Bob Arum offered World Boxing News’ Dan Rafael a thorough outline of Top Rank’s upcoming schedule, including working dates for previously revealed fights and the latest on some of the promotion’s biggest stars.
Some chronological Cliffs Notes:
- WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr. will face mandatory challenger Umar Salamov on October 23 at either Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, or Nassau Coliseum. News broke earlier this month that Smith was “finalizing” a two-fight deal to face Salamov and then Daniel Jacobs, and Joe DeGuardia says there’s a “very good likelihood” that Jacobs is next.
I guess unifications falling through is the theme for this week.
- WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring and mandatory challenger Shakur Stevenson are “close to a deal” to square off on November 13th. Herring was last seen smashing the never-before-stopped Carl Frampton, while Stevenson pitched a shutout against #2-ranked Jeremiah Nakathila.
- Unified super lightweight champion Josh Taylor’s inaugural defense against IBF mandatory Jack Catterall will indeed land in Scotland this November, specifically on the 20th or 27th.
- Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter could also land in November. Jose Ramirez Jr. had discussed a potential comeback bout that month, but Arum says the crowding could push it back to December or January.
- Vasiliy Lomachenko is “a good bet” to headline Top Rank’s annual Heisman Trophy night card on December 11th card at Madison Square Garden. No word as to who he could face.
- Should Edgar Berlanga come out of the Wilder-Fury III undercard unscathed, Bob Arum wants him to fight again in December, then once each in March and June.
- Arum and ESPN have worked out a standby September date in case they get the rights to Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr. The match is presently on thin ice as Kambosos’ camp pushes for an October date in Australia that neither Lopez’s team nor the IBF seem keen on, so if both Triller and Matchroom jump ship, control falls to third-place bidder Top Rank.