Bob Arum lets Teofimo Lopez know there is a penalty for disloyalty!
When it comes to veteran promoter Bob Arum, there is no punch-pulling! A few months back, Arum set headlines ablaze with his indifferent attitude toward WBO World Welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Rather than praise him as a gem in the Top Rank promotions crown, Arum painted Crawford out to be a financial liability. Now the seasoned fight hustler has issued Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) a not-so-subtle threat.
As a follow-up fight to his performance with Vasiliy Lomachenko, it was widely known that Lopez would have to face George “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KO’s). The Australian was his IBF mandatory and was not looking to accept step-aside money. Take Over did not hide his lack of interest in the bout and openly talked about fights he would prefer to take instead. Yet, his disinterest did not stop him from getting with Team Kambosos and pushing the bout to a purse bid. By doing this the boxers ensured that they would get the most money possible. Aside from obtaining the steepest payday, Lopez stoked the coals of Arum’s anger.
PLAY NOW, SUFFER LATER
Utilizing the old school playbook that he is, Arum does not believe in cutting side deals with the opposing team. In his mind, his fighter should deal with him as the promoter and not have any direct dealings with the other team. So, when he came to find out about the Take Over’s machinations, Arum took it on the chin. The former lawyer was quick to point out that nothing illegal transpired and therefore there was no cause for legal retaliation. Although, Arum did heavily insinuate that he would take revenge on Lopez in other ways.
“They immediately ran off and colluded with each other, which they are entitled to do, they didn’t do anything illegal. So if anybody should be pissed it should be us because that is not the way that a fighter deals with his promoter. That will come about when we have a winner for Ramirez and Taylor and we’re looking for an opponent for the winner. That’s when the chicken comes home to roost.”
ARUM’S IRON FIST
This is a wild threat to be issued from a promoter! Take Over has widely broadcast his desire to face the winner of the upcoming WBA super and IBF champion Josh Taylor versus WBC and WBO champion Jose Ramirez super lightweight unification bout. That is clearly his number one priority. So Arum is bluntly implying that he will purposely jam up his own fighter in a form of retaliation. It would not be hard to believe that Arum would do such a thing.
When he had both Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao under his banner, that fight was never made. This is not from a lack of want however. Crawford and Pacquiao expressed interest in staging the dustup. Later, Arum would reveal that he personally derailed the fight because he did not like it for Pac Man. So if he was willing to deny two of his top fighters and the boxing public that great fight, then why not teach Lopez a lesson now?
It will be interesting to see what the social media-friendly Teofimo Lopez has to say in response.
By: Bakari Simpson