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Bob Arum responds to Keith Thurman calling him cheap, says let another promoter lose money

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Arum says he’s not going into his own pocket for millions of dollars just to lose money against PBC fighters.

During a conversation with IFL TV, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum covers a number of topics regarding what he’s got planned for his stable this year, but notably discusses Terence Crawford facing PBC fighters and fires back at Keith Thurman just who shared some harsh words about Arum. Check out some excerpts below...

Arum on what he wants to do next with Terence Crawford:

“We want to make a Spence fight and, you know, I would be willing to make a two-fight deal with PBC to have Crawford fight either (Shawn) Porter or (Keith) Thurman or something like that, and then go into a Spence fight. The problem with Crawford fighting any of the PBC fighters is it’s so expensive and it really isn’t a pay-per-view fight.

“Crawford and Spence particularly if the pandemic is under control...is a major pay-per-view fight, so I think that’s what I hope we’ll be able to convince PBC of, and make that fight.”

On his response to Keith Thurman’s comments that he’s cheap and can’t afford PBC fighters:

“Yeah I saw that. What the hell is he talking about, that I’m being cheap?! You know, I’ve been in this boxing business for many years, and there were fighters who always said that promoters — myself, particularly (Don) King — that it was not fair that if there were a pie, we were getting this percentage. They said we should get a smaller percentage. That was one thing. That was the normal argument, are we as a promoter taking too big a share of the pie.

“That’s legitimate, that makes sense. But it doesn’t make sense to say to a promoter ‘look, we know it’s pandemic, we know there’s a limited amount of money, but go into your own pocket and pay me what I wanna get paid!’ I mean for Christ’s sake, there has to be some kind of business element! I mean, I would tell Thurman ‘hey, have somebody else promote the fight, let them lose money, and I promise I’ll buy a ringside ticket to see the fight.’

“We have really, like other promoters, suffered during this pandemic without the revenue stream of a live gate, in the United States pay-per-view is limited because people like to do it and make parties, you can’t do closed circuit in bars and restaurants. But we’ve done it and we’ve lost money doing it, but it was under control. But I am not going into our resources and pay a fighter a lot more money that is available in a particular fight.

“If he said to me ‘you gotta get this money and then the fighters get all of it because there’s a pandemic and you’re not entitled to get it,’ I take a little umbrage on that but I would accept it. But don’t tell me I gotta do the fight and go into my pocket for millions of dollars to make the fight happen. Why?! What’s the reason for that? I mean, it makes no sense!