By Rick Reeno
Artie Pelullo, CEO of Banner Promotions, reached out to BoxingScene.com to respond to some recently published comments from Bob Arum, the CEO of Top Rank.
Former junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3, 16KOs) has complained about his inability to secure HBO televised fights against several names in Arum's vast stable.
When BoxingScene's Radio Rahim questioned Arum about Provodnikov's complaints, the veteran promoter indicated that Pelullo was difficult to deal with.
"The problem is, it's been difficult dealing with his promoter. I don't think his promoter has done him any favors. Ruslan is a very, very crowd-pleasing guy and I think there are a lot of spots where he would figure. But the promoter has to realize that people are paying the fighter, and they are not paid so that he puts a lot of money in his [own] pocket," Arum told BoxingScene.com.
According to Pelullo, Arum personally informed him that Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley, Diego Chaves and Brandon Rios were "off the table" for Provodnikov.
Provodnikov is now scheduled to return as the headliner of a November 28th event in Moscow, Russia.
"Today I saw a video interview of Bob with Radio Rahim. And here is my response to Bob's interview. I do truly love Bob. He states in the interview that Ruslan's promoter is more worried about himself than Ruslan's career. I have spoken to Top Rank directly, and [Arum] has categorically told myself and HBO - that Tim Bradley, Brandon Rios, Vargas and Chaves are off the table for Ruslan Provodnikov," Pelullo told BoxingScene.com.
"So yes we are going to be making big fights for Ruslan Provodnikov. And there were no big fights [in the United States] for Ruslan from now until the end of the year. Bob had told me and he told HBO, that none of his four big names were fighting Ruslan. So what we did is go to Russia, because Ruslan can make more money in Russia than being on a co-feature in the United States, and he's the main event [in Russia] on [cable network] Russia 2, in front of about 15,000 people."