Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Arum's Russia trip on hold
By Dan Rafael
Had things gone to plan, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum would now be in Moscow working on a deal to bring regular fight cards there featuring the various Russian boxers he promotes.
Arum had intended to fly from San Antonio (where he promoted Saturday night’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Bryan Vera rematch) to New York on Sunday and then head to Moscow on Monday with Top Rank’s Brad Jacobs.
However, the political turmoil between Russia and Ukraine and the tension between Russia and the United States, caused a change of plans, with Arum not making the trip.
“We were expecting to go and then with what happened we thought it would be inappropriate to go,” Arum told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “I let everyone in Russia that we were supposed to meet with know that we were postponing the trip and they all said that they understood and that we did the right thing. With the president calling for sanctions against Russia and everything going on with Ukraine and in Crimea, I thought it was inappropriate for an American to go over to talk about putting on fights in Moscow.”
So instead of flying to New York on Sunday, Arum got a lift back to Las Vegas in the private jet of a friend of his who had been one of his guests at the Chavez-Vera fight.
However, some of Arum’s stuff is in New York. His wife, Lovey, had already shipped a bag with some of his clothes ahead of time, which he had intended to pick up for the trip to Russia.
So his bag is at his usual New York hotel waiting for him when he arrives in New York next week for the first stop on the press tour for the June 7 middleweight championship fight between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto.
“So when I get to New York for the press conference my suit will be there waiting for me. Lovey had already shipped my clothes there, so I’ll be reunited with my bag,” Arum said with a laugh.
He said he hopes to reschedule the trip to Russia when the political situation eases.
“Hopefully, the people will come to their right minds and get this resolved on both sides and then I will go,” he said. “I can’t wait to do events in Moscow.”
Arum has signed several Russian fighters and plans to put on cards there involving fighters such as featherweight titlist Evgeny Gradovich and light heavyweight Egor Mekhontsev, the 2012 Russian Olympic gold medalist.