In this video interview with our friends at Fight Hub TV, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum discusses the possibility of Vasyl Lomachenko ever fighting Mikey Garcia and why he calls Al Haymon ‘Mr. Cancer.’
Arum on if a Lomachenko-Garcia fight can be made:
“Vasyl wants that fight, once he beats Pedraza. His father, Anatoly, wants that fight. Egis Klimas, the manager, wants that fight. I want that fight. We’re willing to sit down and make that fight, but the fight probably will not happen because Mr. Cancer, Al Haymon, will prevent Mikey Garcia from doing that fight.’
On why he wouldn’t be able to reach a deal with Haymon when they were able to make Mayweather-Pacquiao:
“Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was made because Les Moonves, who is the head of CBS, told [Stephen] Espinoza that Haymon was not gonna put on another fight on Showtime unless he made that fight. That’s how that fight was made!
“You gotta understand, Haymon is a cancer in boxing! There’s something abnormal about him! He doesn’t allow his fighters to fight other fighters that are promoted by other promoters — doesn’t allow that to happen. That’s a cancer! That’s hurting the sport. You can’t say that about any other promoter.
“With Oscar [De La Hoya], with Golden Boy, if it makes sense he will sit down and make a fight. He’s done that. And with Eddie Hearn there wouldn’t be a problem. With DiBella, there wouldn’t be a problem. But with Mr. Cancer, there is a problem! Now if you don’t think that, why don’t you see if you can interview him and let’s see what he has to say. But I’m telling you, isn’t there something wrong, that you probably never interviewed him in all the time you been connected with boxing?”
On if he’s ever tried reaching out to Haymon or if even that has been met with resistance:
“All he has to do is say, either himself or through Tom Brown, Garcia and Lomachenko is a fight that we are willing to do. Within 24 hours I’ll be on a phone calling Haymon and seeing if we can sit down and make the fight. But I guarantee you that Mr. Cancer — cancer is cancer, it prevents things from happening, it’s a debilitating disease — he will block it from happening because that is his way!
“Now, you say, ‘well it makes no sense ‘cause it’s a lot of money, and he’d share in the money’ — it doesn’t matter with the money with him! There’s something wrong with him! Don’t you understand?! How can you be in boxing and be involved in boxing and not explain to reporters what your position is, not talk to reporters and talk about how great the sport of boxing is — nothing! Isn’t that something peculiar?! I mean, let’s be honest about it! I’m not a psychiatrist but I think something’s wrong with him!”
On if that indicates that an anticipated showdown between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence has no chance of happening:
“None of these fights have a chance of happening! I mean...[exasperation]...look, if god forbid I had cancer and I said that I would go and do something in two years, what am I talking about because in two years I might not be able to defeat the cancer. He is a cancer! As long as he is around his fighters will be deprived of doing big fights! Period, end of statement! I mean there’s nothing I can do. I’m being very, very honest here.
“I say ‘I can’t be that stupid if there’s so much money to be made. Wouldn’t he sit down and try to negotiate a deal’ and so forth, but he won’t do it! Because there’s something wrong with him and his fighters are suffering because of that. His fighters fight once a year and if some other promoter wants to use one of his fighters he says no and he destroys it and he shoots the guy $100,000 and he keeps them quiet. Something wrong! And you guys gotta realize that.”
On what options that leaves him for big fights for Lomachenko and Crawford:
“Plenty of fighters out there that can fight...[Haymon] won’t let Garcia fight Commey for the IBF title. So Commey will fight somebody else for the IBF title and we’ll fight the winner. Right?! I mean, there’s always ways around it. If you have the best, people will pay to see the best. If he thinks his guy is the best, hey, say it! Say ‘let Arum call me and let’s do it, I wanna do the fight’ and I’ll call him. Easy! Easy! Run with [this interview], he’ll probably see it, I think. I don’t know really what he does with his time. Right? But at least [Sam] Watson will see it.”
On there being other instances of promoters not working with one another:
“Nothing like this has happened in the history of boxing. When [Don] King and I were going at each other, hammer and tong, we always found a way to talk and very often from the talks we made the fight. Sometimes we didn’t. But very often we made the fight. There is something crazy about this man [Haymon].”