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Golden Boy-Top Rank cold war in full thaw

Although it came together thanks to a purse bid, Saturday's Gary Russell Jr.-Vasyl Lomachenko bout could go down as the beginning of a new relationship between promoters Golden Boy and Top Rank. Gene Blevins/Hoganphotos/Golden Boy

Now that Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Top Rank boss Bob Arum are cozy again, and both say that they are willing to do business with each other, it seems as though this particular boxing cold war is over.

A lot of interesting fights are probably still off the table if adviser Al Haymon, whose relationship with Arum has been in the toilet for years, is involved -- but whatever fighters are under contract to Golden Boy can probably be matched now with Top Rank if it makes sense.

A few months before De La Hoya and Arum made peace, Golden Boy won a purse bid for the vacant featherweight title bout between Garry Russell Jr. (a Haymon fighter, by the way) and Vasyl Lomachenko, the two-time Olympic gold medalist with Arum.

The purse bid paved the way for Golden Boy to take control of the fight, which is part of a Showtime tripleheader Saturday night (10 ET), without having to involve Top Rank. But maybe now that De La Hoya and Arum are on good terms more fights like this can happen in the future, especially now that Richard Schaefer, who opposed working with Top Rank, has resigned as Golden Boy CEO.

Now, keep in mind, Arum and Haymon aren't about to begin matching their fighters together, so a lot of good fights are clearly still off the table. But, hey, this is a start.

Russell said he was glad that his fight with Lomachenko, although done under a purse bid, has helped break the ice.

"Honestly, it's a big honor to break the cycle of the Al Haymon and Bob Arum/Top Rank and Golden Boy dissent, because I think you have these great fighters on both sides of the fence that the fans would love to see," he said. "Now it's a possibility to fulfill them or give them a possibility to see it.

"I think it's a big breakthrough for me and Lomachenko to be able to be one of the first to actually do it, and hopefully this will open the door for a lot of the other fights that the fans would want to see take place."

Golden Boy did not have to involve Top Rank in the promotion at all and Lomachenko could have refused to participate in any way. But both camps have done their part, making it a seemingly friendly, drama-free promotion.

Moretti said a lot of the cold war stuff is overblown.

"I think that's what the media and social media likes to jump on but, you know, at the end of the day, I just can't see in the middle of the sixth round guys rooting for Al or Bob," Moretti said. "It's a fight, and the fight Lomachenko has to worry about is Gary Russell and Gary Russell has got to worry about Lomachenko, and anything other than that is just Twitter talk, which people seem to love lately."

De La Hoya has been saying for weeks -- since his meeting of the minds with Arum -- that he wants to promote fights with any promoter that can help him make the biggest bouts for his fighters.

"I think it's wonderful to hear from a fighter like Gary Russell that he wants to engage in these big, major fights, regardless of promoters," De La Hoya said. "That's what it's really all about. It's not about promoters and egos. It's about the fighters and the fans. So, I'm optimistic that in the near future the fight fans will get what they deserve."