Boxing promoter Bob Arum believes there could be potential in hosting boxing events at the WWE facility in Florida, after the State declared the professional wrestling company’s events “essential” in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made the decision last Thursday, and as such the WWE have been able to return to live events, albeit without any crowds in attendance. The news has apparently reached the ears of Arum, who says he’ll be reaching out to Vince McMahon to see if there’s a possibility of working together.
“It’s very, very interesting, and we’re going to be in touch with them. There’s a possibility to use their facility to maybe do events without a crowd,” Arum said, speaking to ESPN on Tuesday.
Arum and McMahon worked together last year when world boxing champion Tyson Fury briefly joined the promotion for a match in Saudi Arabia.
“We’re very close with Vince [McMahon] and the WWE. So let’s see, but we’re still not talking before June,” Arum said.
Despite the potential opening to get the sport back up and running, Arum is quick to note that decisions can’t be made without judging the coronavirus environment first.
“But it all depends, the whole reopening of the country, the different states, it all comes down to the same thing — testing, adequate testing, ” Arum said. “You cannot open it and have athletes compete against each other with referees, the judges, with camera people, unless you can ensure that it’s safe, and the only way you can ensure that it’s safe is with testing. It comes down to testing.”
Regardless, any fights held in a WWE ring without a crowd in attendance shouldn’t be expected to be at the level of the postponed trilogy fight between Fury and Deontay Wilder.’
“Those are either going to have to wait ’til you have spectators, or if the fighters get antsy, they will have to deal with an adjustment in their purses because you will have cut off an important revenue source from the event,” he said.
“For example, Fury and Wilder, the gate was close to $17 million, and that’s from the public buying tickets to the fight,” he said. “How do you replace that? Well, if you don’t replace it, then somebody has to eat that.”