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Bob Arum extends open invitation to international fighters

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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American promoter Bob Arum has issued an open invitation to international fighters ahead of boxing’s return in Las Vegas next week.

The sport has been on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic but Arum has permission to conduct cards without live crowds and special protocol in place to prevent transmission of the virus.

The first show featuring Shakur Stevenson versus Felix Caraballo will take place at the MGM Grand next Tuesday.

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Arum is planning to promote two to three shows per week throughout the summer and is on the lookout for fighters to fill the cards.

“A lot of these fights that we’re doing, we don’t have available to us fighters who are residing outside of the United States,” the 88-year-old Top Rank boss told Mauricio Sulaiman on WBC Talks.

“I say to anybody listening – if you’ve got a fighter and he’s outside the United States and you know or you can figure out how to get him here, assuming he has a visa, just call us.

“We’ll be happy to use you. I’ve got all these great UK fighters that I can’t bring in because of the travel ban.”

Some international fighters are already in the country.

Australian boxing twins Andrew and Jason Moloney have managed to fly to the US from their home country, where only 102 people have died from the coronavirus nationally.

WBA ‘regular’ super flyweight champion Andrew will defend his title against Joshua Franco at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 23.

Bantamweight contender Jason will square off against Oscar Negrete in a 10-rounder at the same venue on June 25.

“Later on in June on one Tuesday night we have one of the Moloneys fighting and the next Thursday night his twin brother is fighting,” Arum said.

“They’re Australian and they called us and they said that they want get in action with us and we said ‘Sorry, but we can’t do anything because you’re in Australia.’

“And how they did it, they went to the Australian government, they got special permission, and one Sunday they both ended up in Las Vegas.

“We put them into a sort of a quarantine, we got them tested for the virus and they were negative. They came up to the office yesterday and they’re ready to go.”

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