If you have noticed, it appears that Top Rank boss Bob Arum has been in recent form these days.
I first caught wind of this when Arum was speaking to the press in Omaha, NE, and was speaking about such fights involving his fighters (Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko) against guys like Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia. Spence and Garcia are both affiliated with adviser Al Haymon, who Arum went on to question if he ‘even exists’.
It’s true that Haymon is a low-key figure, but Arum was said to have met him face to face to work out the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao deal, so obviously he does exist. Perhaps Arum was just having a go of things, but he hasn’t let up recently.
During a recent visit to the Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney Sirius show Monday, Arum went on to speak further about HBO’s departure from boxing. If you recall, Arum correctly predicted a few months ago that HBO would be leaving the boxing business and it was announced a few weeks back that they certainly are. Arum feels that Showtime may be next.
”Both HBO and Showtime are competing for viewers with Netflix,” said Arum.
”So every dollar that they have has to go into what they’re really great at, providing entertainment. HBO certainly has done it. They have really, really good, good programming. And so does Showtime.”
Despite reportedly working out a three-year deal with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, Arum doesn’t see Showtime sticking around.
“So I’m predicting also that within the next year Showtime will be exiting from boxing because, as great as they’ve been for boxing, they don’t belong,” said Arum. “Does FOX belong in boxing? Of course they do. They’re a regular network that has a lot of sports. ESPN is perfect for boxing. That’s where it’s going. The world never stays the same. It always changes. Their time has now passed.”
What do we take from Arum’s comments? For one, that seems rather peculiar, given how invested Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza appears to be in the sport. Two, Showtime reportedly has a long list of dates to give to Haymon’s fighters.
Last check, Haymon’s roster is probably the deepest in the sport, as he advises Andre Berto, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence, Devon Alexander, Victor Ortiz, Keith Thurman, Yordenis Ugas, Deontay Wilder, Jermell and Jermall Charlo, Mikey Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Gary Russell, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, and several others.
All those guys will be dying for fights in the coming months, so Haymon should have no problem keeping them active. Haymon also had a deal with FOX, so he will be dividing his time for his fighters between the two platforms.
Given the recent shakeups in boxing, especially with the DAZN streaming service, which just inked a historical deal of 11 fights for $365 million for the sport’s biggest star, Canelo Alvarez, there certainly is a lot of change going on.
But don’t expect Showtime to bow out anytime soon. If anything, Showtime has stepped their game up in recent years and it will be interesting to see what they have coming up.