Bob Arum and Al Haymon Bury the Hatchet and Look to the Future

In July of last year, two months after Bob Arum collaborated with Al Haymon on the most lucrative event in boxing history, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Arum sued Haymon for violating antitrust laws and subverting the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, seeking more than $100 million in damages. As reported on May 19 by Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, that suit has been settled before going to trial. The terms were undisclosed, sealed by a confidentiality agreement. Now it’s back to business for both companies which have important fights on their respective dockets.

Among other things, the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a federal law enacted in 2000, prohibits a promoter from double-dipping by taking a manager’s cut from the purse of a boxer appearing on his show. Arum’s suit asserted that Haymon, who has assembled the largest stable of boxers in the history of the sport, was working both sides of the street. Haymon is being sued on similar grounds by Golden Boy Promotions, the company run by Oscar De La Hoya. That suit remains active.

Boxing writer Wil Esco hit the nail on the head with this observation: “Perhaps after exchanging documents both sides decided that they’d be better off not airing-out each other’s dirty laundry as a matter of public record.” Arum says that now that the suit has been resolved, he is hopeful that he and Haymon can work together on more big fights. Cynics surmise that the settlement marks the first step in paving the way to a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch. Arum insists that’s nonsense.

Both companies are staging shows tomorrow night, Saturday, May 21. Premier Boxing Champions, Al Haymon’s organization, has a big show at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Six elite 154-pound fighters will be in action on the SHOWTIME triple-header. Erislandy Lara defends his WBA World title in a rematch with Vanes Martirosyan, Jermall Charlo defends his IBF World strap against Austin Trout, and Jermell Charlo meets John Jackson in a match sanctioned for the vacant WBC World title. The Charlo brothers, who turned 26 on Thursday, aim to become the first twin brothers to hold world titles at the same time in the same weight class. There are four bouts on the undercard including a 12-round contest between cruiserweights Beibut Shumenov and Junior Wright.

Arum’s Top Rank show in Laredo, Texas, is small potatoes by comparison. The featured bout is an 8-round contest between lightweights Ray Beltran and Ivan “Bam Bam” Najera.

Beltran (29-7, 17 KOs), from Phoenix by way of Mexico, is making his first start since May 1 of last year when he demolished Takahiro Ao in a match sanctioned for the vacant WBO World lightweight title. The title remained vacant when Beltran came in over weight. Najera, from San Antonio, is 16-2 (8).

The Beltran-Najera match and the 8-round co-feature, a super lightweight contest between Alex Saucedo (21-0, 14 KOs) and Claudinei Lacerda (17-14-1, 12), will air on Unimas at 11 P.M. ET and PT as part of the “Solo Boxeo Tecate” series.

Top Rank has a big show on June 11 that finds Roman “Rocky” Martinez defending his WBO World 130-pound title against Vasyl Lomachenko in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Martinez, a Puerto Rican, will have the home field advantage in New York City. The fight, televised on HBO, is being held on the Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend.

On July 23, Top Rank’s Terence Crawford meets Viktor Postol at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View. This is a very appealing match, a title unification fight between undefeated junior welterweight title-holders.