Bob Arum: ‘Philly fighters bring the heat. They’re exciting’

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Aug. 16, 2018) – Boxing is being featured for the first time at the recently opened Ocean Resort Casino (formerly Revel), which is located steps from the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Heavyweights will take center stage on Saturday evening when Philadelphia’s Bryant “B.Y.” Jennings faces Alexander “Sascha” Dimitrenko in the 12-round heavyweight main event. In the co-feature, Philadelphia native Jesse “Hollywood” Hart will defend the NABF super middleweight title in a 10-rounder versus Mike Gavronski. Jennings-Dimitrenko and Hart-Gavronski will be broadcast on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET, with the entire undercard to be shown on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Shakur Stevenson (7-0, 4 KOs), the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist will headline the ESPN+ portion of the card against Carlos Ruiz (16-4-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout.

The fighters and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum gathered Thursday for the final press conference. This is what they had to say.

Bob Arum

“This is a terrific card because any time you highlight Philly fighters, you’re going to get fights. Philly fighters bring the heat. They’re exciting.”

Bryant Jennings

On whether he still has the hunger: “If you’re not hungry, you don’t eat. And if you don’t eat, then you starve. If you starve, then you die. And I want to live. I’m hungry. I didn’t eat. I need to eat. Just make sure it’s vegan. In fact, it don’t gotta be vegan because Saturday, I’m eating Russian!”

On whether he’s a different fighter following back-to-back defeats in 2015: “Every fight is a different fight. As you grow, things change. You make changes as you grow in your sport and your craft. So, yeah, I’m a different fighter.”

On fighting taller fighters like Dimitrenko: “As a kid, I was told, ‘never tell your secrets.’ You thought I was about to say something {laughing}?”
Alexander Dimitrenko

“This is a great opportunity for me. I’m here to win this fight. I’m 36, and I have big plans. I want to win this fight. I look forward to make this fight and to show what I can.”

Jesse Hart
On his 2017 title loss to Gilberto Ramirez: “I never looked at it as a loss. I always look at it as a lesson. I think I’ve raised my IQ of boxing. It gave me a better outlook on being in that position, and I think it just gave me a lot more to look at toward the sport of boxing, not just the championship of the world. I learned a lot from that fight. That fight taught me a whole lot.”

On his father, perennial former middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart: “{Winning a world title for him} motivates me a lot. When I’m up at 4:15 in the morning out there doing my road work, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind, getting a world title for my father. That’s the motivation. I think that’s the motivation for myself, and to be the best.”

Mike Gavronski

On fighting so often in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington:  “Because that was the only thing I could do at the time. But, you know, now I’m here, and I’m happy to be here.”

On his fighting style: “A great show. Every time out, I come to perform. I come to fight. One way or another, you’re going to love me at the end of the day.”

On his advantages against Hart: “I don’t know. These are my kind of people. Blue collar workers. The crowd will eventually be on my side. I’m pretty sure. I would hope so. And, you know, we’re running and gunning. That’s all we can do.”

Shakur Stevenson

“When I was younger, I used to come {to Atlantic City} all the time. We used to come here for vacations and stuff, and I came here to watch the {Bernard Hopkins-Antonio Tarver} fight. I don’t know. I’m excited. I can’t wait to fight.”

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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Arum: ‘Terence Crawford in my mind is the superstar in boxing’

Terence Crawford is moving on up. Crawford will make his welterweight debut on Saturday night against WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn.

Crawford has the talent to be a big star in the sport of boxing. He captured a title at 135, cleaned out 140, and won four belts in that division. Now, he is hoping to claim a title at 147.

Crawford is looking to become one of the biggest names in boxing, and Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum believes the Omaha, Nebraska native is a star at this point of his career:

“Terence Crawford in my mind is the superstar in boxing. He dominated as a lightweight champion, won all of the belts as a junior welterweight champion and now he goes up to fight the welterweights,” Arum said during a conference call. “The first step is Jeff Horn, who is a big, strong welterweight from Australia, and Terence believes he is up for the challenge, and every obstacle that Terence has faced he has overcome.”

Arum believes Crawford compares favorably to an all-time great:

“He is in my mind like one of the throwback fighters to the 80s. We compare him to the great Sugar Ray Leonard, and I think the skill and artistry of Terence in the ring is something to see and I look forward to his great performance on Saturday night against a tough, young welterweight in Jeff Horn.”

Expect Crawford to beat Horn on Saturday night. After that, let’s hope Crawford can fight some of the top fighters at 147, but unfortunately, many of the top fighters at 147 are with PBC and Al Haymon, which could make it difficult for Crawford to fight Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, or Shawn Porter.

Arum on Canelo’s excuse for testing positive: ‘That’s like the dog ate my homework’

The boxing world is still buzzing after Canelo Alvarez was temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Friday after testing positive, two times in February, for the banned substance Clenbuterol.

According to Alvarez, he tested positive for Clenbuterol after eating contaminated meat from Mexico.

Some have sided with Canelo(WBA and WBC), while others have their doubts(Gennady Golovkin and Abel Sanchez).

Well, legendary promoter Bob Arum has his doubts:

“That’s like the dog ate my homework,” Arum told TMZ Sports on Canelo blaming Mexican meat for his positive test.

According to Arum, if Canelo is guilty of doping, he needs to be suspended for a long time:

“I think the Nevada Commission has to really investigate,” Arum said. “And if the drugs were taken in order to bulk him up, and so forth, they have to suspend him, and they gotta suspend him for a long period.  If it was inadvertent, from the meat, then give him a pass.”

Arum is confident that the NSAC will get to the bottom of it all:

“Let’s see what happens; I’m sure the Nevada Commission will have a thorough investigation.”

Alvarez’s hearing in front of the NSAC is April 10.  As of now, the fight was Golovkin is still on for May 5 in Vegas, but that could change.