- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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SAN ANTONIO -- Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has been traveling like crazy.
Last week he was in Macau for his card headlined by two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming. This week he is in San Antonio promoting Saturday night's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Bryan Vera rematch at the Alamodome. On Monday he is headed for Moscow hoping to close a deal for a series of cards he plans to do there with some of the Russian talent he has signed.
Even at 82, Arum is always on the move, always working.
Arum said the executives at the Venetian in Macau are so happy with the cards he has been putting on there that they booked additional cards for this year when he was there last week.
"The Chinese cards have been going so well that the Venetian gave me three more dates this year," Arum said. "I love it there."
Arum said he will be promoting cards in Macau on May 31 (although that date could change to a different May date), July 19 and Nov. 15.
The May card, Arum said, likely will be headlined by Nonito Donaire going for a featherweight world title against Simpiwe Vetyeka with Nicholas Walters likely to defend his featherweight belt on the undercard against Alejandro Perez. Other fights ticketed for that card are a junior featherweight title eliminator between Chris Avalos and Japan's Yasutaka Ishimoto and former flyweight titlist Brian Viloria against an opponent to be determined.
The July card likely will be headlined by Zou as the Chinese flyweight star moves into a 10-round fight in his fifth pro bout. If all goes well, Zou could fight for a world title in the fight after that on the November card, Arum said.
Top Rank owes junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux one more fight before his contract expires this
summer and Arum said he might also fight on the July card in Macau.
In addition, Arum said he will also promote at least one card, perhaps two, this year at the Venetian's sister property in Singapore -- featuring middleweight Ryota Murata, the 2012 Japanese Olympic gold medalist -- as well as a card on May 20 in Shanghai on mainland China.
Arum's trip to Russia is to meet with various business people interested in having him get involved in promoting there, including Andrey Ryabinsky, the Russian billionaire who put up the $23 million purse bid to bring the Wladimir Klitschko-Alexander Povetkin heavyweight championship fight to Moscow last year. Arum promotes several Russian fighters, including featherweight titlist Evgeny Gradovich and light heavyweight Egor Mekhontsev, the 2012 Russian Olympic gold medalist, who would populate cards there.
"I'll also be looking at some Russian amateurs we may sign," Arum said. "There's a whole world out there with people who can fall in love with boxing and I want to bring it to them."
SAN ANTONIO -- Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has been traveling like crazy. Last week he was in Macau for his card headlined by two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming.