Top Rank To Reportedly Hold Events In June
Looking to get back into the fight game, Top Rank’s Bob Arum has made it clear that his promotion will be resuming activity this summer. The 88-year-old told ESPN that Top Rank, which hasn’t held a major event since late February due to the coronavirus, will host multiple events during various days.
“We are coming back in June,” Arum stated. “These will be shows that will be on ESPN and ESPN+. They will take place during the week and on weekends.”
A few weeks go, Arum spoke with Crystina Poncher about putting on events. He went on to say that with the correct safety measures in place, boxing can make a comeback. Cards could potentially have only four fights on them, and they would be without an audience. Arum made it a point that several events will not have premier fighters on them, but will look to make exciting bouts regardless.
“They’ll all be top fighters, really top fights,” Arum went on to say. “Will there be a [Tyson] Fury-[Deontay] Wilder? No. But they’ll be some of our top fighters, like Jose Ramirez, he’ll be in the mix, various others, Teofimo [Lopez], Shakur [Stevenson], all of them. In other words, the fights will be similar as the fights we’ve been putting on ESPN and ESPN+.”
One of the reasons a fight like Tyson Fury v. Deontay Wilder III wouldn’t take place is the idea of a lack of revenue for a fight like that. The gate is one of the most important factors in boxing, something Arum is hoping to take advantage of. Last February’s rematch between Wilder and Fury generated over 800,000-850,000 PPV buys, and the gate from inside Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena was about $17 million.
As far as where Top Rank will hold events, Arum has expressed interest in the WWE Performance Center in Florida. However, he is hoping that he can return to Las Vegas, a place where Top Rank has held several events. It is unknown how Arum would get that done, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission has still suspended all combat sports from taking place. NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett is staying true to his word.
Governor Steve Sisolak has been looking to reopen Nevada one step at a time, and Arum is hoping that is a good sign for boxing.
“Because of the amount of hotel rooms in Las Vegas and because of the steps taken by the hotels and casinos there to get a clean, sanitary environment that we can rely on — because we know the people — it would be our preference to do the events in Nevada,” Arum stated.
“That doesn’t mean that we might not do some fights in California, which has a good commission. Andy [Foster, the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission] is a terrific guy to work with. And I know somebody like Jose [Ramirez] prefers to do his fight in California, even without an audience.”
Arum is keeping tabs on both Nevada and California, while also communicating with medical experts. If all goes according to plan, Arum’s team could set the standard for boxing’s return.