Tag Archives: Bob Arum

Bob Arum Looking to Put Future Fights in Studio Settings in Vegas Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

By: Hans Themistode

Much like every other sport, boxing has come to a complete stop due to the Coronavirus. But promoter Bob Arum is trying to play his part to get it going once again.

When news broke of the Coronavirus or otherwise known as Covid-19, putting an end to roughly every sport around the world, fans could hardly believe it. Arum, like many other promoters, was forced to put several of his shows on ice.  

WBO Featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson and Featherweight contender Michael Conlan were set to headline their own cards on the 14th and 17th of March, in Madison Square Garden, in New York City. But not anymore. With two of Arums shows already sidelined, the 88 year old promoter is looking into unique ways to salvage the few remaining cards he already has booked on the boxing schedule. 

“We’re gonna try to set up a studio atmosphere in Vegas, so we can do fights maybe,” Arum said during Friday’s episode of “The Ak & Barak Show” on SiriusXM. “You know, ESPN, unfortunately for them, doesn’t have content. They don’t have the NBA, they don’t have college basketball, they don’t have the women’s tournament. So, they’re gonna need content. And we can provide content. We’ve talked to the athletic commission here [in Nevada], doing fights in a studio. But we’ve got to get the testing done. We’ve gotta get enough tests here, so that we can test the fighters before the fights, so we can show that they do not have the virus. Or, if they have the virus, they can’t fight. I mean, that’s what we’re working on.”

The first of Arums shows that would be heading towards a studio like setting would be his March 28th, event which was set to take place at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. Headlining that card would be unified Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) and IBF mandatory challenger Meng Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs). 

Next up of the Top Rank schedule is an April 25th, showdown between pound for pound star and unified Bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) and WBO title holder John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs). One week later, unified Lightweight champ Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs) was set to make his Top Rank debut against Apinun Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs). 

With both events most likely to be postponed, Arum is hoping he can still put on shows while this pandemic is currently being sorted out. 

Most recently, the UFC kept their event alive by banning fans from entering the arena. Boxing could be following in those same footsteps. It may not be ideal or fun for the fighters involved but at this point, it’s better than nothing.

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Pacquiao: “I Can’t Rely On My Salary As Public Official”

Pacquiao: “I Can’t Rely On My Salary As Public Official”
By: Sean Crose

“Boxing is my main source of income,” Manny Pacquiao claimed amidst the hubbub of his public announcement that he will return to the ring this November to face WBO welterweight champ Jessie Vargas. “I can’t rely on my salary as public official,” he added. Considering these words come from a man who literally earned well over 100 million – that’s million – dollars for thirty-six minutes’ worth of work against Floyd Mayweather in last year’s superbout, the reality of Pacquiao’s situation may seem strange to most people.

Nov. 23, 2014, Macau, China    ---   Superstar Manny Pacquiao wins a 12-round unanimous decision over  WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Chris "Real Rocky" Algieri. at the Cotai Arena in The Venetian Macao Resort in Macau,China. ----    Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2014

Look, your author is no math expert, but if Manny’s been making a guaranteed 20 million per fight, as has been said, then his pay would have been close to 40 million dollars an hour if he punched a clock. Outrageous, right? Not so fast. There seems to be more than just immediate family for Pacquiao to support. “I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well,” he states. But that’s not all. “Many people also come to me to ask for help,” he adds, “and I just couldn’t ignore them.”

While it may be easy for people to accuse Pacquiao of being a sap, the truth is the man’s endured some grinding poverty and knows what it means to not have the basics like food and shelter to take for granted. First world judgements are easy to bandy about, after all. Pacquiao may not share one’s political, moral, or religious beliefs, but it’s hard to argue that the guy isn’t generous, nor that he doesn’t understand the plight of the needy.

Still, it’s clear one can’t provide for everyone and that history is littered with stories of boxers done in on account of their generosity before being thrown to the world’s wayside. Perhaps that won’t be the case with Pacquiao in the end, however, since he’s mentioned first that it’s his love of the sport that’s driving him back in the ring. That surely is discouraging to some Filipinos, since the guy is a sitting senator, but Manny feels he can be both politician and pug at the same time.

Only time will tell if he’s right or not. Just like only time will tell if he can keep competing at the top level. Jessie Vargas is a good fighter, but he’s not as highly regarded as Terence Crawford, who many thought should be the man Pacquiao got into the ring with this fall.

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Bob Arum Bashes UFC For Drug Tests, Dismisses MMA Fans As Trump Supporters

Bob Arum Bashes UFC For Drug Tests, Dismisses MMA Fans As Trump Supporters
By: Sean Crose

Who knew Bob Arum was such a picture of virtue? For decades now, the man has stood atop – or near the top – of what has been known as the red light district of sports…boxing. Yet it was another combat sport that Arum took the time to bash recently – the Ultimate Fighting Championship, better known as the UFC. Truth be told, the mixed martial arts league has been hit hard recently with news that numerous of its top fighters have tested positive for drug use. Needless to say, Arum had choice words regarding the matter of drug testing:


“I don’t think,” he stated, “(it) is particularly necessary as far as fighters are concerned. Most fighters obey the rules. It’s probably more necessary in MMA because they appear to be unconcerned with the testing.” Ouch. Yet the man wasn’t done. Not by a long shot. “What the hell?” he asked rhetorically. “As long as the tests come out after the fight, right? Everybody’s collecting money. Just saying. just saying.” Just saying indeed.

Arum then moved on to addressing the recent sale of the UFC, for a reported four billion – that’s billion – dollars. “Good luck to them,” he stated. “And for some reason they can buy off lobbyists so they’re not subject to the Muhammad Ali Act like promoters are in boxing – just saying.” That’s right, one of the biggest players in boxing has accused the UFC of some seriously shady tactics. By the way, word is Arum is interested in doing business with Al Haymon, who some suggest has also broken the Muhammad Ali act. Yet Arum had even more things to say, going so far as to attack UFC fans – many of whom happen to be die hard boxing fans, as well.

“In boxing,” Arum said, “we have a lot of minorities, African-American, Hispanics, Jewish promoters, people like that.” Never mind the fact that the UFC has fighters such as Jon Jones, the Diaz brothers and others, the guy had a point to make. “And,” he said, speaking of those in the boxing game, “pretty much, we’re Democrats. MMA people they’re for Trump. You ever look at an MMA audience? Of course they’re for Trump.”

Bob Arum the uniter.

UFC honcho Dana White, who himself has a strong boxing background, obviously had some things to add to the conversation. “Arum is the biggest dirtbag in all of sports,” he claimed. “I look forward to sticking around and continuing to kick his ass in every aspect of our business.” With all that in mind, UFC fans await the rematch between Conor McGregor, who was recently interested in boxing Floyd Mayweather, and Nate Diaz, who has helped train Andre Ward as a sparring partner. Clearly those two men don’t seem to have a problem with boxing and MMA coexisting. Then again, they aren’t Bob Arum. McGregor and Diaz have mouths on them, to be sure, but neither can stir the pot quite the way Mr. Arum does.

Then again, few can.

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Back to the Future with Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas

Back to the Future with Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas
By Ivan G. Goldman


In a world teeming with excellent welterweights, we wake up just about every year to the same old match-up of Timothy Bradley versus Manny Pacquiao. Will this never end? Will they battle on and on like doomed ageless warriors in a demented sci-fi flick?

Won’t someone step up to release them and us from this bend in the time-space continuum?

When Bradley won a ridiculous split decision over Pacquiao in their first bout almost four years ago, promoter Bob Arum described the foolish scorecards as a “death knell” for the sport. Yet that didn’t prevent him from promoting a second and now a third contest, which comes at us this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view.

Everyone connected to the promotion acts like it’s an event surrounded by unparalleled drama, but when the microphones and cameras are gone everyone – and I mean everyone – understands Pacquiao prevailed in both previous contests. In terms of entertainment they were acceptable, certainly not thrilling.
Arum, who’s promoting this fight because he seems to be out of good ideas, hired respected boxing voice Bill Dwyre to write a series of pre-fight articles that are being emailed all around the fight community. Dwyre, now retired, used to run the sports section at the L.A. Times.

From time to time he falls back on the fact that both these fighters happen to be trained by celebrities – Teddy Atlas in Bradley’s corner and of course Freddie Roach in Pacquiao’s. The latter is a storied fighter/trainer combination known around the world. Atlas versus Roach creates a kind of reality TV programming atmosphere.

What goes unmentioned in publicity materials is that in his previous outing Pacquiao screwed all the paying customers by participating with a serious injury that he and his team covered up as long as they could. They clearly feared to jeopardize an astronomical payday for at long last facing Floyd Mayweather.

Previously Philippines Congressman Pacquiao had an almost sacred bond with fans. His Number One goal, he said repeatedly, was to entertain them with good fights. But if that ever was his mission, he discarded it like a wad of chewed-up gum when faced with the prospect of losing a $100 million purse. So he climbed into the ring injured and fought like it.
Mayweather, as is his wont, never really pressed him so the biggest-money fight in history was a terrible dud, a bomb, a failure, flop, a catastrophe, bogus. But not for the folks who shared the booty.

Afterward Mayweather jogged through a 49th victory – also on PPV — over Andre Berto and hung up his gloves. Meanwhile legendary Pacquiao, who turned 37 four months ago, soldiers on. Beloved by Filipino fans, he’s apparently been guaranteed $20 million. Isn’t 37 rather old for a welterweight? Especially one who’s been through so many wars as he notched up a record of 57-6-2, 38 KOs? Yes.

As for Bradley, guaranteed $4 million, he’s come through fire to achieve well-earned success, but he lacks a knockout punch. If they’ll keep offering him this kind of money to fight Pacquiao, he’ll keep showing up. But will the fans? Pacquiao, once known for blazing power, has delivered only one stoppage in his last 11 outings. That was over Miguel Cotto in 2009.

Al Haymon, who presides over cash-guzzling Premiere Boxing Champions, has reached the point where he might do business with his archenemy Arum and offer up welterweights like Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman as opponents. Maybe not. But Kell Brook and Amir Khan are also out there. Khan may or may not be involved in a business relationship with inscrutable Haymon.

Arum, who’s put together another so-so undercard, predicts a PPV audience of 700,000-plus. I hope everyone who buys this fight ends up pleased with the purchase. It’s possible.

Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available from Permanent Press wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.

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In Defense of Miguel Cotto

By Kirk Jackson

At long last, fans finally get to see a match-up we’ve all been eagerly anticipating for some time now.

No, this is not a reference to Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) vs. Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2m, 38 KOs), which thankfully, will happen May 2nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Approximately one month later from that date, on the opposite side of the country, on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York city, Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) will make his highly awaited return to the ring.

Sadly, his return will not be against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-1-1, 31 KOs), or against one of boxing’s hottest commodities, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs).

The opponent? Still to be determined.

Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage (34-5, 19 KOs) was rumored to be an opponent for Cotto, but Bundrage is now being linked to fighting Timothy Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs) instead.

Former WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs) is a name referenced as a potential opponent, along with multiple division champion and current welterweight contender, Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KOs).

Unknown fighter Jorge Sebastian Heiland (25-4-2 (13 KOs) is an option and others will probably be in the running for the Miguel Cotto Sweepstakes as well. The fans however, will not be satisfied unless they see Cotto in the ring with Alvarez or Golovkin.

Which is what we should expect, right? The best fighting the best. But boxing is a business and we don’t always see the best match-ups.

It’s not a huge dilemma, if we take a look at the grand scale of things. There are plenty of fighters, past and present, who took an easier fight than what was in “public demand.”

Alvarez up until recently had a soft resume of opponents. Golovkin hasn’t exactly faced the best quality opposition; there’s variables at play, but it’s the truth.

The legendary Sugar Ray Robinson did not go out of his way to face Charley Burley, or any members of the “Murderer’s Row” which also included Lloyd Marshall, Holman Williams, Herbert “Cocoa Kid” Lewis Hardwick, Jack Chase, Eddie Booker, Elmer Ray, Aaron Wade and Bert Lytell.

Miguel Cotto’s resume, of course, includes stiff challenges from Ricardo Torres, DeMarcus Corley, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

But well into his Hall of Fame career, Cotto also faced the likes of Alfonso Gomez, Delvin Rodriguez and Michael Jennings. One can also easily argue Sergio Martinez was far removed from his physical prime and fighting on one leg.

So having a soft touch on the resume shouldn’t be a surprise. The level of negative criticism, however, that comes with it is surprising and somewhat unfair.

Also, this negative backlash is a testament to Bob Arum’s greatness as a promoter. Fighters that end up leaving Arum and Top Rank promotions usually have their reputations tarnished (Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather come to mind).

When Mayweather was fighting under the Top Rank banner, Arum was quoted as saying Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter he’s seen since Muhammad Ali.

But for the better part of the last decade, with Mayweather deciding to take his talents elsewhere, Arum unleashed a barrage of insults against Mayweather on various occasions, as he did with De La Hoya during the time of his departure and now with Cotto.

The key trait for a promoter is possessing the ability to manipulate public perception, at which Arum truly is the best in the business.

Cotto, was once described as the fan’s fighter. Known for taking on all challengers,

If we are to criticize Miguel Cotto for his opponent selection, can we do the same for Golovkin? Do some of these criticisms apply to some of the current stable of Top Rank fighters? Perhaps even the greatest of the bunch, Manny Pacquiao?

If we try see things from the perspective of Cotto, it’s difficult to find fault in his reasoning.

Miguel Cotto: target of too much criticism?

“I have nothing to say to Bob Arum. He’s never given me anything. What I have is a product of my effort. The money that Mr. Bob Arum invested in Miguel Cotto was recovered ten times over. This is a business and from my signing in 2001, I was a business in the eyes of Top Rank,” Cotto said to El Vocero.

“One plus one is two in any language. They think I’m a moron but I’m not. They spent years doing the same practice. It has happened to three boxers who have realized that: Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather Jr., and now, Miguel Cotto. With all three it was the same situation with the same common denominator,” Cotto continued.

Cotto is following the path carved by the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather respectively. The fighter has now aligned with Roc Nation Sports, signing a lucrative three-fight deal that can earn him up to 50 million dollars.

ESPN Deportes confirms that there also is a cross-promotion deal in place, which could earn Cotto around 100 million dollars as well.

Disgruntled fans and outsiders can cast stones, but until they walk in the other person’s shoes, what gives them the right to be so critical, and if so, measure Cotto by the same guidelines as everyone else?

Cotto is coming towards the end of his career, he wants financial security and has paid his dues. He’s the only Puerto Rican four-division world champion in the island’s rich history of boxers. He scrapped with the top opposition of his generation, Pacquiao, Mayweather and Mosley. He arguably fought a cheater in Antonio Margarito.

With three fights left in his career, there is the possibility he will still fight Alvarez or Golovkin.

The question is, what would you do in his position?

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