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April 05, 2017

BOB ARUM: LOMACHENKO WILL BE THE NEXT PPV SUPERSTAR IN BOXING
By G. Leon

"Shakur Stevenson is the next Sugar Ray Leonard!"

GL: What's up Bob? Busy day for you I imagine. Yes, we just left the Ukranian embassy a little while ago and now we're back at the hotel eating dinner. It turns out that we're staying at the same hotel that Donald Trump has somehow found his way to. This is going to be an tremendous event, it's really historic. It's the first time, as I explained to the ambassador, it's the first time in the history of American television that three Ukranian fighters are going to be televised in a nation wide fight. You know how I feel about Lomachenko, I think he's not only going to be the next big pound for pound star, but the next big superstar in the sport.

GL: It's funny because I spoke with Lomachenko last night and I asked him about becoming the next PPV star, the transcendent fighter in boxing and he said that he's not interested in that. He said that he is only interested in being pound for pound number one, and having history remember him as one of the greats. Do you think that if he continues to perform the way he has been that he's going to organically become the PPV star anyway?

Bob Arum: "You're absolutely right, I couldn't have said it better myself."

GL: This is a very busy time for Top Rank young man. After the card this weekend, you've got Shakur and the three amigos on April 22, the Crawford-Diaz fight at the Garden, Verdejo in June and Pacquiao in July. It's got to be a fun time for you.

BA: "Well it requires a young guy like myself to orchestrate this, there's a lot of stuff going on with a lot of great fighters. You forgot May 6 where we have Joseph Parker, who we co-promote, fighting Fury in New Zealand. It's a great time."

GL: The Manny Pacquiao fight seems to have come full circule. It was looking like Brisbane and Horn until there was an UAE Amir Khan detour and now you're right back to where you started. How did that all transpire?

BA: "Because when you're driving a bus you don't get sideways with obstacles."

GL: Would you have liked to see Manny in a more marquee fight?

BA: "This is the marquee fight in Australia. I think Horn is going to give him a helluva fight and it is what it is. What was I going to bring over Broner or Crawford to fight Manny in Austraiia. Horn is going to do a helluva lot better for me in Australia 

GL: Speaking of Crawford, do you think he's going to have to move up to welterweight to take his career to the next level since he's the best junior welterweight in the world by quite a distance?

BA: "We'll see. It's a tough fight my friend DiBella with the big mouth, was shooting his mouth off about how great Diaz is, we'll see. But I will have my satisfaction at the end of that fight and then we'll see what we're going to do."

GL: What is your expectation for Shakur and the three amigos on PPV April 22?

BA: "I don't make an expectation. We're going to promote it the best we can, people will either buy it or they won't buy it. We hope to do well and it is what it is. It's not the kind of show where I'm out there with huge guarantees to the fighters, I'm not. Hopefully we'll do a really good result, but again it's horses for courses."

GL: Why should boxing fans buy that PPV? Sell the f**king show Bob.

BA: "They should buy it because it's going to be a tremendous event with lots of excitement. You're going to see some great fights with some great fighters, fighters who are going to be the preeminent fighters in their respective weight divisions. Guys like Ramirez and Valdez are must see TV and future superstars. They're guys that are going to really rock the Hispanic community and Shakur Stevenson is my next Sugar Ray Leonard."

GL: It's been about a year since Timothy Bradley has fought. When can we expect him back in action?

BA: "We're working on something big for Timothy and it's probably going to happen in the fall."

Send questions and comments to: boxingtalkg@Yahoo.com



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