Slowly but surely the once heated relationship between rival promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions seems to be thawing. The last time the two companies worked together was over two years ago with the May 2009 Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton extravaganza at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and their refusal to do work with one another only hindered the sport.
But in recent weeks Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer have had some talks with one another and it appears that each side has swallowed their pride a bit, making way for some huge fights to come together in 2012. The first step towards rebuilding this relationship takes place on September 10th when WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, a Top Rank staple, will be facing off with Daniel Ponce De Leon, a Golden Boy fighter, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Both Top Rank and Golden Boy each have a long list of talented champions and contenders on their roster and people in the sport have long fantasized about some of the possible matchups that could one day take place. One of those happens to be a bout between WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and WBC junior middleweight king Saul Alvarez.
Arum co-promotes Chavez along with Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions and recently spoke with RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield about the possibility of the fight taking place sometime next year. Arum just returned from a vacation in the South of France and seemed optimistic about the fight happening.
“Richard mentioned that about three weeks ago before he was going to go on vacation, and then, I went on vacation. We agreed that we would talk about it when I got back. So yeah, that would be a tremendous fight, particularly in Mexico. I think that certainly it’s something that we would want to do, and Richard was the one who broached the subject. So I think that it could be very exciting for some time next year,” Arum told Satterfield.
Both men became first-time champions earlier this year, Alvarez by pounding out Matthew Hatton over twelve rounds in March and Chavez Jr. by narrowly edging Germany’s Sebastian Zbik in June. They both have called one another out in the past and despite Chavez Jr. not being able to squeeze himself down to 154 pounds, Arum still believes something can be arranged.
“No discussion yet, but one guy fights at 154, and the other guy fights at 160. Maybe we find a catch weight, maybe they fight at 160. Julio can’t go down to 154, he’s too big. But we’ll work it out. Those kinds of things can be worked out.”
Here’s hoping the healing process between Top Rank and Golden Boy continues to go smoothly so such scenarios can remain realistic.
To read Satterfield’s interview with Arum in its entirety, including the promoter’s thoughts on Nonito Donaire, Pacquiao-Marquez III, and the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito rematch, please read Arum discusses the future on several fronts
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]