Boxing fans are anxious for some sliver of hope that we will see live fights resume later this summer. And, Top Rank Boxing promoter, Bob Arum, gave a little encouragement Monday and at least a peek into, what the process will look like from their point of view, once the Coronavirus outbreak has subsided and discussions start to get back in the ring.
Appearing on the Sirius XM “AK and Barak show,” Arum told the hosts Top Rank has been in constant contact with states and boxing commissions about when the sport can potentially resume, even without fans:
— Barak Bess (@TheBoxingBully) April 14, 2020
“We are in discussions with the Commission in Nevada and the Commission in California. And, we want them to use their medical personnel to give us the roadmap of what we need to go back. Rather than implement it and talk about it ourselves, because we’re not experts, have their people do that.
And then, when we get the “all-clear,” we’re up and ready to go and to do these fights without audiences, protecting all the participants, including the camera people and the officials, as well as the fighters and the corner people.”
Arum continued, “And also, know that we have the proper facilities to take care of a young man or woman who was injured in a fight. And, once we get all of that done, we’ll then be able to proceed on the basis of doing it in a sensible manner that protects the health and safety of all the participants.”
Top Rank, as with the other two major promotions in the country Premier Boxing Champions and Golden Boy Promotions, all had to postpone all of their fight cards for April and May. And, numerous ones of those were slated to be held in California and in Nevada.
The biggest of which is the looming WBC Heavyweight title rematch between unbeaten newly re-crowned champ, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Fury upset Wilder with a 7th round TKO handing him his first professional loss, and the two were contractually bound to a third fight, if either wanted the rematch.
That rematch was originally scheduled for July 18th but the COVID-19 outbreak has postponed it.
The tentative date for the rescheduled fight is October 3rd in Las Vegas. But, as Arum mentioned, that is predicated on the sport being able to resume. Further, Top-Rank, Premier Boxing Champions and the fighters would obviously prefer to have fans in attendance for that big of a showdown.
Fury and Wilder’s February fight was held in the MGM Grand Garden arena with over 16,000 in paid attendance and representing a huge $17 million in live gate revenue.
That was the largest revenue producing Heavyweight title fight since Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson’s 2002 showdown in Memphis, TN.
It is clear that none of this will happen before June, at least pot. However arum is at least giving some optimism that from top-ranked point of view and probably PBC and Golden Boy, they will all be ready to go with bike cards almost immediately if they’re given the green light