By: Sean Crose
If boxing is a young man’s game, someone forgot to tell Bob Arum. The super promoter has been a noted player in the sport for almost half a century and hasn’t shown a whole lot of interest in slowing down. In fact, the man is one of the major forces behind this weekend’s heavyweight title rematch between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and arch rival Tyson Fury. Yet, while the octogenarian has been known to raise eyebrows over the years with some of his statements, Arum definitely got people’s attention when he told Business Insider recently that he is thinking of selling his company, Top Rank Promotions.
“Anything is for sale,” he’s quoted as saying. Although Arum made it clear that a future sale isn’t a guarantee, Business Insider reports that: “Arum is seemingly courting a similar deal to the one which saw UFC sold to WME-IMG, now known as Endeavor, four years ago.” In other words, Top Rank’s top players would likely remain its top players should the company sell. “Dana White remains at the forefront of the UFC,” Business Insider adds, “while many people with key positions before the sale, continue to fulfill prominent roles for the company today.”
Top Rank would likely prove to be a gold mine for anyone who purchased it. Here, after all, is a company that boasts some of the biggest names in the business, like Fury, Terence Crawford, and Vasyl Lomachenko. It also, as Business Insider points out “has footage of a prime Muhammad Ali and other fight material which it leases.” Arum has apparently revealed that Endeavor, Liberty Global, and the DAZN streaming service have all expressed interest in purchasing Top Rank. A sale to any of these companies, particularly DAZN, might alter the contemporary boxing landscape.
Successful, brash, entertaining and cantankerous, Arum has been a fixture in boxing for as long as many – if not most – fight fans have been alive. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Arum worked for Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department before moving on to boxing. During the course of his long career, he’s worked with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and seemingly countless others. Along with Al Haymon and De La Hoya, Arum remains one of the most powerful men in the sport, one with a long history of major fights and major talent on his resume.