Bob Arum: “Undisputed Is Stupid. Who Needs It?!”

Bob Arum Shuns the Notion of an Undisputed Champion

Bob Arum speaks out on problems with undisputed championships
Bob Arum speaks out on problems with undisputed championships

Bob Arum Says Chasing Undisputed Is a Waste of Time and Money


Technically speaking, the super featherweight division is only a short two fights away from having one undisputed champion. Currently, 130-pound champions (WBO) “Fearless” Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KO’s) and (WBC) Oscar Valdez (30-0, 23 KO’s) are rocketing toward an April 30 unification bout. The last champion in the division is (IBF) Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KO’s) given that the WBA Super title is vacant.

Provided that Stevenson versus Valdez produces a winner and not a frustrating draw, as was the case with Jermell Charlo versus Brian Castano, then that unified champion need only face Ogawa to gather all the active belts.

With this being the case, it’s not beyond the scope of reason to believe that some deal could be worked out to have the vacant title included the hypothetical Ogawa unification fight. The WBC, for example, was only too happy to serve up their vacant super middleweight title to Canelo Alvarez silver plate style when the redhead annihilated Callum Smith. Is it beyond reason to think it’s a feasible reality that the WBA could do something similar?

COUNTING OTHER FOLKS MONEY

Well, if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has anything to say about it, there is not going to be an undisputed champion in the division any time soon…if ever. In a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, Arum minced no words when trouncing the notion of crowning an undisputed champ.

“Undisputed is stupid, for me! Like Josh Taylor pointed out, if you’re undisputed and you have all four belts, you’re giving up twelve percent of your purse away. So, who needs that? Maybe you want one title, maybe you have two, but to break your back and go after four titles and put up with stupid mandatories makes no sense.”

IT AIN’T ABOUT YOU!

Sure from a business standpoint, there is a major downside for a boxer to pay all the sanctioning fees requisite to remain undisputed. Yet, a counter argument that many fans have is that there are too many belts in the first place. With all the belts floating around, it makes it remarkably difficult to ascertain who the best of the best really is. This notion brings us full circle back to why it’s so valuable and remarkable to have one undisputed champion.

It would be a real shame if Arum wound up being the main impediment preventing great fights and another undisputed champ. His own fighter, Shakur Stevenson, accused Top Rank of favoring Oscar Valdez over him and protecting the Mexican because of that bias. Former Top Rank boxer WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford proclaimed that the promotional company put much more effort into bolstering Vasiliy Lomachenko’s career than his own. Then, Bob Arum has said out of his own mouth he personally blocked a Crawford versus Manny Pacquiao fight because he was uncomfortable with it.

This is all said to say, Arum and Top Rank are no strangers to gumming up the gears of production when it comes to making big fights for its own clients. So, as said before, it’d be a tragedy if either Valdez or Stevenson wanted to go for undisputed but were hampered by a promoter worried about how they are spending their own money. Thankfully, no matter how it plays out, 3Kings Boxing will be there to report the news.

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By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari S.2983 Articles
Bakari is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.