EXCLUSIVE: Bob Arum eyes restart in three ‘testing’ locations this June
WBN spoke to Bob Arum recently in an attempt to get a handle on when boxing is likely to begin ahead following the coronavirus crisis.
The Top Rank boss, as well as being flummoxed as to how we got in this situation, was optimistic his current plans would work.
Arum is hopeful of opening up in three gym locations across the United States and says his operation will be good to go in a matter of weeks.
“I’ve been on this earth a lot longer than you. I haven’t seen anything like this before,” Arum began in the exclusive interview with World Boxing News.
“In terms of boxing events, I think we are going to be ready to go in June in a secure location. That will come with (COVID-19) testing and everything. Yeah, we are working on it now.
“We are optimistic that Vegas, California as well and Texas will be ready. I’m pretty convinced we will be able to start doing fights in June.”
Asked whether big-name events planned before the lockdown will be able to push through, Arum was not as enthusiastic in his response.
“Now, there we got a lot of problems as there is a travel ban,” he pointed out.
“We would love to do Carl Frampton vs Jamel Herring. But Carl is over in the UK and Herring is in the United States. With the ban in place, how the hell do we get the fight on?
“Lomachenko vs Lopez too, that was another fight. But Lomo went back to Ukraine to be with his family. So how do we do that fight?”
IN-HOUSE BOB ARUM
On where the fighters could come from to participate in the planned shows, Arum concluded: “Well, we share a border with Mexico.
“The question is, those Mexican fighters who have good visas to fight in the US – like Navarette and Berchelt – would we be able to accommodate them in the US?
“I don’t know the answers to a lot of these questions. But right now, we’re figuring out how to do events just with US fighters in a secure location.”
Top Rank has a massive roster of American fighters. Due to logistical reasons, a lot more domestic battles could be on the cards.
Fighters out of California could certainly see action against each other. Likewise Texas. Vegas could then be saved for any standout headliners that make it over the line.
It’s certainly getting closer as the world begins to look into opening up the prolonged quarantine conditions.
Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay