Lem Satterfield

Arum’s top things he would change about boxing

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Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum’s nearly 45 years in boxing began with the Muhammad Ali victory over George Chuvalo, and it was his first of 26 fights involving the man many call “The Greatest.”

An attorney and Cum Laude graduate from Harvard Law School who turned 80 on Thursday, Arum also handled every fight of Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s career, as well as substantial portions of those of Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya and RING No. 2-rated pound-for-pound WBC welterweight beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Arum also helped to mastermind the comeback of George Foreman, who became the oldest man to win a heavyweight championship when he knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th-round at the age of 45 in November 1994.

Arum calls his pinnacle, however, the career of RING No. 1-pound-for-pound eight division beltwinner and WBO titleholder Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 knockouts), who has won 15 straight fights and become a cross-over star in addition to being a congressman in his native Philippines.

Arum is coming off a monster weekend during which RING No. 1-rated junior middleweight and WBC titleholder Miguel Cotto stopped ex-beltwinner Antonio Margarito before a sold out crowd of 21,239 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on HBO Pay Per View to avenge his 11th-round knockout loss that dethroned him as WBA welterweight titleholder in July of 2008.

Arum also promotes RING No. 1-rated lightweight Brandon Rios, RING No. 5-rated middleweight and WBC beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and unbeaten RING No. 7-rated welterweight Mike Jones.

RingTV.com spoke to Arum regarding what he would change about the sport, among other things.

Bob Arum’s top five things he would change about boxing:

1) The first thing that I would change is that there should be one recognized champion in each weight division.

The plethora of championship belts that we have now, plus interim champions and silver belt champions is absolutely confusing to the public and is bad for the sport of boxing.

2) I would some howhave only one sanctioning body that would determine who is the champion and who is to fight whom. So instead of having four or five sanctioning bodies which just compound the confusion.

3) I would do what I could to elminate the horror that is now amateur boxing, both in the United States, and, around the world.

The U.S. group that runs amateur boxing is turning away or scaring away really good, young fighters who are turning pro earlier and earlier because they can’t tolerate what they believe is the malfeasance in the running of boxing in the United States.

I would also somehow kick out all of people who run the amatuer boxing worldwide, because they do a horrible job and appear to be from everything that I read dispicable people.

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4) I would have a federal boxing commission that would have overall supervision of the sport in the United States, and I would minimize the role of the state athletic commissions with regard to physicals and so forth and the nitty-gritty in regard to putting on the event.

I would allow the state athletic commission to appoint doctors, etc., but I would minimize the role of the states athletic commission and have the federal commission play a major role in running boxing.

5) I would have somebody address the question of how we’re going to create some type of pension plan for fighters which is fair and reasonable and puts the burden on everybody involved in boxing from the promoters to the managers and to the fighters themselves.

Subject-response:

Lovee Arum: Oh, she’s the love of my life, and she’s been a great woman and I’ve been able to accomplish in the last 21 years, so much because of her support.

Oscar De La Hoya: Osar De La Hoya was a very, very good fighter, and we had a tremendous run of promoting him, which was good for us and good for Oscar.

I think that he is not designed for the role of a promoter, and I think that he ought to have some other role, whether it’s in boxing or outside of boxing.

Todd duBoef, Top Rank Inc. President: Todd, in my mind, will be the premiere promoter in boxing. He’s smart as a whip, and he is on the cutting edge of all of the technological changes in the sport.

He deals very, very well with fighters, and I really believe that Todd will be the super, super promoter in the years ahead.

Don King: Don King, for most of my promotional career, has been a big rival of mine. Now, in our later years, I’ve come to appreciate what a great promoter King has been, and I’m one of his biggest admirers at this point in time.

Keith Kizer: Keith is a very, very good executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He is a very honorable guy who has no secret hidden agendas, which makes him a man that you can trust.

Michael Koncz: Michael Koncz is an intelligent fellow who is very loyal and dedicated to Manny Pacquiao. He works extremely hard to make sure that Manny Pacquiao gets the best deals possible. 

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