Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum has one of boxing’s best stables featuring top stars like Shakur Stevenson, Teofimo Lopez Jr., and Vasiliy Lomachenko and prospects like Jared Anderson, Keyshawn Davis, and Xander Zayas.
Like any promoter, the 91-year-old Arum is always ready to align himself with a big breadwinner. Breaking the bank to do so at the cost of his existing roster, however, appears to be a non-starter.
When Arum was asked if he had any interest in signing free agent superstars like Canelo Alvarez or Gennadiy Golovkin to future fights, the Top Rank boss said his preference was to pass due to their high price tags.
“Now the reason [why not on Golovkin] is he's very expensive and we husband our money from our ESPN budget because we have so many great fighters that we have to spread the money around to. I like Golovkin, personally. I think he's a terrific fighter. But again, he's too expensive for us,” Arum told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
Arum has long been very interested in signing Alvarez to a fight. He wanted to bring the Alvarez-Golovkin trilogy to ESPN in 2018, and after Alvarez left Golden Boy Promotions in 2020, Arum consistently has had Alvarez top of mind for all of his top stars across 168 and 175 pounds.
But as ESPN owner Disney begins the process of cutting 7,000 jobs due to CEO Bob Iger citing preparation for the "challenges ahead," Arum remains mindful to work with the budget that he currently has.
“I don't want to say no [we won't work with Alvarez] because I look at Canelo as a good friend. When he fights in Las Vegas he uses our gym. And I'm really friendly with Eddy Reynoso,” said Arum. “But I think that other promoters are prepared to pay him more than we are. So I don't contemplate promoting Canelo in the near future, but things could change.”
Although Arum is entertaining the idea of opening up the checkbook to sign Andy Ruiz Jr. for a fight against Tyson Fury, he emphasized Top Rank’s focus is to promote the fighters that they already have.
“Right now we are blessed with so many great young fighters ... that's where we are putting our resources,” said Arum. “That's not to say if somebody became available and it made sense for us to sign him, we wouldn't sign them. But we have such a talented group. Why would we look to sign other heavyweights when we have a fighter like Jared Anderson who is ready to break out and go into main event status, and so forth. That's not our business. Our business is to develop these young fighters. But once we develop them, to really utilize them and to not necessarily spend resources chasing other fighters. If they come, they come. But I don't want to chase them.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.