Arum wants to stage big card in Dubai or Abu Dhabi between Lomachenko and Walters in November
By Chris Williams:
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is interested in staging a big fight in November in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates or Abu Dhabi, according to Dan Rafael. Arum wants to stage a featherweight unification bout between WBO champ Vasyl Lomachenko and WBA champion Nicholas Walters over there.
It’s unclear what those two fighters feel about this, as by staging it in that area, it will mean fewer fans from the United States will be able to see it in person due to the travel costs. It might also mean fewer people watching the fight because it taking place so far away.
For Arum, this is yet another country that he wants to open up. He’s already started staging fights in Macau, China, with his No.1 fighter in his stable Manny Pacquiao fighting on those cards. But unfortunately for Pacquiao, he’s not been able to bring in a lot of PPV buys when fighting in Macau, and it doesn’t seem like a great deal for him to be going along with Arum on these ideas that he has.
“I’m working on a super duper card in Dubai in November. What we’d do is HBO would televise it live in the afternoon in the United States,” Arum said to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “We want to do three championship fights of high quality. I’ve already talked to (HBO Sports president Ken) Hershman about it.”
Besides the Lomachenko-Walters fight, Arum will have the winner of the Tim Bradley vs. Jessie Vargas fight, which takes place on June 27th, facing Sadam Ali, the World Boxing Organization 147 pound mandatory challenger to that strap. However, it’s still unclear whether the Bradley-Vargas fight will be for the vacant WBO welterweight title or not, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. is said to be interested in holding onto the strap after he beat Arum’s top fighter Pacquiao last May. That was the fight where Pacquiao make an excuse about having an injured shoulder after the fight, but still insisting that he won. It was just another sad chapter in boxing. As far as the Lomachenko vs. Walters fight, it will be contingent on Walters winning his fight this Saturday night against unbeaten knockout artist Miguel Marriaga.
I guess if Walters loses, Arum might still have Lomachenko on the card fighting whoever he can dig up for him. The third fight on the Dubai or Abu Dhabi card will be between Top Rank super middleweight contender Gilberto Ramirez and the winner of the July 18th fight between WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz. Abraham is seen by a lot of boxing fans as a paper champion, and he’s been mostly fighting Stieglitz and Paul Smith over and over again since he won the WBO title in 2013. It’ll be good to have some new blood in Ramirez move in and get a shot against Abraham instead of seeing him continue with the never ending rematches against Stieglitz and Paul Smith.
“They have an indoor stadium about 15 miles from the center of Dubai. We’ve had very, very interesting discussions,” Arum said.