Promoters Bob Arum and Don King work together at age 86

Picture credit: Ringtv

By: Coach Jay

The two long time rival promoters co-promoted Saturday night's title fight  between Amir Imam and Jose Ramirez.

By Coach Jay

There is a long competitive history between the two promoters. And although on paper, their backgrounds before boxing differ in most respects, its their similarities that have made them arch rivals and each others biggest nemesis in the boxing business.  Even in his senior years, Don King still possesses an attention grabbing presence with his signature hairstyle and slick dialogue. Don't be fooled by his over the top antics, Don King is no clown. He is an intense business man, and considered to be one of the most influential men in the boxing world today. As a promoter, he has more than 500 world championship fights on his resume, he was inducted  into the International Hall of Fame in 1997, and listed by The New York Times as one of  the 100 African- Americans who helped shape the country's history.  King's gift as a promoter was instrumental in making the sport of boxing a money making financial giant. Great Heavyweights champs such as Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, and Evander Holyfield , all made a lot of money under the Don King umbrella, and with an estimated net worth of over 100 million dollars, King has done well for himself also. No stranger to taking risks, after only a year of college, King turned to the streets of Cleveland, Ohio where he was involved in the numbers hustle and other forms of gambling. In 1954, he killed a man by shooting him in the back after spotting the man trying to rob one of his gambling houses. This incident ended in being called a justifiable homicide. 13 years later, Don King was convicted of nonnegligent manslaughter after he stomped a man to death for stealing 600 dollars from him. For this crime he served three years and eleven months. 13 years later he was pardoned. Just as most of the fighters King has promoted had  back stories that wrote the storyline of  their success, it also seems that Don King made a career for himself through his very own adversity. He is truly the poster child for his "Only In America" saying.

Nevertheless, not all World Champions are made through dramatic back stories, and not all of the best Promoters have survived the mean streets. Robert "Bob" Arum, a product of New York University and Harvard Law  School. On the contrary to his counterpart Don King, Arum worked for the US Attorney's Office for the Southern district of  New York in the tax division before he transitioned into the sport of boxing. As CEO and founder of Top Rank promotions, the Jewish born native of  Crown Heights in New York is definitely a made man in the boxing world. To his credit, Arum began his career with Muhammad Ali. He made moves that rivaled the likes of Don King, and in the 1980's became one of the names to know in boxing. Arum made his way in the game during one of the most exciting eras of boxing as he put together superfights like Hagler vs Hearns, and Hagler vs Duran. Arum has always been known for massive undercards and  top level main events. To his resume, Hagler vs Ray Leonard, the Leonard - Hearns rematch, Holyfield vs George Foreman and many, many more.

In the 1990's Arum added Oscar De La Hoya, a six division world champion who gave Arum a market among the Hispanic fighters and their fans. Arum's foot has never come off the gas of his successful Top Rank machine. He is responsible for the evolution of the career of the current eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao. During the rivalry turned forty year feud between Arum and King, Arum was called a "Rat Fink" by Don King for admitting during a federal trial that he bribed the president of the International Boxing Federation to gain more favorable rating for his fighters. He was fined  $125,000 dollars for a bribe to get one of his fighters sanctioned. In 2004, FBI raided Arum's office at Top Rank in Las Vegas while Arum was on vacation. In 2007, Arum was accused by Floyd Mayweather, whom Arum promoted 1996-2006, of underpaying him and under promoting his fights. In 2009, Arum was in complete support, and defended Antonio Margarito, a Top Rank fighter who lost his boxing license in California on charges of illegal hand wraps. Arum's fighters as a whole have shown a loyalty that have made many of them very wealthy men. And with a net worth of $300 million dollars, Bob Arum has truly made a fortune along the way. In the sport of boxing, its always said, "Style Make Fights".  For forty years, Bob Arum and Don King slugged it out as businessmen and promoters, yet neither of them has ever had to throw a punch. 

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