By Radio Rahim
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum has made it no secret that he's no fan of the current leadership at HBO Sports, but he's more than willing to have a working relationship with Showtime and their parent company, CBS.
Earlier this year, Arum's company parted ways with HBO and signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with ESPN.
However, there are big fights to be made with fighters who may be contracted elsewhere.
For example, one of Arum's star fighters, Terence Crawford, is heading up to the welterweight division - but the bulk of the welterweight talent, and the welterweight champions, are tied to Showtime.
Arum has no problem with working out a talent trade relationship with Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza - an arrangement where the two sides would make talent available to each other for necessary fights.
The veteran promoters realizes that it's not realistic to believe that every significant fight involving one his boxers will end up on ESPN.
Maybe Crawford fights a Showtime fighter like Keith Thurman on ESPN, but an ESPN fighter like Manny Pacquiao would fight Danny Garcia on Showtime.
That's the kind of relationship Arum is aiming for - a scenario that benefits both sides.
"Lets not look at promoters particularly, lets look at networks. Over at Showtime, Espinoza is a very smart guy. And his boss is a very big fight fan, a good friend of mine, Les Moonves, and Moonves will make these fights happen. They can't all be on ESPN nor can they all be on Showtime - so there is something called trade," Arum told BoxingScene.com.
"The big boys, whether it's CBS, ABC, FOX, ESPN - they have no problem with college football... arranging who gets which game and so forth. I think it will be the same and it should be the same with Showtime, CBS and Top Rank - that if they need a Top Rank fighter to fight on Showtime, we'll make them available. And if there is a fighter who traditionally fights on Showtime or CBS, they will make him available to ESPN.
"I think that we'll work very, very well with [Showtime, CBS] - at least that's my hope."