Boxing Continues As Others Prepare To Resume

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

So, you ask, why has Top Rank delivered boxing fans four televised ESPN shows the past week and another Saturday night from Mexico City ? Where do the other major promotions stand as the Coronavirus Pandemic continues?

As one boxing source said, “Bob Arum.”  And that name,  Arum, approve of him or not, is a reason why the PBC, Matchroom, and Golden Boy wait for their turn to deliver live and televised boxing events with safety protocols in place.

More on Golden Boy and others in a moment. 

Top Rank has a roster of fighters, many getting four or six-round fights,  world wide exposure, that would not be received under the normal circumstances. They have the closed door venue and bubble at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas. 

Though there is that disparity in purses and ESPN is kicking in most of the money with their world wide platform. Tuesday night, top rated Joshua Greer Jr. ($75.000) opposed Mike Plania ($40,000) in their bantamweight fight.  Plania got the win, via decision and upped his stock for a title fight. 

However, until further notice, a main roster of Top Rank fighters will not be seen until known otherwise, The championship fights and revenue will wait. Terence Crawford, Teofimo Lopez ,Tyson Fury are on the sidelines and keeping their skills sharp. 

As of Friday, the PBC has one event on the calendar and a spokesperson said an undisclosed location will feature Thomas Dulorme and Jamel Jones on July 25 in California.   Matchroom continues to tease about a comeback in the UK. The promotion is reportedly looking at events there and at venues in Saudi Arabia. 

In the meantime, Arum and Top Rank proceed. A few glitches in between and the latest Thursday night as COVID-19 scrapped the main event with Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre.  Jose Taveras, manager of LesPierre tested positive for the virus.

If anything, we are aware that the medical protocols set in place with Top Ranks, CDC, and Nevada State Athletic Commission are at work and effective.

Pedraza and LesPierre is rescheduled for a date next month, also on ESPN, and that proved to be sufficient for both fight camps and Top Rank.

Disappointed, yes. But Top Rank has delivered and there is more to come twice a week on ESPN from the MGM. 

THROWING THE PUNCHES:  Thompson Boxing is getting a jump on pay-per-view on July 26 at the Omega Products Event Center Corona, California. Lightweight prospect Michael Dutchover opposes Jorge Marron Jr. in an eight-round bout.

Of course, no fans and less revenue. Golden Boy announced July 24 at the Fantasy Spring Casino in Indio, California. Medical protocols will assume to be the same as Top Rank. Details about a bubble, testing of COVID-19, and  purses have not been released. 

Price of the pay-per-view and distributor are forthcoming.

In the meantime, with Golden Boy and their resumption, where does this leave Ryan Garcia?

Trouble in paradise for Garcia,  top prospect for Oscar De La Hoya. Garcia  turned down a $200,000 purse to oppose welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. for a date in July.

The division continues with Ryan and Golden Boy and issues in the past. Ryan continues to train and offer his displeasure about Golden Boy on his social media platforms and has been calling out “Tank” Davis and Jorge Linares.

A fight with Linares ? That could be on the agenda, though, post the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the meantime, here is some advice for Garcia. Take what you can get now and move forward. With 40 million unemployed, a pandemic, insecurity as a nation, don’t become the greedy boy for Golden Boy and DAZN.

Then again, this is a talented and gifted fighter with a future and during a pandemic looking for a million dollar purse is not happening. Time will tell as to  where Ryan Garcia stands when he steps up more with the competition.

Comment: Mancuso  Twitter@Ring786

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