Bob Arum: The four key points for boxing promotion

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By Luke Reddy
BBC Sport at Las Vegas
In Bob Arum’s office hangs a picture of Muhammad Ali being embraced by him.
Both men have written about the photograph, with Arum’s message „To Muhammad, the person who made it possible, with love“
Arum, 87, and still at the forefront of boxing promotion, has pushed fighters from Ali’s professions into Manny Pacquiao.
Over letting future five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather slip out of his grasp, he holds no sorrow, has learned to make peace with rivals and credits marijuana as being key to his longevity.
Arum is currently in Las Vegas promoting Saturday’s heavyweight bout between Otto Wallin and Fury. His phone constantly pings with text messages as we talk.
When he thought he would do one event, he has promoted around 2,100 struggle nights as 1966.
Work from the legal profession gave him a glimpse of this sport, when, trying to find the Office of the US Attorney, he had been instructed to seize funds increased by Sonny Liston’s fight.
„Because I learned the amounts but I understood nothing about boxing,“ he states. „I hadn’t ever seen a fight.
„Then in 1965 I met with Jim Brown, possibly the best American footballer of all time, and he brought me into Ali. Before I knew it I was promoting Ali.
„This was the big step. I thought I would do one struggle for the kicks and get out. However, a UK promoter asked me to deliver Ali around to fight Henry Cooper at Arsenal’s old stadium and, 53 years later, I am still in it.“
After almost 60 years in a business that was busy, Arum offered a four-point blueprint for anyone to BBC Sport.
With a Harvard education, Arum had business acumen; the craft of promoting, though, was not normal to him.
27 bouts by Ali’s side had effect in a career that found him move on to use a number of boxing’s best names. None were bigger than Ali, the first person to hold the heavyweight title.
„Truly, everything I’ve learned about promotion and how to capture attention, it began by Ali,“ says Arum. „He was the best promoter I have everbeen around. He was a great influence in my life.
„I recall people would come up to me and say how good I was for thinking up all these thoughts. It was awkward as they weren’t mine, that they were his.“
From changes in broadcast stages to media’s sway, Arum has learned to conform to industry advances but believes just one special difficulty is the best threat to any promoter that was budding.
„The most difficult portion of this business and why it sometimes gets mad, is the fact that there’s no barrier to entry,“ he adds.
„People come in with cash, knowing nothing and that can be hugely problematic if people mess up the market “
Arum, who resides in part of this year in Beverly Hills and vegas, has generated countless millions of dollars during his Top Rank organisation.
He might have made .
Mayweather bought himself out of the contract for $. His succeeding wealth has seen the choice labelled“boxing’s greatest investment“.
„The mistake I made was due to my long connection with Ali, I thought I knew everything about the African American community,“ Arum says.
„When Mayweather maintained forcing us to market him with that neighborhood, I believed he did not understand much. However he was looking at the youthful.
„He realised the potential and an elderly man I didn’t. He made a fortune.
„With Andy Ruiz Jr, who we promoted, he desired enormous money for fights so we allow him to buy his contract out. He went and hit the lottery. Anthony Joshua was ruined by him.
„That’s existence, you can not dwell on that. I am far from upset or resentful.“
Now Arum pits his wits against the likes of Eddie Hearn in the US at the UK and Al Haymon. Rivalries exist however he faces none quite like his time squaring off against American Don King.
King appeared as an adversary in the mid-1970s – especially when he promoted the’Rumble in the Jungle‘ between Ali and George Foreman – and remained a threat for more than 20 decades.
„He was a tremendous competitor,“ remembers Arum.
„I had been with Ali, so I was connected to the Nation of Islam and the civil rights movement in the US.
„King made me irate if he tried to label me a racist. It worked for some time with black fighters registering along with him. I learned how to handle that.
„He had really no life without boxing. He would stay up till all hours calling to create fights.
„When the time came, we worked together on big conflicts. Is it’s not about you. When a fighter has a chance, you can’t let personal animosity get in the way.“
Arum was 74 when YouTube was created. As we talk, he’s about to conduct interviews with a few of the system’s channels that serve lots of the youngest fans of the sport.
„The key to longevity and success is straightforward; appreciate what you are doing,“ he states.
„I understand people in this business that are so pressured but they are constantly unhappy.
„Another factor is that I understand how to relax and what I’ve used instead of alcohol is marijuana, even if it wasn’t legal.“
Asked when he started using the substance, he jokes:“As soon as I got in to this organization.
„It will help break your mind in order when you have to make tough decisions, your brain is rested.“
For now, three weeks short there can be no rest. Arum is currently calling the shots at a fight week.
Saturday’s bout will be aired on BBC Radio 5 Live with complete live text commentary about the BBC Sport site and is expected to start at approximately 05:00 BST at the united kingdom.
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