Arum teases ‘high-caliber’ bouts for Top Rank

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Boxing’s calendar is about to be booked up once again, according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.

Arum said during a recent interview on IFL TV that he hopes to start making announcements on an upcoming schedule starting next week.

“It’ll be all fighters who have either appeared on the main event or in the semi-main event on past shows televised on ESPN or streamed on ESPN+,” Arum said about the upcoming fights. “So they’ll be high-caliber shows.

“They will not be the big, big fights, like the [Vasiliy] Lomachenko-[Teofimo] Lopez fight for the reason that Lomachenko is still stuck in the Ukraine and we don’t know when we’re going to get him over here to the United States. But we’re working on all of that. I think we’ll be able to, as this progresses — I know that Frank [Warren] and Eddie [Hearn] will be using the Brits that are under contract to us, like Josh Taylor, [Carl] Frampton, Mick Conlan, putting them on cards, also probably without audiences.”

Arum said that once travel restrictions are eased, fights in the U.S. like Frampton against Jamel Herring can be worked on. But for now, he needs to keep Herring busy.

“Herring will probably fight somebody else, defend his 130-pound championship,” Arum said. “In other words, it’s not ideal, but we’re going to be doing the best we possibly can.”

Herring tweeted a photo Tuesday with his team, stating that his training camp has officially started.

While some fights will land domestically, Arum also is looking at foreign venues to host the biggest of fights, including Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder.

“Top Rank is looking at areas where we are most familiar as far as doing those events, like Asia, like Macao,” Arum said regarding the trilogy fight. “We have a whole track record of doing successful events in Macao.”

The first time Fury and Wilder met was in December 2018, when they fought to a draw in Los Angeles at Staples Center. On Feb. 22 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Fury stopped Wilder in Round 7 to capture the WBC heavyweight title.

With Wilder exercising his right to an immediate third fight with Fury, the bout originally was scheduled to take place this summer before sporting events across the world were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Arum says he hopes to stage Fury-Wilder III in November or December.

The first Top Rank event to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic was their Feb. 1 event at the Mission Hills Resort in Haiku, China, which featured Jose Ramirez’s defense of his WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles against Viktor Postol.

“We were refunded all of the money [after the Ramirez-Postol cancellation], they were very, very good. They put up money for the site fee, and they paid us 100% in advance,” Arum told ESPN.

“They want us to come back and do a show toward the end of the year if everything is OK.”