By Rick Reeno & Lem Satterfield
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum spoke with BoxingScene.com about Humberto Soto taking the position of being a promotional free agent. Soto's manager, Antonio Lozada, disclosed to numerous outlets in Mexico that his boxer is now represented by well known boxing attorney Michael Miller, who advised Top Rank that Humberto is a free agent.
Soto was scheduled to defend his WBC lightweight title in a rematch with Urbano Antillon on the May 7th pay-per-view undercard to Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But, Soto never signed the contact for the rematch and told numerous parties that he doesn't plan to go forward with the fight.
According to Lozada, Soto is going to return on a televised date in late May or early June - under the banner of a new promoter - but there was no disclosure on the name of the promoter, although rumors in Mexico indicate that he might try to sign with Golden Boy Promotions.
Arum is not sure why Lozada keeps mentioning Top Rank. According to Arum, Soto has not been under contract with Top Rank for several years. Soto has been working with Top Rank through a promotional agreement with Fernando Beltran's Zanfer Promotions, which is Top Rank's partner in Mexico. Top Rank has nothing to do with the ongoing problems between Soto and Beltran, says Arum.
"F**k that. He's not my fighter. He's Fernando's fighter. We haven't had him under contract for years. He and Fernando will either work things out or won't work things out. I got more things on my plate than this. The kid has done nothing but cost us money," said Arum to BoxingScene.com.
"He's supposed to be meeting with Fernando, and, hopefully, they'll work it out. And if they don't work it out, they don't work it out. I mean, it's got nothing to do with us. We've used Soto as a courtesy to Fernando."
If the situation with Soto is not resolved, don't be surprised if Antillon is reshuffled to a showdown with WBA champion Brandon Rios on July 9. Top Rank would also replace Soto-Antillon with another fight on the pay-per-view broadcast.