When Arum Did That Deal With Sinatra



When Arum Did That Deal With Sinatra

Bob Arum has been around awhile. 83 years, with 50 plus of them spent making deals, and most of those coming in boxing.

We were in the media tent yesterday and “Elvis” walked by. Had a smoking woman on his arm, looked like Linda Thompson. Not sure if she knew Elvis is dead…

I wondered if Bob liked Elvis. Nah, more of a Frank guy, he said.

Did he hang with Frank? In fact, he said, he put together a promotion featuring Frank and fighters.

Sol Kerzner, his pal, built Sun City in S. Africa, and Bob knew him and Mickey Rudin, Frank's lawyer. It was 1982. “The Chairman and the Champs,” was what Bob wanted to call it. Rudin said Frank wouldn't go for it, Bob asked to pitch directly. He pitched Frank. Blue Eyes didn't want Roberto Duran and Davey Moore. But his blues eyes lit up at the mention of Ray Mancini. “Ray Mancini,” he said and broke into the Warren Zevon tune. (I made up that last part.)

They were a go…

Two weeks before the event, Mancini broke a shoulder in sparring. Show scrapped…Sad to say, they had to start spreading the news…No show.

Duran then beat up Moore in MSG, and the world kept spinning…Arum kept making deals but there wasn't another quite like that one. Of course, tomorrow will be a biggie…but Bob has kept it real. Floyd and Manny are no Muhammad, neither of them. Ali-Frazier, that was XL. This is L, in terms of import. Money is another matter. But Bob's right; it ain't money that matters, solely, big picture, when everything is tallied up. Anyone that thinks that is doing it wrong. My three cents…

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Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.