Top Rank has revealed a series of remarkable statistics to celebrate the 54 years of Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum in boxing.
The 88-year-old took to social media recently to remember his first-ever event way back in the 1960s.
In what has been a spectacular tenure, Arum’s career has gone from strength-to-strength and shows no signs of slowing down.
Bob Arum started at the top, and he’s still here. A one-time practicing attorney who worked in the tax division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Arum promoted his first card on March 29, 1966.
Muhammad Ali defended his heavyweight world title at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens against Canadian challenger George Chuvalo and won a 15-round unanimous decision.
Arum planned on staging Ali-Chuvalo in Chicago, but the Illinois State Athletic Commission banned Ali because of his “unpatriotic” remarks about the Vietnam War.
It started March 29, 1966 with Ali vs. Chuvalo in Toronto and has been a hell of a ride ever since. https://t.co/NzTtHDIcqQ
— Bob Arum (@BobArum) March 29, 2020
So, Arum went north of the border, and Maple Leaf Gardens owner Harold Ballard welcomed Ali and Arum with open arms. Chuvalo accepted the fight on less than three weeks’ notice after original opponent Ernie Terrell pulled out, and the rest is boxing history.
“It was a memorable, crazy time in our country,” Arum said. “After we were kicked out of Chicago, Ballard told us we could bring the fight to Toronto. He was a man of his word.
“More than 50 years later, Ali-Chuvalo in Toronto is still the most difficult promotion of my entire career.”
Arum wound up promoting 27 Ali fights and turned Top Rank (incorporated in 1973) into an international brand that has promoted 2,079 fight cards and 655 world title bouts in 42 U.S. states and 92 foreign or international cities.
Many of the greatest fighters of the past half-century have fought under the Top Rank banner, including:
Sugar Ray Leonard.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Oscar De La Hoya.
Timothy Bradley Jr.
Juan Manuel Marquez.
Said Arum: “It has been one hell of a 54-year ride. I’m honored to have promoted many of history’s greatest boxers.
“I could have never foreseen this 54 years ago. I look forward to many more memorable nights at ringside.”
Top Rank/Bob Arum By The Numbers:
2,079: Fight cards promoted.
824: Shows on ESPN family of networks.
655: World title fights promoted.
517: Shows promoted in Nevada.
412: Shows promoted in New Jersey.
219: American cities in which Top Rank has promoted.
195: Shows promoted in California.
154: Shows promoted in Texas.
129: Shows promoted on HBO.
92: Foreign or international cities in which Top Rank has promoted.
73: Shows promoted on ABC.
72: Shows promoted in New York State.
69: Shows promoted in Arizona.
63: Shows promoted in Puerto Rico.
52: Shows promoted in Mexico.
49: Pay-per-view shows promoted.
47: Shows promoted in Illinois.
42: States in which Top Rank has promoted boxing.
41: Miguel Cotto fights promoted.
41: Shows promoted in Pennsylvania.
38: Michael Carbajal fights promoted.
38: Shows promoted in New York City.
37: Oscar De La Hoya fights promoted.
36: Johnny Tapia fights promoted.
35: Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights promoted.
33: James Toney fights promoted.
32: Erik Morales fights promoted.
31: Shows promoted in Florida.
28: Iran Barkley fights promoted.
27: Muhammad Ali fights promoted or co-promoted.
26: Foreign countries in which Top Rank has promoted, plus Puerto Rico.
25: Freddie Roach fights promoted.
24: Shows promoted in New Mexico.
23: World heavyweight title fights promoted.
22: Terence Crawford fights promoted.
20: Marvelous Marvin Hagler fights promoted.
20: Manny Pacquiao fights promoted.
19: Juan Manuel Marquez fights promoted.
14: George Foreman fights promoted.
14: Shows promoted in China.
13: Thomas Hearns fights promoted.
10: Alexis Arguello fights promoted.
10: Ray Mancini fights promoted.
9: Timothy Bradley Jr. fights promoted.
8: Roberto Duran fights promoted.
7: Sugar Ray Leonard fights promoted.
7: Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. fights promoted.
5: Carlos Monzón fights promoted.
5: Emile Griffith fights promoted.
4: Mike Tyson fights promoted.
3: Tyson Fury fights promoted.
2: Larry Holmes fights promoted.
1: Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon jump promoted.
0: Shows (so far) promoted by Top Rank in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.
It’s been a blast.