Arum Uppercuts Hearn, Eddie Jabs Back

Promoter wars in boxing are a tradition rish with fussin’ and feudin’ and really, pockets of peace are rare.

Since there is no league office setting the schedule, and no commissioner telling folks to pipe down, and be decorous, promoters, who are, by nature, ideally good with the word-smithery, are often using takedown of rival promoters to maximize their own leverage.

Bob Arum is the kingpin of promoter trash talking; even at 87, he gives no quarter, and I don’t recall the last time he lost in an exchange with a rival.

Of course, his hammer and tong beefs with Don King back in the day were of another age and time and we’ll not soon see that again. Boxing’s Barnum and the Ivy League Justice Department alum were as savage as Hagler-Hearns off and on.

Today, Arum still slings those verbals arrows; like the other day, he took aim at Eddie Hearn, the Brit deal maker who is not shy about talking smack, but his manner is not Brooklyn style, like Arum. Eddie likes to be sly, took the piss outta ya, slay ya while smiling.

if you missed it, here’s what Arum said:

Bob Arum took a slap at DAZN and said Anthony Joshua should come to ESPN.

Bottom line, is this. Arum thinks Anthony Joshua would be better suited to ditch Hearn and come to the fold at ESPN and Top Rank join Tyson Fury. “Nobody has DAZN,” Arum noted.(DAZN has not announced or leaked their number of subscribers, so snipers aren’t afraid to postulate that the numbers are draggable after six months in business in America.)

I reached out to Hearn; thoughts on that flurry from the Las Vegas rabble-rouser, still as feisty as ever at 87?

You can picture Hearn, dimples flairing, blood pressure not up even a half tick: “Bob is under a lot of pressure right now and it can make you say silly things,” Hearn said.

Note: Mark Kriegel got King and Arum together last year to break bread and break out anecdotes.

Time smoothes edges and grudges…but just two years before, Arum was ranting that King was a traitor to blacks for backing Donald Trump. I’d hazard a guess that the fight game will not ever see a character like Arum, who comes from an unexpected place, and combines longevity and feistiness over a 50 plus year span.

Michael Woods
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Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; is my site