss in his last ring appearance at the hands of Tyson Fury, the normally loquacious Deontay Wilder had been uncharacteristically quiet.
That however, changed when the former WBC heavyweight titlist dropped a bombshell on the boxing world. During a video that was posted on Wilder’s social media accounts, the Alabama native stood before a camera in a dark room and began castigating Fury, his former co trainer Mark Breland and referee Kenny Bayless.
On the night in question, Wilder was thoroughly beaten down by Fury. He found himself on the canvas on several occasions which ultimately led to his stoppage defeat in the seventh round. After hearing Wilder’s claims, 88 year old Bob Arum believes that it’s absolutely bull shit from top to bottom.
“We haven’t heard a lot from Wilder so he’s been watching television. All I can say about his Instagram post is that he’s mimicking Donald Trump. In other words, he’s lying and come up with conspiracy theories, other than putting the blame on yourself.”
Arum, of course, had first row seats to witness his British heavyweight titlist dish out the beating of a lifetime to Wilder on February 22nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. At no point did Wilder appear to be fully in the contest. Fury came out aggressive in the opening rounds. The results came in the form of two knockdowns in the third and fifth rounds. As Wilder’s team sat back and watched their man take big shot after big shot, assistant trainer and former welterweight champion Mark Breland couldn’t stomach it any longer and threw in the white towel.
Noticing his defeat enraged Wilder to no end and the Alabama product finally split ways with him due to his decision. Arum seemed to take extreme offense to Wilder when he began bad mouthing both his now ex trainer and the referee in charge.
Instead of admonishing them, Arum believes the former champ should be singing their praises.
“For him to castigate Kenny Bayless the referee and Mark Breland, his chief cornerman is disgraceful,” said Arum during an interview with IFL TV. “They acted properly and saved Wilder’s life. He was completely out of it and was getting thrashed by Tyson Fury.”
Other than pointing a blaming finger in the direction of his corner, Wilder turned his attention to Fury. The surly knockout artist ranted on about the damage in which he was able to inflict which included the swelling of his face and perforating his eardrums. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) showed numerous videos which he believes proves that Fury did in fact have an illegal object on the inside of his gloves.
An already irritated Arum shook his head at those claims as well.
“To talk about the gloves the way he did was disgraceful. You have to understand the situation with the gloves in the state of Nevada where the fight took place. The day before the fight at the weigh-ins the gloves are presented to the commission who inspects the gloves.
“Each side then examines the gloves and each fighter picks a pair of gloves that they are going to use in the fight. They also choose a second pair in case something happens to the gloves in the fight that they can use. Then the gloves are secured by the commission and they are kept in a safe place so that no one can tamper with them. On the night of the fight, a commission brings the gloves that each fighter has signed their names on to the respective fighter who has already put on their approved hand wraps. Then, the gloves are put on in the presence of the inspector who bought the gloves and the inspector who is assigned to the room. Nobody, nobody can tamper with the gloves.”
While the long time promoter, continues to fire back at every single one of Wilder’s claims, he believes the recently turned 35 year old simply can’t come to grips with how badly he was beaten on the night.
“What he has done is taken something out of a movie,” explained Arum. “That probably used to happen maybe in the 30s and 40s and he’s using that as a conspiracy to explain how he got so decisively beaten by Tyson Fury. What Wilder said is a sham. It’s a Donald Trump kind of sham.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko On Teofimo Lopez: “I Want To Really Beat Him Badly, They Act Like They’re A Big Superstar, But They’re Not”
By: Hans Themistode
He’s been called a bitch, a piece of shit and every other derogatory word in the English dictionary. Yet, throughout every single curse word that has been thrown his way, unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko has managed to remain calm.
His opponent in IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez has made his disdain for the Ukrainian as clear as possible. In a recent interview with ESPN, the Brooklyn native was asked how he feels about his dance partner this upcoming weekend. Words at this point were of no use to Lopez, so instead, the pugnacious knockout artist spat on the floor as a description for his opponent.
For Lomachenko, trash talking has never been his style. Opponents have attempted to draw out a reaction from the 32 year old, only to be greeted by a smiling face with his hands behind his back.
Lomachenko has always viewed his matchup with Lopez as just another business venture and checkmark on his road to becoming undisputed. With that being said, the multiple division champion wants to do some serious damage to his opponent.
“I want to beat him very badly, very, very badly,” said Lomachenko to The Ring magazine. “I want to really beat him badly. (Lopez’s father) thinks (Lopez is) a big superstar like Tyson Fury. That’s why they do the trash talk. They act like they’re a big superstar, but they’re not.”
The sport of boxing has seen opponents dish out a beating of a lifetime to one another and not feel any ill-will afterward. The build up of animosity brings in a proliferation of viewers and fattens the wallets of everyone involved.
But when it comes to Lomachenko’s true feelings towards his opponent, absolutely nothing is manufactured.
“What do you think? Of course I don’t like them. They’ve been talking bad things about me which is not real things, not reality. So, of course, I’m going to not like them because they’re talking too much about me.”
Although Lomachenko hasn’t appeared to be rattled, he has been visibly irritated by the nonstop smack talk that is taking place from both his opponent and his father. Regardless of that, promoter Bob Arum has been up close and personal during the Ukrainian products closed door training camp and came away believing he’s as locked in as ever.
“Nobody has trash talked him before,” said Arum. “You look at all the other opponents, they were guys who were confident, not confident, guys who were respectful and this is the first opponent that he’s had who has done the trash talking, so he wouldn’t be normal if he didn’t react. But let me tell you something – I visited him (recently in camp). I spent quite some time with him, watched him train. I mean he is dedicated. He is serious. I mean, he is a machine. But, again, I would have said that about all of his fights. Lopez has been trash talking, so this is something that hasn’t been done to Lomachenko, so obviously, there’s a reaction. He’s just responding to the trash talk.”
Bob Arum On Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua: “We’re All Set With That”
By: Hans Themistode
Tyson Fury had his list of fighters all lined up. Later on this year the current WBC and Ring magazine heavyweight belt holder would have his trilogy fight with former titlist Deontay Wilder, and should he win, would move on to a mega showdown with unified champion Anthony Joshua.
Yet, with Wilder’s team reportedly playing around with the date, Fury has decided to move on all together. Since Wilder’s mandated rematch clause expired, Fury is free to do whatever he wants.
At the moment, the British native is tired of coming halfway across the world in order to fight. So instead, he has chosen to have a homecoming bout in the United Kingdom on December 5th. His opponent hasn’t yet been finalized, but promoter Bob Arum is currently digging through a list of top contenders.
“Well it has to be a fighter rated in the top 15 of the WBC,” said Arum to Boxing Social. “We’ve examined the list and there are maybe five fighters that would be available and would make good fights. Hopefully this week we’ll be able to select a fighter from the available fighters.”
According to Boxing Social, although nothing is official as of yet, the list of names that Arum is currently sifting through includes Oscar Rivas, Agit Kabayel, Charles Martin, Michael Hunter and Efe Ajagba.
Whoever is chosen from that crop of heavyweights will be viewed as a prohibited underdog against Fury on December 5th. With so much on the line, most notably a mega showdown with fellow unified champion Anthony Joshua, Fury can’t afford to slip up now.
In terms of hammering out a deal between both sides, a few things have to take place beforehand.
For starters, as previously mentioned, Fury must get past his December 5th opponent. One week after he makes his title defense, Joshua, ironically enough, will defend his titles on December 12th. His opponent on the night will be former title challenger Kubrat Pulev who is currently riding an eight fight win streak.
Should an upset occur in either of their precursor contests, then their matchup will go by the wayside. However, both fighters are expected to walk through their respective opponents and meet sometime in the Spring of 2021.
Long negotiations and dragged out demands won’t be an issue between the sides. Arum believes the finish line is in sight. Both champions simply need to take care of business in the month of December.
“We’re all set with that. It’s a 50/50 deal, we’ll iron out details. Let the two guys have their fights in December. Tyson against whomever he fights on December 5th and Joshua against Pulev on December 12th. They both win and within three hours we can finalize any details that are outstanding. It’s not outstanding.”