Bob Arum talks Lomachenko and his plans for future cards in China

November 4, 2013



It’s doubtful that there’s any single person in boxing that can lay claim to being a part of as many historic fights and careers as Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum. Throughout the years Arum has promoted pretty much everyone from Ali to Hagler, Hearns, Leonard, Duran, Chavez Sr, De La Hoya, Pacquiao and Mayweather.

The Heavy Bag caught up with Arum at the media workout for Brandon Rios in Oxnard and asked him who we should be looking out for from him in the future ;

“People say we’re not developing fighters like we used to, and perhaps to an extent that’s true in the US, but the fighters they’re developing out in Asia and Eastern Europe are just incredible” Arum said

“This (Pacquiao/Rios) is the third event we’ve promoted in China and next year we hope to do more. We’re planning 4 in Macau another in the mainland, we’re also looking at Singapore. There’s huge interest in boxing over there – we just held a Pacquiao media day in the Philippines and over 70 members of the Chinese media were in attendance” he continued

“Obviously (Olympic Gold Medallist) Shiming Zou is the posterboy for it all but there are other fighters coming through there, Rex Tso from Hong Kong is exciting and there’s another unbeaten fighter, Yang who’s working with Freddie Roach, they are terrific prospects”

More than a prospect of course, is the Ukrainian amateur superstar Vasyl Lomachenko, who Arum confirmed will challenge Orlando Salido for the WBO Featherweight Title in January

“It was driven by Lomachenko. I wanted him to do 4’s and 6’s but he wanted to fight for a title in his first fight. Of course I said we can’t do that, but if you fight a contender in your first fight we can make it happen by the second and that’s what he opted for. He’s a phenomenal talent.

Coming out of the London Olympics, the other guy who impressed me a lot apart from Vasyl is the Japanese Gold medallist (Ryota) Murata. He’s 6’2 and a middleweight and he’s going to be a big name for us. I was over in Tokyo for his debut fight where he knocked out the Asian Champion and he’s back in Tokyo in December, and I hope to use him in Macau in February. We also picked up Egor Mekhontcev, the Russian Light Heavyweight Gold Medallist and we’re about to get him started.

Closer to home we’ve got Oscar Valdez who was the first Mexican Fighter to win a medal at the Amateur World Championships, and the fighter I’m really excited, the superfeatherweight from Puerto Rico Felix Verdejo who is going to be on the undercard in Macau. When I talked to Lomachenko about his amateur career ( astonishing record 396-1-1), he told me the toughest fighter he faced was without doubt Verdejo, so that has to tell you something.”

Tim Vigon

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About goldenears71

Tim Vigon. I was born and raised in the UK but moved to Los Angeles in November last year. For years I’ve been addicted to attending live sports, mainly soccer (i followed Manchester United far and wide since 1985) , basketball and boxing. Boxing is in my family, my grandfather worked corners for fighters in London in the 40′s and 50′s and I remember Barry McGuigan’s victory over Eusebio Pedroza when I was 14 years old hooking me into the sport. I was lucky to live through a golden era of British boxing with fighters like Benn, Eubank, Watson, Collins and Hamed, but it was the performance of Marco Antonio Barrera beating Prince Naz that really opened me up to the worldwide game. Ever since i’ve attended hundreds of fights throughout the UK and the USA. I lean towards technical fighters with a warriors’ heart and Juan Manuel Marquez is my favourite active fighter. Twitter - @goldenears

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