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Bob Arum Disgusted At Daily Prez Briefings, Also Looks To Re-Opening Of Boxing Biz

Michael Woods



Some of you are working harder on staying sane, so watching politicians and listening to them isn’t something that helps in that area.

But others of us are gluttons, we know it will be infuriating, at times disgusting, but we want to be informed, or, maybe, warned.

Yeah, I’ve been watching the daily briefings at the White House, and finding myself dismayed, appalled, incredulous. 

I am not alone—boxing promoter Bob Arum, age 88, is holed up, sheltering in LA, with his wife, and has time on his hands. He watched Trump take to the mic and offer up his distinctive brand of …well, how does Arum describe it?

“What he’s been saying is ludicrous, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” the head of Top Rank said on Thursday.  “He talks about what he talks about for political purposes. He attacks his enemies. That shouldn’t be the purpose of his briefings! The only ones that are really important, giving essential information, are the doctors. Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci (like Arum born in Brooklyn)they are the people we can rely on. Everything else is total nonsense.”

And of all the boasting and blustering and throwing darts at rivals, and warning Governors to speak nicely of him, and snickering at rivals who have been quarantined and who can forget the prediction that there’d be a reasonable number of cases, then poof!… the virus will be banished…what does Arum think is the most dangerous part of the nightly follies?

“That the public can be mislead by this,” said the man who took his Harvard Law degree to Bobby Kennedy’s Department of Justice, before he strangely segued into the fight game. 

“Listen, anyone with any kind of brains knows to rely on the doctors, they are the only ones who know what the frick they’re talking about,” he thundered. (NOTE: He may have started to say ‘fucking’ but since he knew I was on speaker phone and my 9 and 13 year old girls were in the room, he switched to ‘fricking.’)

Arum has indeed been spending some of this freed-up time watching news on the tube. He’s been impressed by, for example NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo, and thinks and hopes the contrast in his handling, and imparting of germane material to the public, will be noted by Trump backers and the public at large. “This should teach people you don’t elect celebrities to these positions, you elect people that know how government should run. You don’t elect somebody that had some bankrupted casinos in AC, and is a con, who put his name on buildings and had a TV show..even if he’s a decent guy, which Trump isn’t, because he wouldn’t know what to do!”

He doesn’t let the BP go off the charts, so he’ll watch the briefings, watch the Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, and then find things on Hulu or Netflix. Soon, he might be able to tune in to more Top Rank classics, which he said likely will be added to the ESPN+ library shortly.

And, yes, he talks to his crew, which is working from home, about how the re-set will look, what fights might land where and when.

“Starting in May, we may get permission to do fights, in an enclosed location (in Las Vegas), no spectators, and have the people tested before they participate,” Arum said. 

He’s doing this new routine in LA, he said, it’s an easier place to shelter in place over his Las Vegas residence.

Vegas, that could be a hot spot hub for when pro sports gets back to business. The NBA is talking about having Vegas as a site, a neutral site, where teams (and fighters) could come and play (and box). That idea, having one place to do work, rather than trying to open up all the buildings in all the cities, seems wise. 

Arum said several times, we have to see how things play out. Last Tuesday, the Nevada Governor said that all non essential businesses should shutter, for 30 days. When that period ends, Arum is hoping the casinos can start to open. Yes, he’d welcome at least a partial opening, so Top Rank could stage closed-door fights, at least. 

“We’re hoping to rescue May,” is how he put it. 

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.