Arum: Top Rank To Produce Multiple Events In June On ESPN
It appears as if Top Rank will be following the UFC’s lead when it comes to fight nights. Bob Arum told Boxing Scene that there will be three live boxing cards during the second week of June: 6/9, 6/11, and 6/13.
Arum went on to say that he is hoping to hold events in an MGM property in Nevada. This is one of the first times Arum has confirmed the reports that he himself started regarding a June return. ESPN will look to live broadcast the events.
“Todd [duBoef] and Brad [Jacobs] have been on the phone with ESPN, laying out the schedule for June and July,” Arum stated. “What they plan is that probably next week we’ll announce the three events we’re gonna be doing, starting June 9th. We’re gonna do three events that week. And most of the weeks we’ll have two, but some will have three.
“ESPN has asked us not to announce individual events. They wanna announce the events as a weekly package. They’re paying the money. We don’t have any ticket sales to rely on. So, whatever they’re asking, we’re gonna go along with.”
Rumored to be taking place on one of those fight cards will be WBO Featherweight Champion Shakur Stevenson against Rafael Rivera. Other fighters that look to be fighting in June and July include: Jessie Magdaleno and Jose Pedraza, Eleider Alvarez and Oscar Rivas, and WBO Junior-Lightweight Champion Jamel Herring. Top Rank will look to go through safety procedures similar to the UFC in Florida in order to ensure the coronavirus will not affect the promotion’s events.
All of this will be depending on if the Nevada Athletic Commission lifts its bar on combat sports. The commission has not changed its ruling since March. Arum is hopeful that Nevada is the setting, even if Las Vegas is not.
“Right now, they’re all being planned for one place,” Arum went on to say. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how it will end up being, because they may very well get innovative. For example, if we’re in Nevada, maybe they determine that they wanna do an event or two events from a spectacular setting in Nevada, that type of thing. All of the cosmetic parts of this, we have punted to ESPN.”
Top Rank will have to work around the fact that several fighters will not be able to compete due to travel restrictions. Arum has also been adamant about a fight like Deontay Wilder v. Tyson Fury not taking place without fans.
Stay tuned as more fights and information on the fight nights should be revealed soon.