Bob Arum is about to hit another landmark in what has been a landmark year for the Brooklyn-born Hall of Fame promoter. On March 29, Arum celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first event he ever promoted — the battle for the Heavyweight Championship of the World between Muhammad Ali and George Chuvalo.
Next week, Saturday, November 26, at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Arum will present his 2,000th event — the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title fight between undefeated two-division world champion VASYL LOMACHENKO and undefeated former world champion NICHOLAS “Axe Man” WALTERS.
It will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:35 p.m. ET/PT. The following week, Arum will fly to New Zealand where he will celebrate his 85th birthday on December 8, and two days later sit ringside watching undefeated heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz attempt to become Mexico’s first heavyweight champion when he battles Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO title.
Also on December 10, undefeated World Junior Welterweight Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD will make the first defense of his unified WBO / World Boxing Council (WBC) / Ring magazine 140-pound world titles when he rumbles with one-time world title challenger and current No. 1 contender JOHN MOLINA JR at CenturyLink Center Omaha. That fight will also be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT.
“When I promoted my first fight my accountants were still using roman numerals,” said Arum. “It’s been quite an adventure.”
Here are a few of Arum’s observations from his first 50 years in boxing as previously reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
ARUM’S FAVORITE FIGHTERS
Longtime fight promoter Bob Arum has worked with thousands of fighters in his 50 years in the boxing business. Here are his top five fighters he has worked with:
- Muhammad Ali. “He was a world figure. People loved him wherever he went. But he was also a great fighter.”
- Manny Pacquiao. “His life story is amazing. He came from virtually nothing to captivate an entire country.”
- Marvin Hagler. “He was the most loyal, standup guy I ever worked with. A tremendous fighter with great resolve.”
- George Foreman. “He changed his persona and had such a big impact on our culture. He became the most loveable guy.”
- Floyd Mayweather Jr. “He had extraordinary ability and he backed it up in the ring.”
Arum’s next five: Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya and Alexis Arguello.
ARUM’S TOP FIVE PROMOTIONS
Bob Arum lists the top five promotions he was involved in:
- Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler, 1987, Caesars Palace. “It was the Yuppie (Leonard) vs. the Blue collar guy (Hagler.) It was a great fight that did extremely well.
- Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns, 1985, Caesars Palace. “That was the first time we did a cross-country tour. We had two planes and made 26 stops. It took that fight to another level and by the time they got in the ring, they were so sick of each other they literally wanted to kill each other.”
- Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad, 1999, Mandalay Bay. “It was the first major Mexico vs. Puerto Rico fight, even though Oscar was American and from East LA. Don King had Trinidad and we had Oscar and there was a lot of back-and-forth between the two sides.”
- Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier II, 1974, Madison Square Garden. “Ali got his revenge for losing the first fight and I remember the two of them getting into it while being interviewed oin television by Howard Cosell. That helped sell the rematch.”
- Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, 2015, MGM Grand Garden. “We never had anything like it. The numbers were incredible, even though the fight wasn’t.”