Top Rank's Arum Says Boxing Won't Be Returning "Anytime Soon"
Top Rank Chair Bob Arum said that while MMA is set to resume with UFC 249 on April 18, boxing "will not be following suit anytime soon," according to Case Keefer of the LAS VEGAS SUN. Arum said, "All the boxing promoters realize we're in this together and we’ve got to cancel the events and keep them canceled until we get the all-clear from the governmental authorities." Keefer notes at present, Top Rank's schedule, which included a pair of title fights this month, "remains in limbo." But Arum is "preaching patience to his stable of fighters," understanding the "desperation from fighters to stay active, even in the midst of a global pandemic." Keefer notes fighters, as independent contractors, "don’t get paid unless they perform, leaving many in a panic to make ends meet as bouts are canceled." Regarding Fury-Wilder III, which was postponed late last month, Arum now "hopes that fight can take place in the fall instead, but thinks putting any firm timetable in place is a mistake" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 4/8).
WHY THE SURPRISE? In L.A., Dylan Hernandez writes the "defiance that UFC President Dana White showed this week when announcing Tony Ferguson would fight Justin Gaethje on April 18 was founded in the same us-against-the-world spirit that fueled the rise of what was once a fringe sport." Still, that "doesn't mean the upcoming show should be staged." Hernandez: "Sports inspire, but in this case, what would they be promoting? The idea that collective efforts to slow the spread of the virus should be disregarded?" This "socially irresponsible but undeniably creative form of problem solving used to be the trademark of MMA's drunk uncle, boxing" (L.A. TIMES, 4/8).