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Bob Arum on Crawford-Khan ticket sales, Jarrell Miller, and sympathy for Eddie Hearn

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The outspoken promoter weighs in on various hot topics.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Manny Pacquiao Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Promoter Bob Arum says so far, so good on ticket sales for the Saturday event at Madison Square Garden, the big room, topped by a welterweight title defense by Terence Crawford, who meets Brit vet Amir Khan.

Arum has worked like a demon to hype the scrap, and what is presenting as a compelling undercard.

”It’s early returns, you can’t declare yet. The returns are not good but sensational,” he told Bad Left Hook. “It appears to us that the whole campaign spearheaded by ESPN really kicked in and worked. It’s early but more than satisfying.”

Arum had meetings, one with promoter Lou DiBella, so he didn’t hit the undercard presser today at the Garden. He said he had some forward movement on future fights and maybe a signing or two, but couldn’t part with deets.

We also touched on the recent breaking news about the change in plans with the June 1 Anthony Joshua card at MSG. “Big Baby” Miller is out, as the New York commission decided they’d not license him after an adverse finding in a VADA drug screening test.

“Obviously that stuff (GW1516) in his system, how it got in there I don’t know, but whoever put it in there — forget that it’s an enhancement drug, it’s so fucking dangerous. It is a clear, clear danger to cause cancer,” Arum said. ”Anybody who did that should be shot or put in jail.”

I told him Freddie Roach’s take, that a person testing positive in such fashion should be banned for life from boxing? Does Arum concur?

“No, clearly Freddie’s gone too far, you don’t end the career for somebody that maybe somebody convinced to take a performance-enhancing drug. Obviously you do a suspension.

“But they have a real problem here, a legal problem. That fighter wasn’t registered with the commission, he has no license, they can’t suspend him. The question remains if he signs to fight somewhere else, in that jurisdiction, if there’s anything they can do to impose a penalty.”

Arum, with no dog in the hunt, spoke about how such a late sub-in affects the promoter.

”I sympathize with Eddie Hearn, it puts him in a terrible position. It’s not easy to find a sub, and after he spent so much time and effort building Miller up, who does he go to now?

“It’s a little easier in his case, if he’s correct that 10,000 tickets were sold to Englishmen. I don’t think English fans care much who Joshua fights, they’re just looking to come to New York to carry on the party. It makes it a little easier. I think with knowing that, refunds would be at a minimum.”

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