Exclusive Interview: The Bobfather

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: The Bobfather

GL: What's the latest and greatest Bobfather? Can you give us some final thoughts on 2007 and tell us what we can look forward to in 2008? "I'm on my way to Mexico for a vacation right now. We had a very good year in 07, a lot of good victories and we're looking forward to reaping the fruit of that in 08."

GL: In your opinion who should be fighter of the year 2007?

Bob Arum: "Well, we have no opinion. I think the two leading candidates are Pavlik and Cotto and there's intriguing arguements on both sides."

GL: Would it be a travesty if Floyd Mayweather Jr won fighter of the year?

BA: "It woudn't be a travesy, but I don't think he's deserving though. But it wouldn't be a travesty and illogical for somebody to vote for him."

GL: What will be next for Cotto?

BA: "Cotto will be fighting in April and then again in early July. Probably for waiting around we've blown the June date at the Garden before the Puerto Rican Day Parade. We're looking at the possibility of doing Pavlik and Duddy at the Garden on that date with a Puerto Rican undercard."

GL: Obviously Pavlik would have to take care of business against Jermain first correct?

BA: "The answer is yes, but not necessarily because remember his middleweight title is not up for grabs. But yeah, to make it a really big fight he's got to beat Taylor sure."

GL: Pavlik-Taylor II is obviously your first big fight of 2008 on February 16 and then you're moving forward in March with the Pacquiao-Marquez rematch. Give us some thoughts on those two huge cards.

BA: "And don't forget we're going to be doing a PPV from Mexico with Julio Jr against Jose Celaya. Jorge Arce will be on the card and it'll be an all star card."

GL: I recently broke the news that Luevano will be defending against Terdsak on the undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez II, can you confirm that and let us know what else to expect on March 15?

BA: "It's a very good fight for the March 15 undercard and I know that Lou DiBella has an excellent fight with Christian Mijares and Jose Navarro on the undercard of Pavlik and Taylor. We're making a terrific fight I think with Montiel against Martin Castillo."

GL: How do you feel about DiBella signing Mijares?

BA: "I think it was a good move. I would have signed Mijares, but I can't deal with his manager. I like him, but he drives me crazy. He's a nice guy, but he drives me nuts. That's the truth. He drove me up the wall, I just couldn't take it. There's nothing wrong with the guy, he just presses the wrong button."

GL: How do you feel about the Pavlik-Taylor fight being a PPV?

BA: "I would have preferred it was on regular HBO, but it wasn't my call. But we got ourselves into a position where we gave them this option for the immediate rematch and they exercised this option, which they didn't have to do, but they did. Then we decided to go on PPV. I think it'll do ok on PPV, but I'm not happy about the fight being over the weight. The kid is a middleweight, I think it gives my guy an advantage with the fight being over the weight it's just that...

GL: (cutting in)  Not having the fight take place for the middleweight championship of the world takes some luster off of it.

BA:: "I think people just don't have any kind of feel for the historic nature of the sport. When Machiavelli is calling the shots these things happen."

GL: The Bobfather! Never a dull moment. Obviously Pavlik-Duddy wouldn't be PPV.

BA: "No that would be HBO."

GL: What else do you have in store for us?

BA: "My goal is for my three big horses to fight three time each in 2008. That will be 9 shows. And then the guys coming up like Mike Ortiz, Alvarado, Torres, Arce, Little Chavez, they'll fill in and we've got a lot of guys to keep us busy if we're able to get those nine fights in. Chavez will fight at least three times, so that's twelve shows. Chavez might fight four times, that's a lot of shows."

GL: Not bad for an old man.

BA: "With Telefutura, with Versus, we're going to be giving the fans a lot of action, we're on track to give the fans 60 shows next year."

GL: Closing thoughts?

BA: "I think 07 was a good year for everybody in boxing. I think 08 should be a very, very good year. I think if I had my druthers there would be more networks doing boxing on the level of HBO and Showtime so we'd have fewer PPV shows. I'm not happy with having to put Chavez Jr on PPV everytime he's on because even though we do relatively well it's a very small audience. What other option do I have though? HBO has a certain number of spots and after you take the Gary Shaw spots away from Showtime there's next to nothing, so how can you give guys fights and compensate them unless you do it on PPV? The fights don't belong on PPV and I'm the first to admit it, but what are you going to do? We're in a real box without an ABC, CBS or ESPN paying real money. We put guys on PPV shows that shouldn't be PPV shows because it's the only way to do it."


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