‘It’s scary what I’m seeing’: Arum says Naoya Inoue a talent unlike any other

Fighting

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum spent some time talking to the media about a number of topics, including Vasiliy Lomachenko showing signs of slippage, what his plans for Shakur Stevenson are now that he’s nearing the end of his contract, and why Naoya Inoue is such a special talent. Check out some excerpts of what Arum had to say below.

Arum on Lomachenko coming up short in the big fights as of late

“Loma is, I believe, still a great fighter. His fight with Haney, I was watching that fight and I like Devin, he’s a great fighter, but I thought Loma won that fight. But again, judges decided otherwise and you have to respect the judges’ decision.

“Has Loma slipped a little? Yeah, because he’s 36, he’s not really that old but he’s had a long, long amateur career of almost 400 fights at the top level. So probably he is not as good as he was maybe five years ago. George Kambosos is a live dog in the fight, he’s a very good fighter, always in very good shape. It’s going to be a tough fight and we’ll see who comes out on top.

“I’ve loved having Loma as part of Top Rank, I have great affection for him. I think he’s a tremendous guy, great family, great father, just everything you want in a fighter. But he’s in very, very tough with Kambosos — he couldn’t handle Devin Haney, Kambosos couldn’t, but he certainly handled Teofimo.”

On if the plan is to have the Lomachenko vs Kambosos winner face Shakur Stevenson

“Well Shakur is fighting on July 6 in New Jersey at the Prudential Center. We’ll announce the opponent relatively shortly. We’ve had a great run with Shakur, he’s an incredible fighter with incredible skills but our contract is over with the July 6 fight. Hopefully we’ll maintain a relationship with Shakur and continue that, but he’s a free agent after the July 6 fight and so we’ll see how that all plays out. For me, to watch a Lomachenko vs Shakur fight, because I’m a boxing freak, I love boxing, would be such a treat to see two such skilled guys like that go at each other.

“But again, that’s in the future. Loma has a tough fight with Kambosos and the opponent, the guys tell me in the office that they’ve selected for Shakur is a really good fighter. So after July 6th we’ll take a look and see whether we can do a unification fight.”

On where Naoya Inoue ranks among all the fighters he’s promoted

“It’s scary what I’m seeing. He so overwhelms his opponents, really good opponents. I’ve never seen a fighter of that size perform the way he has. Maybe a Salvador Sanchez had that ability, but even then he didn’t win all his fights by knockout. Inoue goes into these fights, he boxes these guys and then he knocks them out. What we’re seeing in Inoue is something really special. It’s as special for boxing as Otani is for baseball.”

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