By Hector Echevarria
Bob Arum has been in the sport of boxing for over 30 years. He has produced some of the biggest matches of our era. His company Top Rank has been a launching pad for some of the sport’s biggest and brightest stars. Bob has been inducted to the Hall of Fame and is probably the best promoter of all time.
Now Arum has turned into a Grinch as of late. Some say, he has been the reason why some of the biggest fights in boxing are not getting made; none bigger then Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. Two of the sport’s biggest stars are being kept apart by one little old man with an axe to grind and pockets to fill. We also have several others within his own promotional outfit: like Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux. In the past it was the big bout between Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. JuanMa Lopez. In this case we got the famous line, “We need to let the pot cook more before we serve it.”
Even at the ripe age of 80, when most promoters want to step away and enjoy the golden years, Arum is still going strong; thinking of more excuses to keep these big fights from happening. Bob has been stealing away fight fans Christmases for years not giving us the super to mega fights we want to see; all for the name of the mighty dollar.
Let’s not forget about the cold war between rival promotion company Golden Boy Promotions. All in the effort to keep us drooling about the fights we want under the tree; like a gift wrapping of Donaire vs. Mares, Lara vs. Martirosyan, and Rios vs Maidana. One has to wonder how one man has been able to get away with such things in the sport of boxing. I can tell you having been around the sport for decades. He’s a smart business man, graduated from Harvard, and was also a very good attorney.
Even at his age, he can still see a good deal a mile away being able to think one move ahead. Top Rank is the Ivy League of the promotional companies and that is a very true statement. Let’s be honest, how many times do they get it wrong? While being a great promoter, his best strong suit is how to play the media and sway the court of public opinion on his side. It doesn’t hurt that he comes across as a gentle old grandpa, that’s why the media dubs him Uncle Bob or The Bobfather, as he is called.
We all need to realize as long as uncle Bob is running the Top Rank’s stable, we are never going to see the super fights because as the famous O’ Jay’s song says, “It’s for the love of money” with Top Rank. So when the next super fight that is building through social media with boxing experts that makes it feel like Christmas for the fans, just know that as long as there is a Grinch, Bob Arum will always be there to steal our mega fight present we been waiting all year away.