According to Arum, the headlining spot that evening is going to one of the game’s brightest young stars, “Mikey Garcia is available and we have a lot of guys who are ready to go like Khabib Allakhverdiev. He may defend his [WBA junior welterweight] title on that card. So we’re talking to HBO about it but we’re planning Mikey for that date.”
There has been a lot of talk of Garcia facing Juan Carlos Burgos. Garcia has had a big 2013, winning two world titles (at featherweight and junior lightweight) and securing another solid HBO rating (1.2 million viewers, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports).
“I think he’s an emerging superstar,” said the veteran promoter. “I mean, he has the personality and the temperament to go with extraordinary athletic ability. He’s very intelligent, very personable. So he has all the ingredients to be a major star.”
Co-headlining with Garcia in Corpus Christi last weekend was Nonito Donaire, who had to score a come-from-behind knockout of the surprisingly spry Vic Darchinyan. His return won’t be for awhile, according to Arum. “Probably in May because we want to make sure that the orbital bone, the eye is completely healed and fine.”
But Arum admitted to being concerned over Donaire’s performance.
“I think it goes back to the training camp. He can’t train for three days and take off for three days. He’s got to train seriously for these fights, be in better condition. I think Nonito realizes that himself,” said Arum.
Top Rank will also stage another show in Macao on February 22nd.
As for the rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera, there were plans to stage this bout in February. Says Arum, “HBO decided that they didn’t want to put it on against the [Winter] Olympics. So we’re looking at March 1st.”
The fight could end up in either Texas or Las Vegas.
So that’s how things stack up at Top Hatfield. Meanwhile at Golden McCoys, they have a busy schedule planned.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer stated, “I’m actually working on a bunch of dates for 2014 already. I can tell you that we are going to go with a card, it looks like January 25th, which could be [IBF junior welterweight titlist] Lamont Peterson and Dierry Jean and then we have January 30th at the Barclays Center for Fox Sports 1, the Super Bowl show with Victor Ortiz against Luis Collazo.
“Then I’m holding February 15th, the Staples Center. We’re trying to finalize Jhonny Gonzalez and Abner Mares for that date and maybe have Leo Santa Cruz come back as well if everything works out [against Cesar Seda on December 14th]. And then you know we have March 8th, a pay-per-view from the MGM Grand with [Saul] “Canelo” Alvarez. I’m trying to finalize that. So we’re working on a bunch of dates for early next year.”
Alvarez could be facing Miguel Cotto, who is mulling over a lucrative offer from Golden Boy. As for when the Puerto Rican star would make his decision, Schaefer said, “I would say within the next couple of weeks.”
There has also been talk of WBO middleweight titlist Peter Quillin defending his belt versus Danny Jacobs. “I actually have a date from the Barclays Center on March the 29th. So I’m working on that and I already have that locked in.”
Schaefer was hesitant to talk about any more of his future plans, saying bluntly, “Because as soon as I give out dates, Ken Hershman [President of HBO Sports] will go a counter-program. It’s the funniest thing. So I have a bunch of other dates but I’m not going to go and talk and give any other dates out.”
So is counter-programming more prevalent than in the past?
According to Schaefer, “Yes, worse than ever. But look, we as a promoter can’t be worried about what the others are doing and Stephen Espinoza [Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports] can’t really be worried about it either. We just have to go forward and make fights and make good fights from compelling venues.”
One point of emphasis in 2013 from Golden Boy and Showtime was to have their fight cards take place in major league venues providing a certain atmosphere and electricity to their broadcasts. In other words, they didn’t want to be in Chumash.
“We really have put a tremendous effort on trying to put the fights where they belong and I think that in itself has generated huge live gates,” said Schaefer, who says that Los Angeles, San Antonio and Brooklyn will consistently see Golden Boy events in the future. “We have three key markets that we want to continue with that trend.”
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