The Top Rank chief Bob Arum has recently spoken out about Jay Z’s venture into boxing and the news Roc Nation Sports made when they won the purse bid for WBO Middleweight Champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin’s mandatory defense against Matt Korobov.
Roc Nation Sports’ chief operating officer for its boxing division David Itskowitch bid the 1.9M which was good enough to beat both Golden Boy and Top Rank. Itskowitch, who had previously worked for Golden Boy, surprised everyone from Top Rank to Golden Boy officials. The surprise was based on appearances, but it was capped by the amount Roc Nation Sports was willing to spend.
Jay Z, Itskowitch, and Roc Nation Sports have yet to be met with any disregard or animosity, especially from Golden Boy and Top Rank officials. However, not all officials have sounded off quite yet.
Arum spoke to Thaboxingvoice.com about his feelings regarding Jay Z entering the boxing world and losing the purse bid in a surprising turn of events.
“We’re delighted that [Roc Nation Sports] made a bid of that magnitude and we expect that they’ll do a terrific job on the promotion, and as Korobov’s promoter we’re going to cooperate with them to the greatest extent. It’s a win/win situation, the fight goes on and the fighters make a lot of money and we believe that our guy, Korobov, is going to win the fight,” Arum said
As far as being out bid by such an extravagant figure, Arum doesn’t believe the winning bid was as preposterous as some boxing experts have deemed it.
When asked whether or not he felt Roc Nation made a rookie mistake with their enormous bid, Arum simply responded, “No, I don’t feel that way. This is going to be a pretty high visibility fight and I think they wanted to make sure that they won the promotion. Jay Z is a great promoter as he’s demonstrated in the music business and the agent business, and he believes that he can generate enough money to cover his bid. So I don’t think the fact that it was so much in excess of what Oscar bid or what we bid means very much”
There were some boxing insiders who reported that the reason this fight went to purse bid in the first place was because of Top Rank’s unwillingness to negotiate the fight with Golden Boy, despite a thawing in the cold war. Arum assured us that those reports weren’t true and that negotiations were never on the table for a completely different reason.
When asked if the reports were true Arum responded, “No, of course not. I just think that Quillin was an Al Haymon fighter and I’m not sure he’s under contract to Golden Boy, he might be, but I think that their hands were tied as far as this fight was concerned.”
Arum confirmed to Thaboxingvoice.com that negotiations would’ve more than likely been attempted and reached if it weren’t for Haymon’s involvement with the fighter.
Arum is fully aware of Jay Z’s success within the music industry and the dramatic and sudden impact he has had within sports advisement. His prediction for Jay Z’s success is based on his past successes.
“I think this promotion is going to be a huge success and I look forward to [Roc Nation Sports] being a force in boxing and putting on very big promotions. Jay Z has a track record of being a terrific promoter, so I look forward to them doing some major promotions.”