By Keith Idec
Bob Arum can only hope he has a better working relationship with the incoming president of HBO Sports than he had with the man who previously held the position.
The powerful promoter’s battles with former HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg are well-documented. Many within the boxing industry also believe that Arum’s decision earlier this year to take the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley pay-per-view fight to rival Showtime was the final failure that led to Greenburg’s resignation July 19.
Arum has had a counter-programming issue recently with Ken Hershman, whom HBO hired away from Showtime earlier this month, as well. But Arum is looking forward to seeing what Hershman, who was lauded for much of the boxing programming he approved as the vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, can do when he begins his new job at HBO on Jan. 9.
“I’m always optimistic,” Arum said. “I really think the people that run HBO are very, very bright people. I believe that Hershman will adhere to the vision that [HBO’s president of programming Michael] Lombardo and [HBO co-president Richard] Plepler have, and so I’m very optimistic.”
The outspoken promoter was unusually reluctant, however, to assess his relationship with Hershman.
“I would rather not comment on that,” Arum said, “not being for any other reason other than … ask me six months from now how my relations have been with Hershman at HBO, and I’m happy to comment on that.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for the Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.