By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
With two of the supposedly best pound for pound fighters in the planet under his wings, Bob Arum should be at a very commanding position in pro boxing as in the days he had Oscar de la Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in succession.
But that never happened and is not happening in his signing up and series of promotional cards featuring Vasily Lomachenko and Terrence Crawford, until the recent surge of Canelo Alvarez, the consensus top two in the pound for pound list in most lists.
Lomachenko is super talented and skilled and usually mesmerizing. But exciting as Manny Pacquiao extremely was in his prime with Arum’s Top Rank? Well, the fans have cast their verdict. He is no top flight pay-per-view attraction.
Crawford has been dominant and virtually untouchable since his lightweight days and even now as a top welterweight. But exciting as Manny Pacquiao extremely was back when he was still a lightweight and when he first terrorize the welterweight ranks? Well, you be the judge.
In fairness, the two have been largely avoided by the other top fighters in and around the divisions they have fought in and currently are. Boxing politics have prevented them from showing their true worth.
But Arum could also be faulted in their lack of top rate opposition and major exposure with his penchant for falling back to strictly in house fight promotions. His pride has precluded any more co promotions with Golden Boy and the Floyd Mayweather-Al Haymon combine.
Arum could be failing as a promoter with Loma and Crawford but he still have aces up his sleeve.
He has also signed up lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and current Japanese bantamweight sensation and unified titleholder Naoya Inoue.
Come Saturday night, February 22, 2020, Arum will have his crack at getting back to the top as a heavyweight power broker that he was during the heady halcyon days of Muhammad Ali when his ward, Fury faces WBC champion Deontay Wilder in a much awaited rematch of their exciting first drawn fight last year.
Arum is banking on a spectacular win by Fury over Wilder to be able to earn the right to dictate terms in succeeding major heavyweight title fights involving Fury.
Significantly, Arum has also recently signed up the highly promising Colombian banger Oscar Rivas to join Fury, Agit Kabayel, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, Carlos Takam and Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in his stable. This will provide him with fighters who can vie for the titles should Fury fails or suitable foes for Fury if he wins and Anthony Joshua refuses to play side B in future talks.
Come April 25, Arum will have his chance at developing his next Manny Pacquiao when Naoya Inoue makes his championship debut in the United States against Filipino WBO bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero.
Arum will be banking on another spectacular victory by Inoue, already the most popular Japanese boxer currently who has been gaining wide following in the US and the UK to be able to bolster his potential global crossover appeal.
Inoue was a very strong candidate for the Fighter of the Year award last year and his winning bout against Filipino legend Nonito Donaire was cited as Fight of the Year in 2019.
Will Fury and Inoue deliver as expected by Arum?