by Chris Robinson
Top Rank president Todd duBoef may not draw the type of headlines that the company’s CEO Bob Arum does, but all one has to do is have a talk with him to get a true sense of his passion for boxing and his overall understanding of the way the sport works.
Said by HBO analyst Jim Lampley to be the one man who could lead a revival of boxing in the United States, duBoef recently was spotted at the 49th annual WBC Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, and took some time from his hectic schedule to weigh in on some recent storylines in sweet science.
DuBoef unveiled his professional history with the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto, discussed why former lightweight champion Brandon Rios may not be in a rush to move up in weight, and touched on the nerves he felt during the November 29th hearing by the New York State Athletic Commission to determine whether or not Antonio Margarito was fit to be licensed for his December 3rd bout with Cotto at Madison Square Garden.
DuBoef also revealed that he would be open to sitting down with Mayweather personally, if the situation called for it, in order to make a fight with Manny Pacquiao come to fruition.
Continue reading for some highlights from my conversation with duBoef.
Boxing in 2011…
“I think this year for boxing was incredible. I don’t think it was just Top Rank, it think we accomplished a lot as a sport. You saw the Haye-Klitschko fight draw a massive crowd and you saw the Klitschko fights in Europe draw massive crowds. You saw Canada having incredible success with Pascal and Bute. You saw the United States, through our promotions and other people’s promotions, [having] incredible attendances and incredible fights. In Mexico, having problaby one of the robust years in the history of the country.”
Being present at NYSAC hearing to determine Margarito’s eligibility for his licensing for the Cotto rematch…
“You know, nerve-wracking was an understatement. People say that my facial expressions after the hearing said a lot. So much of our job is in preparation, to get everything done and secured. You never think something is in doubt like that. And it was incredibly nerve-wracking. It was very disheartening and problematic for us to be in that situation, but fortunately the science and the new medicine was heard by good ears and they received all the advice that they had and they felt good about it.”
Signing Miguel Cotto to Top Rank…
“Miguel and I have a very, very long, incredible relationship. I went down in January, I think it was 2001, and signed him along with a number of others and I think we developed a lot together. It was right out of the Olympics and he’s very special as an individual. He’s developed and trusted us in his career and he’s delivered incredibly inside the ring and outside the ring. And I think he’s very happy for his satisfaction off of the result of the [Margarito] fight.”
Whether Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather is an option for 2012…
“I think it’s absolutely an option. I think it’s an incredible option. It’s the fight that, everywhere you go, people talk about it. I think it’s something that we’ll all have to consider. We’d love to see it happen.”
A place in his heart for Floyd Mayweather Jr….
“Listen, Floyd and I have a similar relationship. In 1996 I signed him and took a very big interest in trying to help him out and develop him in his career. Because, those early years are the most important years because you have to trust somebody and we both trusted each other. I appreciated Floyd’s comments and inside of me I have a very sensitive place for Floyd. There’s a place in my heart for the growth that we both had together and I think it’s important, if the two of us have to sit down, I welcome it. I’ve always been there to listen to him, to whatever his issues are. I think he understands that I express myself to him and we understand each other very well.”
The contradicting storylines regarding Arum’s interest in making Pacquiao-Mayweather a reality…
“I think, unfortunately, people buy into what they think the press thinks. And what the press speculates and what people circulate in the press. I think at the end of the day, if we keep our eye on what our best interest it, and our best interest is the sport, we’ll always be ahead of the game.”
Why Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios might not be moving up to 140 pounds just yet…
“I’m not sure that’s the case. I think he had a difficult time making weight under some interesting circumstances. But the conversations I’ve had with him and his team, they still possibly want to stay at 135 and they’re going to get him evaluated by professionals. He’s at the point, when you get older, you need professional nutritionists, professional conditioning, all that kind of stuff to help him with the tricks to make weigh the right way. I think the training camp was somewhat interrupted because Robert had to be with Margarito a lot of the time. I don’t put that blame on Robert or Brandon but there were unusual circumstances.”
Open to working with Golden Boy Promotions…
“We’ve had no issues with them. I think you saw that, in September, we used Daniel Ponce De Leon for [Yuriorkis] Gamboa, that was their fighter. We’ve [made] offers [to] them [for Marcos] Maidana, [Lucas] Matthysse on separate shows in November. I don’t find any issue.”
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com . Please follow him at www.Twitter.com/CRHarmony