By Chris Robinson
There are several reasons why Bob Arum's Top Rank promotional company is the top entity in the sport. Calculated planning, a shrewd business sense, and the ability to develop stars worldwide is a huge part of it but just like anything else, luck often comes into play.
Arum has been fortunate in recent years to have fighters who have risen to the occasion under the highest of pressure situations, the latest being newly-crowned WBC and WBO bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire. Two weekends ago, the Fil-Am fighter produced one of the more breathtaking knockouts in recent memory when he stopped Los Mochis' Fernando Montiel inside of two rounds inside the Mandalay Bay.
When asked if he ever expected such a result, Arum still seems to be in disbelief when sharing his thoughts.
"No," Arum answered. "It was absolutely spectacular. That was one of the best punches I have ever seen in the whole time I have been in boxing. It's reminiscent of the punch with which Manny [Pacquiao] knocked out Ricky Hatton."
Donaire parted ways with promoter Gary Shaw nearly three years ago and was picked up by Arum, who saw something special in the fighter. Not just his abilities inside of the ring, but it was also Donaire's connection with his people back home that caught Arum's eye.
"Well I knew he was an excellent fighter and he had that win over Darchinyan," Arum continued. "But I had met him when I was over in the Philippines on Manny Pacquiao business. And I could see how he related to a lot of Filipinos. And I thought it would be a good move to sign him."
Coming off of the biggest win of his career, it looks as though Donaire is eager to capitalize on his momentum. Arum confirmed that he is looking at a May date for a matchup with WBA champion Anselmo Moreno in the Bay Area of California, Donaire's adopted hometown.
"That's what we are working on," noted Arum. "I'm waiting to get a date from HBO. I should get it today or tomorrow. Then we're actively looking for the proper venue in the Bay Area."
Given Donaire's tremendous talent and growing popularity in the sport, I couldn't help but ask Arum if he was positioning himself to one day take the torch from Pacquiao, who is revered within the Philippines. It may look great on the surface but Arum isn't in a rush to see it happen.
"Well I would hope that there's a good bit of time before Manny is ready to pass the torch."