By Victor Salazar
New York – Legendary promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank has been around boxing for a long time. Throughout the decades, he’s seen many changes in the manner that boxing has been distributed.
The new content distribution deal which his company is under, with ESPN, combines linear television with new-age streaming via ESPN+.
Arum is promoting a pay-per-view between his fighter Terence Crawford (34-0,25 KO’s) and UK star Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KO’s) – which is being distributed on ESPN’s pay-per-view platform.
While he loves the streaming services, he knows that sometimes it is necessary when the fight deems it.
“Pay-per-view is only going to be successful if the attraction is good enough and if you have a microphone behind it to let people know what you have and what you’re going to show,” Arum told BoxingScene.com.
Arum feels ESPN’s presence will make the Crawford-Khan fight that much bigger.
Arum broke down another pay-per-view between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, which was distributed by Showtime.
The fight was better than expected and did pay-per-view numbers where there was a profit behind it.
However, Arum feels the fight could have been much bigger.
“That’s why the Wilder-Fury show wasn’t as big as it could have been,” Arum said. “I didn’t think it was going to be a good fight. It had no promoter and no megaphone. This fight (Crawford-Khan) will do tremendous numbers because it has a megaphone. ESPN will be talking about it throughout their programming. Now some will buy it and some won’t but at least they will make an intelligent decision.”
Arum stands behind his statements and he feels ESPN does too.
“If you do a fight with a lot of these other platforms there is no megaphone, then the general public is unaware of the fight and they won’t care. ESPN is devoted to the sport of boxing and making it a big success on pay-per-view.”