Fresh off of his vacation in the South of France, an energized Bob Arum was excited and eager to discuss the future.
The 79-year-old Top Rank CEO addressed a number of topics with RingTV.com on Thursday, including these fights: Kelly Pavlik-Darryl Cunningham on Aug. 6 in Youngstown, Ohio; Yuriorkis Gamboa-Daniel Ponce De Leon on Sept. 10 in Atlantic City, N.J.; Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas; and Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II on Dec. 3 in New York.
Arum also talked about his plans for WBO and WBC bantamweight titlist Nonito Donaire, WBA lightweight beltholder Brandon Rios, unbeaten welterweight Mike Jones and Pavlik, who could face IBF titleholder Lucian Bute in a lucrative bout.
Arum also talked about the possibilitiy of an all-Mexican clash in 2012 between WBC junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and WBC middleweight counterpart Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
And, finally, he discussed the free agent status of former junior welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander and the role of rival networks, HBO and Showtime, in his future plans.
Arum on Pavlik-Bute: "(Top Rank Vice President) Carl (Moretti) and (Top Rank President) Todd (duBoef) are working with Bute's promoter, and they've pretty well worked out a deal. Now, we have to finalize that with Kelly Pavlik. So we have a deal with Bute's promoter for a Pavlik fight, now we have to go to Pavlik and discuss that deal and determine what Pavlik's share and our share of the revenue will be. If he wins (on Aug. 6), the fight will be on Nov. 5. It would be in Canada.
With all due respect, they do huge, huge gates in Canada. The Canadian dollar is as strong now as the American dollar. There is no place in the United States where the gates would be comparable.
On whether HBO or Showtime will televise Pacquiao-Marquez: "I will say that we have not decided on that yet. But we do have both proposals, and we'll definitely choose one next week. I'll be in the New York City [where HBO and Showtime have offices] on Monday."
On the potential for Alvarez-Chavez in Mexico: "Richard mentioned that about three weeks ago before he was going to go on vacation, and then, I went on vacation. We agreed that we would talk about it when I got back. So yeah, that would be a tremendous fight, particularly in Mexico. I think that certainly it's something that we
No discussion yet, but one guy fights at 154, and the other guy fights at 160. Maybe we find a catch weight, maybe they fight at 160. Julio can't go down to 154, he's too big. But we'll work it out. Those kinds of things can be worked out.
On the Pacquiao-Marquez promotion: "I was on the phone with officials in the Philippines last night, and they're getting set for the monster rally there on Saturday, Sept. 3. We're very, very excited about that rally as well as for the ones in Mexico, New York and Los Angeles. It's going to be very exciting."
On Donaire: "Nonito's situation, hopefully, will be resolved early next week when we have these meetings. But we want Nonito to fight in October, because he is planning to have a religious wedding in November. So we want to get this fight in before that date. There are a slew of fighters for him. I think that a logical opponent would be the winner of the Showtime tournament, either Abner Mares or Joseph Agbeko. There's also the 122 pounders, with Jorge Arce. That's a possibility. There's a whole lot out there for this kid.
He's very, very confident and he feels that he can fight anybody up through 126. But we're not going to rush him to 126. We'll fight him at 118, and then, 122. The 126-pounders will be there. But I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up fighting as a lightweight eventually."
On Rios' next defense: "We're going to talk to both networks to see if they have a date available for him. If not, we're going to probably put him on the Pacquiao-Marquez card on Nov. 12. We're going to talk to his manager, Cameron (Dunkin) and (trainer) Robert Garcia, and then we'll decide. There are a lot of guys who are lining up to fight him."
On Gamboa: "Gamboa is fighting on Sept. 10 in Atlantic City. After that, we're planning on having him fight at the Garden [Cotto-Margarito under card] on Sept. 3."
On Jones: "Mike Jones will be on the Gamboa-Ponce De Leon card."
On Alexander: "Let me say this: Devon Alexander would have a home at Top Rank, provided, No. 1, that he approached us, and, No. 2, that he produced documentation and sent us the documentation that demonstrates that he's a free agent. In other words, as far as I know, all of his fights have been for the promoter, Don King. Now contracts do expire. So if his contract has expired, fine, we'd be happy to sit with him and work out a deal.
But I am not going to go after him now without knowing that. It would be the wrong thing to do. Secondly, it could get us into legal complications. Because the fact that you say he's a free agent doesn't necessarily mean that he's a free agent. So, you can say that we would be very interested in promoting Devon Alexander and having him join us. But that's provided he approaches us and demonstrates to us that he is a free agent so we're OK legally to deal with him.
On the rival networks as they relate to the Donaire, Pacquiao-Marquez and Cotto-Margarito fights: "We're not making who we go with on the Pacquiao fight conditional on anything. In other words, they're all individual fights and events and they all have their own individual merits. So Cotto and Margarito may go to a different network than the network that does Pacqauiao, I don't know. We're going one thing at a time. We're not going to piggy back and give a network something and then make them take an obscure thing as additional compensation. To do that is destructive to boxing. Everything should stand on its own."
On the landmark placement of past Pacquiao and Cotto fights at the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankee stadiums: "Our idea is to keep the sport relevant and current and interesting. Putting it in a building because you have no other place to go with no spectators there is counter-productive."