Bob Arum talks Teofimo vs. Kambosos & Crawford vs. Porter and Josh Taylor
By Sean Jones: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is looking forward to the Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr. and Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter fights coming up.
These fights are a little bit overdue as far as the boxing public is concerned, as they wanted to see these matches take place a long time ago.
Arum expects four-belt lightweight champion Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) to have zero problems taking care of IBF mandatory Kambosos Jr. (19-0, 10 KOs) once Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing promotion put that fight on in November or December.
Arum is already counting Kambosos Jr. as a win for Teofimo, and he’s talking about wanting to match Teo against unbeaten undisputed 140-lb champion Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) or WBO 147-lb champion Crawford, should he successfully defeat Porter on November 20th.
Teofimo will have a potentially great fight against Taylor in early 2022 if he gets past the highly confident Kambosos Jr.
If Arum can’t set up the fight between Teofimo and Taylor in early next year, Teo would be better off staying at 135 long enough to take on WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Vasily Lomachenko, or Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
Arum discusses Teofimo-Kambosos, Taylor & Crawford- Porter
“Teofimo Lopez, I really feel sorry because it was a career win for him over Lomachenko and he hasn’t fought in a year. So at least now, he’ll get the fight,” said Bob Arum to iFL TV. “I don’t think he’ll have trouble with [George] Kambosos.
“Eddie [Hearn] will do a good job on the promotion, and then Teofimo wants to go up to 140 lbs. Then we’ll try and make the [Josh] Taylor fight straight on assuming Taylor beats [Jack] Catterall and then we’ll go from there.
“That would be a major, a really good attraction, Taylor against Lopez. “Let me tell you. Taylor has a good chance with Teofimo. He [Taylor] has no chance with Terence Crawford as I see it. No chance. Maybe we’ll see some flaws with Terence against [Shawn] Porter, but Terence is a special kind of welterweight.
“No question about it, and Porter is a nice young man and a terrific fighter and he has the ability to give Crawford problems with the way he fights. He roughs up his opponents. He may smother Crawford so Crawford can’t get his combinations going. Crawford is a great combination fighter, so we’ll see.
“That’s what people pay money to see, but I’m looking forward to Crawford and Porter,” said Arum.
“He might,” said Arum when told that Taylor may give Crawford problems beat him. “Josh Taylor is a great fighter, a really terrific fighter. He beat [Jose] Ramirez, who is a hell of a fighter, so maybe he does [beat Crawford].
“He has some great wins on his record. [Regis] Prograis and [Ivan] Baranchyk before Baranchyk had this crazy battle with [Jose] Zepeda. So, yeah, Josh Taylor is a hell of a fighter, there’s no question about it.
“I don’t know if he [Taylor] goes up to 147 if he’s going to be as successful as he’s been, particularly against a guy like Crawford, but that’s why they do the fights,” said Arum.
Bob is making a mistake by assuming that Terence Crawford will beat Shawn Porter on November 20th because he could lose that fight. I mean, it’s WAY too early for Arum to be talking about scenarios for Crawford defending against Josh Taylor in 2022.
Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) has an excellent chance of beating Crawford next month, and that’s going to upset Arum’s plans for Terence in 2022.
Let’s face it, Arum has matched Crawford very carefully during his entire career, never putting him in with dangerous guys at 135, 140 or 147,s so it’s impossible to know how he’ll do against a lion-like Porter.
If Taylor gets a chance of fighting Crawford next year, he might beat him as well. At 34 and with a resume filled with subpar opposition, you don’t know what you’re going to get with Crawford.
If Crawford runs around the ring and fights in a safety-first manner for 12 rounds against Porter and/or Josh Taylor, he’s going to be heavily booed by the fans.
So even if Crawford does come out as the winner in one or both of those fights, his popularity will take a major hit.
Teofimo vs. Kambosos NOT for undisputed
“I had that argument last night with Teofimo’s dad. I announced the great news that Matchroom got the Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos fight on DAZN, the unified championship,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV.
“Teofimo’s dad sent me a message straight away. ‘It’s [Lopez vs. Kambosis Jr] undisputed.’ I said, ‘Devin Haney is the WBC champion.’If you’re a WBC Franchise champion, that’s not recognized by the other governing bodies as the undisputed championship. It’s fact.
“Teofimo SHOULD be the undisputed [135-lb] champion. In my opinion and factually, he’s not, and Teofimo’s dad will say, ‘Well, speak to Mauricio [Sulaiman], he’ll tell you he is.’
“It’s not up to Mauricio to tell you that the WBC Franchise championship is allowable on the undisputed show because it’s not recognized in that sense.
“Devin Haney, all he ever wanted to do was fight Vasily Lomachenko. So he chased the WBC to get up the rankings to win a final eliminator and got a shot at Lomachenko. And Top Rank turned around and said to the WBC, ‘We’d like you to make Lomachenko the Franchise champion so we can avoid Devin Haney.’ That’s the truth.
“By the way, it wasn’t Lomachenko’s idea. I agree. He said, ‘I didn’t request it.’ I believe him because they said, ‘No, make him Franchise and we’ll make an in-house fight with Teofimo Lopez, and we won’t have to fight Devin Haney.’
“It’s a game and that’s what happened. If you allow that Franchise situation, you allow those things to happen,” said Hearn.
Eddie is right about Teofimo vs. Kambosos Jr. NOT being for the undisputed lightweight championship. Teofimo’s WBC Franchise title isn’t the real one.
Devin Haney has the true WBC lightweight belt, snd for some reason, Teofimo has opted not to fight him.
I mean, he could have if he’d asked the IBF for an exception to allow him to take on Haney rather than defend immediately against the little-known Kambosos. That was Teofimo’s decision to take the lesser fight against Kambosos, and it’s turned around and bitten him on the backside big time.
Teo has lost a year of his career and has nothing to show for it. On top of that, he STILL hasn’t gotten the Kambosis fight out off the way, and it’s already been 12 months since he defeated the injured one-armed Lomachenko in October 2020. Talk about your dumb moves.
Arum promised Teofimo vs. Josh Taylor for April
“My son [Teofimo Jr] was really sick because he suffers from asthma,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr. to Fight Hub TV. “Thank God, he’s 100 now, he’s looking amazing. He’s been sparring and he looks great. He just went to another level after Lomachenko.
“That’s why when you take the real fights, you’re always going to get something in return. We’re not over here overlooking anybody. We want the toughest competition, the people that got the belts.
“That’s why we’re going after Josh Taylor after Kambosos and Bob [Arum] already promised me the fight in April..
“I know Josh Taylor is going to have to take this fight, but he might go to 147. You never know,” said Teofimo Sr.
We’ll see if Josh Taylor chooses to stick around and wait for a fight with Teofimo next April. Right now, Taylor has an easy defense against his WBO mandatory challenger Jack Catterall on December 18th.
In the meantime, if WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford defeats his mandatory Shawn Porter on November 20th, there’s a good chance that Arum is going to put him in with Taylor next.
There’s arguably more money for Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) to make fighting Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) on ESPN pay-per-view than there would be for him to face Teofimo.
It’s not that Teofimo isn’t a popular fighter, but he hasn’t been around long enough to create a fan base like Crawford at this point. In other words, Top Rank can’t place Teofimo vs. Taylor on ESPN PPV and expect it to do as well in the U.S as the Crawford-Taylor fight would on pay-per-view.
For that reason, Taylor will likely opt to take the bigger payday against Crawford rather than take the chump change fighting Teofimo, who hasn’t done anything since his win over an injured Lomachenko in October 2020.
You can’t count Kambosos Jr. because he’s never beaten anyone of note, so the boxing public won’t give a fig after Teofimo blows him out of the water at the end of the year.
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