Top Rank boss Bob Arum is open to pitting the winners of tonight’s two massive super lightweight clashes together in a summer blockbuster but questioned the desire of the New York bout’s managers to do so.
Hard-hitters Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov do battle in what is certain to be a Fight of the Year contender in Verona, whilst ex 135lb champion Terence Crawford and Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme square off for the vacant WBO title at the University of Texas.
Asked this week whether there is a chance both victors could meet later this year, the veteran promoter said the following:
“Provodnikov and Matthysse are excellent fighters and certainly the winner of that fight would be considered against the winner, who we feel is going to be Crawford, would be a natural.
“But would there be a better fight to be made? Would the manager of the winner of Provodnikov-Matthysse want tofight the winner of this fight? Those things need to be decided. In other words, this is not a puppet show. You sit down with the management of the winner of the fight and then it will be decided.
“Let’s just enjoy what we are going to see on Saturday,” he added.
The 140lb division has exploded recently with some massive match-ups due to the willingness of the best fighters to meet each other, coupled with the additions of Adrien Broner, Crawford himself and several other former champions. As WBC and WBA title holder Danny Garcia contemplates a move up to welterweight, all four of tonight’s competitors will fancy their chance of claiming further world titles down the line.
IBF belt holder Lamont Peterson was recently stripped following his loss to Garcia leaving Cesar Cuenca and Ik Yang to negotiate a vacant title scrap.