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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Promoter Bob Arum should take a bow now, even before Saturday night

Dallas Boxing Examiner | Matt Stolow

Manny Pacquiao had won a few world titles before Bob Arum got a hold of him. Arum didn't train him how to fight. But he certainly took a piece of promotional coal and turned it into a diamond for the world to pay to see Saturday night.

There are plenty of champions that the average promoter couldn't do anything with for one reason or another.

Same as he has with dozens of other fighters such as Muhammad Ali (who was not popular at the time), Leon Spinks, even the late daredevil Evil Kneivel.

Arum made them and others marketable and affordable to the common man. Somewhere in there is his brilliance. And he's still doing it long after their final curtain calls.

He's also kept the sport on the cutting edge of new technology from closed - circuit (big arenas and theaters) for many years to pay-per-view and sports bars today.

Do you remember what a disaster the NFL had before its Sunday Ticket was finally introduced on DirecTV for its regular season games to get televised and get around local blackout laws?

Boxing never had that problem because of Arum.

He keeps a formula in his head, similar to the formula for Coca - Cola Classic in an Atlanta, Georgia bank, which is simple to him, and a confidence that he can take any product and make it better. It's not a magic touch as much as a discipline and letting people believe their dreams can come true.

Arum should be entitled to take a bow as this is one of his genuine masterpieces, similar to Marvin Hagler. Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler, not well-known among most ticket buyers, has done a fine job also putting Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, for that matter, together.

I don't think Arum has won over his critics as much as he has just outlived them at age 78.

I don't know about the good old days, but Arum isn't paying his fighters with suitcases full of cash these days. It's with a company check.

One of Don King 's last masterpieces, after Mike Tyson went to prison for the first time, was taking two lighter- weight fighters that combined spoke no English, Julio Cesar Chavez of Mexico and Azumah Nelson of Ghana, and carried the sport with them until Tyson re-entered society a few years later. King was Arum's long -time rival. But it's not even close anymore.

Arum putting Mia St. John and Butterbean on televised portions of $40 - $50 pay-per-views bastardized the sport more than necessary in the 1990s in my opinion, and many fans for that and other reasons have not come back.

But the big investment in the Hispanic boxing community has paid off for Arum and fans alike and should continue.

I mean what could be more of a monument to ego than having "Latin Fury" outdone by "Pinoy Power?"

Let's have a good show Saturday night. Even Arum deserves one.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-11372-Dallas-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m11d10-Promoter-Bob-Arum-should-take-a-bow-now-even-before-Saturday-night

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