By Jerry Glick: Bob Arum wins Secondsout’s Service to Boxing Award for 2013. Bob has made his mark in boxing starting some 47 years ago when, in 1966, he made a fateful career change from being an attorney to become a boxing promoter. As they say, the rest is history.
Born December 8th, 1931, In New York, he is the son of orthodox Jews. Bob attended Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall High School, New York University, and Harvard Law School. After graduating Cum Laude he took a job with the Justice Department, but soon discovered boxing.
After decades of competing for the best fighters and best fights with Don King, the 82 year old Arum has risen to the top of the boxing world through his intuitive choices of staff members, fighters, and venues including his latest choice, Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China, for the Manny Pacquiao- Brandon Rios fight.
Bob Arum has a history of bringing the best boxing has to offer too not only the avid boxing fans, but he has created fights that have attracted even the casual fan. He started out as an attorney with no connection to boxing and became a promoter when football great Jim Brown steered him towards an opportunity to promote a World Heavyweight Title fight between Champion Muhammad Ali and Challenger George Chuvalo. Over the years Top Rank promoted many Ali events.
"I plan to be at Top Rank and promote big events as long as my health allows me. I feel great. I love the sport," he said. He loves those who participate in it so much that privately; he is very charitable, helping former boxers who are in need.
Among the many greats, and some 400 odd title fights that Arum has promoted, were champions such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Marvin Hagler, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Alexis Argüello, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Durán, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Larry Holmes, Ray Mancini, Carlos Monzón, Terry Norris, Gabriel Ruelas, Rafael Ruelas, James Toney, Erik Morales, Thomas Hearns, Paulie Ayala, Iran Barkley, Michael Carbajal, and many others.
The company has promoted such super fights as Hagler vs Leonard, Chavez vs De La Hoya, Holyfield vs Foreman, Leonard vs Hearns, Hagler vs Hearns, Ali vs Frazier II, both Ali vs Spinks fights, and when George Foreman made his comeback it was Arum’s Top Rank Promotions that led to “Big” George regaining the world championship, with a knockout of then IBF/WBA champion Michael Moorer on November 5, 1994.
Currently Top Rank has a huge and talented stable of fighters including: Manny ’Pac Man’ Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Guillermo Rigondeaux, Mikey Garcia, Mike Alvarado, Brandon ’Bam Bam’ Rios, Nonito Donaire, Evgeny Gradovich, Terence Crawford, Zou Shiming, Glen Tapia plus former Olympians Vasyl Lomachenko (who won a world title in his pro debut), Jose Ramirez, Felix Verdejo, Oscar Valdez, contenders Rocky Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Vanes Martirosyan, Vic Darchinyan, Seanie Monaghan, Diego and Jessie Magdaleno, Jesse Hart, Roberto Marroquin, Jessie Vargas and an exciting heavyweight prospect in Andy Ruiz of Mexico. Top Rank’s most recent signing is Julian Rodriguez in upstate New Jersey. During 2013, Top Rank and Cotto Promotions co-promoted Miguel Cotto’s first boxing event in Orlando, Florida.
The signing of Zou Shiming, the Olympic gold medalist from China, opened Top Rank’s gateway into the Far East. "The world is getting smaller, there are great champions throughout the world and we are the first to promote them in Macau,” said Bob who arrives early to take a look at the younger boxers on the big cards.
Incorporated in 1973, Arum started Top Rank, his promotional company, with then partner Herbert Muhammad. There is hardly a major fighter who has not, at one time or another, fought for Top Rank. The imprint that Arum and Top Rank has created in boxing is deep and has not gone unnoticed. Bob has been inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame, the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame, Nevada State Boxing of Fame and the Nevada Gaming Hall of Fame. Top Rank has also garnered awards over the years as well.
He had a close relationship with ESPN starting back in 1980 when the young cable network was still finding its way. Back then Top Rank ran a weekly boxing show, the first such series in decades. He went on to televise major fights on other networks as well such as CBS, NBC, ABC, SHOWTIME, HBO, and Telefutura.
Few people connected with boxing can boast of having had been a bigger part of the sport or more deserving of an award for having served boxing in a more positive way. Secondsout congratulates Bob Arum for winning this year’s Service to Boxing Award, and thanks him for all his hard work.
December 29, 2013