The spiciest part of the Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder 3 promotional press conference in Vegas on Wednesday afternoon came courtesy of a certified only in America business icon, the 90 years old on December 8th, Bob Arum.
It’s not hyperbole of the sort a fight promoter looking to goose the gate might disperse to say Arum gets two places on the Sporting Figures Who DNGAF Mt Rushmore. If you needed convincing, you only had to see the not yet 90 year old Vegas-based, Brooklyn-born loosest—like, Lovelace-level loose—-cannon Arum go well heeled pit bull verbally at ESPN talent.
It’s a bitter shame that writing and reporting about boxing is not something anyone in the know could recommend as a viable vocation to a Gen Z or after-Z searching for direction, period.
But especially it’s too bad that there aren’t the same-level wordsmiths that started to become real rare as the century switched. Clever punk columnizing from suburban softies like Bill Simmons edged oldsters to early irrelevance. A Sports Guy would skewer guys like Rick Reilly when they tried to mix pathos and bathos.
“Talent” who grew up with David Letterman as a heavy influence often had a POV that helped speed the velocity of the drain swirling of talent, the sped-up exits by Breslin or Royko or Hamill influenced newspaper guys spiking as the 2000s started.
People who’d been buoyed by seeing what dogged real journalism could do and tried to be their own brand of Woodward or Bernstein were more and more often the victims of downsizing, of the radical reduction in respectable, non tabloid newspapers and periodicals.
We lost a massive trove of willingness, desire and ability to offer leadership of a sort now and again. All that’s to say that it’s a dirty shame that so much good shit is being missed by a media that’s dwindled like Kiwanis Clubs. A decimated media so warped by the ‘get clicks n likes’ trending that they’ve drifted so far from old standards and practices they haven’t a clue how mediocre their coverage is. Nine tenths of the time, they/we focus on what fights are maybe going to get made. They’re and I am missing lots of fascinating stuff, because we’re focused more on transactions, on the deals, than the components of humans which spur emotions. That goes for me, too, I know damn well I take the path of least resistance lots, too.
Back to now…Arum was now the first best talker in the room, because Fury had departed.
He held court to mostly videographers, bless em, they are keeping boxing coverage propped up some…
”Here’s a kid, Teofimo, who wins the fight that nobody expected him to win, and he’s on top of the world, and he’s on top of the world, and he hasn’t fought in over a year,” said Arum.
Body man Derrick Harmon, the ex world class light heavy, stood behind his left shoulder. And to Arum’s immediate left was Frank Warren, the Brit deal-maker who reps on behalf of Fury in England.
“That’s a criminal, criminal….,” he was saying, but was interrupted by reporter Mike Coppinger, the ex ESPN and RING writer who joined the ESPN ranks a few months ago and stood six or seven feet from Arum, nearest to Frank.
“Yeah but Bob, it wouldn’t have went to purse bid if you’d have paid him what he was looking for,” Coppinger said.
Slo mo it, and you see Arum’s face tense up.
By the way, Arum told me that Top Rank people talked to Copp, and assured him he could stay, and report, but couldn’t be vocalizing. I think Mike deserves a nod of the head for his chutzpah, btw.
Here, click here, to read more about Arum’s multi tiered tirade trove. You can read what he said about his over-heated broadside at Kate Abdo. Below is a response from Abdo:
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, real, real interesting, because Bob is a buccaneer. In some ways, he DNGAF, but in other ways, he very much does.
Here is the release which went out, with quotes from the presser:
LAS VEGAS (October 6, 2021) – WBC and lineal heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder previewed their highly anticipated heavyweight title trilogy showdown at the final press conference Wednesday before they step in the ring this Saturday, October 9 live on ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV from T-Mobile Arena.
Face to face for the first time since originally announcing the trilogy showdown in June, Fury and Wilder exchanged words during the heated press conference, rehashing the numerous dramatic twists and turns that have made up their rivalry, while promising to end their feud in the ring on Saturday.
Fury vs. Wilder III tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.tmobilearena.com or www.axs.com. The event is promoted by Top Rank, BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. A Premier Boxing Champions presentation.
The fighters were joined on stage by their respective trainers, SugarHill Steward (Fury) and Malik Scott (Wilder). Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday:
“I’ve just been training and taking it day by day. All we can do is live one day at a time. Every day that we wake up is a blessed day.
“All these fights are exactly the same to me. Some guy is trying to take my head off. No matter who it may be, they don’t matter to me. It’s the Tyson Fury road show and it has continued for 13 years.
“Wilder is a weak person mentally and I’m going to knock him out on Saturday night. I obliterated him in the rematch and I see much more of the same in the third fight.
“I’m the last man standing between me, Deontay and Anthony Joshua. I’m the last one undefeated. I’m the two-time heavyweight champion and I’ve never lost a fight. That’s history.
“Me and Sugarhill go back to like 2010 in Detroit. We have a great bond going. To have any successful relationship, you have to have good communication. We’ve got that. We just gel together.
“It’s not easy for me to pick a trainer because I’m outspoken and do outlandish things. I have to have someone on the same wavelength to match that and I’ve definitely found a match with Sugarhill.
“He says he wants to do bad things to me and that he’s got all this anger and aggression. Those who hold hot coals with aggression are the ones who get burned. He knows he’s lost twice and that he’s going to lose the third time.
“He’s in denial and he’s getting knocked out. His legacy is in bits. I knocked him out and now I’m going to retire him.”
“I don’t have anything to prove. I’m in a great place and in a great state of mind. I have a lot of great people around me. This fight is about redemption, retaliation and retribution.
“We’ve been going from day one since the last fight. There’s been no stop. The delays have been beneficial for us. One thing about this camp, is that I’ve had all of my brothers around me who’ve been with me from the start.
“Many people thought I was down and out, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people around me to feel that way. My dedication has been focused every day.
“Over training is a real thing and we’ve been able to take small breaks at certain times before getting back at it. Everything has been good and timed out perfectly.
“Saturday night is going to be a different fight. It’s rare that we get trilogies like this and I truly believe this one is going down in history.
“It’s only made me better as a man and as a fighter to see certain things that happened in the second fight. It’s made me even hungrier than before. I needed everything that happened in that fight. It was really a blessing in disguise.
“I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your legacy only dies when the desire for the sport dies. I’m well alive right now.
“My energy is like my mind, it’s very violent. I’m just ready to go October 9. I’ve dedicated myself and devoted my time and my body, me and my team, to reinventing myself. I’m ready to reintroduce myself to the world.
“Get ready for war. This is going to be an amazing fight on Saturday night. I’m wearing my red outfit because I want it back in blood. I’m looking forward to it.”
SUGARHILL STEWARD, Fury’s Trainer
“Training Tyson Fury has been just about making him better. He was already an exceptional boxer before I started training him. We fine-tuned those skills and understood some things that he didn’t see. Most importantly, it’s just about being ready. When he’s ready, he’s unstoppable.
“Tyson Fury is very conscious of Deontay’s abilities. We’re just concentrating on being sharp and being focused. There’s always more to learn in boxing and Tyson is learning and having fun with it.
“It’s exciting to be here. I believe in what the Wilder camp has been working on. I’ve looked at the clips. It gets me motivated to keep working with Tyson. We’re expecting nothing less than a knockout.”
MALIK SCOTT, Wilder’s Trainer
“I’m a student of the game. Deontay, in my opinion, ruled the heavyweight division just using one or two weapons. Being in training with him, I used to always say that a lot of his skills weren’t being used. He got content knocking people out with one weapon.
“I went into Deontay’s toolbox and pulled everything out that he did well. I wanted to make sure that we drilled it over and over again. I didn’t teach him anything new. Deontay Wilder can do it all, I just pulled some of those things out of him.
“When it comes to working on Deontay’s fundamentals, he has good fundamentals, he just didn’t always use them. I’m just reminding him about tools that he wasn’t using.”