Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is in the process of putting together a July 23 HBO PPV card that will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and is expected to be headlined by a junior welterweight title unification bout between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol, one of the more intriguing fights that can be made in boxing. That's a serious, top-level fight, but Arum also wants to have a little fun with the show.
To that end, Arum told ESPN.com that the card will also include a two-round exhibition bout between Hall of Famers Roberto Duran (103-16, 70 KOs) and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (107-6-2, 86 KOs), two of the greatest fighters in boxing history and the two best Hispanic fighters ever.
Top Rank has already been in touch with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN.com that permitting the match is under consideration by the commission, which he said needs to hash out some of the details, including the weight, before approving it.
Arum said both fighters would wear headgear and 16-ounce gloves.
"I don't want anyone to get hurt," Arum said. "It's fun, which is what it's supposed to be. We'll have a good card and this will be an added bonus and we'll have fun. We'll pay tribute to the two greatest Hispanic fighters."
Chavez, who turns 54 on July 12, and Duran, who turns 65 on June 16, were at the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. III fight last week in Las Vegas and both want to do the exhibition. Chavez was there because he was part of the Mexican television broadcast team. Duran was there as a guest because "Hands of Stone," the movie about his life that opens in August, was one of the fight sponsors.
Arum said when he saw Chavez, the former three-division champion and Mexican great, in Los Angeles on Monday of fight week he told him that he was going to do an exhibition with Duran, a former four-division champion and Panama's greatest fighter, for the hell of it, on his birthday.
With that comment, Arum's idea was born.
"I said, 'No you're not, you'll do it on our July 23 card,'" Arum said. "Roberto was crazy for the idea. He loved it. It helps promote the movie, which will also be one of the sponsors for the July 23 card. They were just going to do it but now they'll get some mileage out of it and make some money. We're going to get sponsors and give them gifts and honor these two Hispanic greats."
Chavez and Duran were fierce warriors during their fighting days and Arum suspects that mentality has not changed.
"I said to Duran, 'Roberto, it's an exhibition,' and he said to me, 'I will kill Chavez.' He was being Duran. And Chavez said the same thing to me about Duran. He said, 'I will beat him up,'" Arum said. "I think they were joking, but who the hell knows with these guys?"