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Bob Arum and Top Rank Plan to Help Media Members Cover Fights Overseas
By: Hans Themistode
Now more than ever, boxing is becoming a global sport. Fights have always taken place in various parts of the world, but it seems as though there will be a significant uptick in the amount of high profile fights that will take place away from U.S. soil.
Just this past weekend on December 7th, unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua cruised to a unanimous decision victory over former belt holder Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch that was highly anticipated. The contest may not have lived up to the hype, but it was easily the most hyped contest in boxing this year.
Normally fights of an enormous magnitude has taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada. This time around however, the contest was taken to Saudi Arabia. Once the announcement of the contest became official, the people of Saudi Arabia created one of the largest temporary arenas in the world. It was a gorgeous setting and one that no one will soon forget. Promoter Eddie Hearn, has gone on the record stating that Saudi Arabia could become the new home to big time boxing.
Although the event was a historic one, the coverage that was provided by the media was subpar to say the least. Getting employers to send out employees to cover these events can become not only a hassle, but also very expensive as well.
Promoter Bob Arum has been around the sport of boxing longer than just about everyone. He has noticed the difference in the way the U.S. treats its coverage of boxing. In comparison to our rivals overseas, there truly is no comparison.
“We have a situation where in the U.K. every newspaper has a full time boxing writer,” said Arum. “In the United States there’s not one newspaper that has that. So now, how do you get coverage for your fights? Well you go to social media and so forth. But if you want people to go to your fights then you have to be able to subsidize them. They have to pay something but you can charge them a smaller amount.”
Arum has never been known to talk without offering a solution. That statement holds true as he has prepared his own idea as to how media members from the U.S. can continue to provide the sport of boxing with as much coverage as it needs, no matter the location of the event.
Current unified Super Lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez has a February 1st, date against mandatory challenger Viktor Postol. The bout is scheduled to take place in China. Arum has the intentions of starting his master plan with this event in order to get U.S. media coverage to support the bout.
“In China we are going to offer a package to the media of 400 dollars per person. That is the way you get people to cover a fight. I’m saying that with my fights overseas, we are going to offer a reasonable amount so that any media who wants to go can go. We are going to do this in a transparent way.”
Arum wishes to avoid the same fate that befell Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr.
“They got no coverage at all practically because it’s so expensive. You simply charge a reasonably small amount so that everyone can afford to do it. That is the only solution that I have.”
Arum’s master plan to bring more coverage to boxing events that will take place outside of the U.S. is an intriguing one. If promoters and employers are willing to take him up on his offer, this could benefit the sport of boxing tremendously.