Man is 86 years old, and as expected, he DNGAF.
He doesn’t give a flying eff now, and no, he really never did.
Bob Arum speaks his peace all the time, never pulls his punches, unless, of course, it is politically advantageous and makes sense for him business wise.
There was little punch pulling when the promotional all-time all-star came to Everlast headquarters and chatted with us on the “Talkbox” podcast.
Things started off spicy, and went from Sriracha to ghost pepper hot right quick.
I kicked off by sharing a message thread I had with Arum the days before. Come in to the studio, Bob, I requested.
“I have a meeting, 11-2,” he replied.
Come after, then.
“Where the fuck is it,” he answered.
And I laughed aloud then, when I read it, and a few times during the chat session. Arum is in NYC to oversee the planning and promotion of Vasyl Lomachenko’s attempt to wrest a 135-pound crown off Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden, airing on ESPN Saturday night.
I had also asked Bob what he wanted in the green room. Food, drink? “Nah, we only do weed at night,” he told me.
This show will be weed-free, Arum said. “So now this a weed-free broadcast, at least for me. I don’t have weed until the evening. It depends on when I’m going out. The point is, you become so mellow with weed, if a fighter asks me for another fifty thousand, of course you give it to him. So they don’t catch me that way.”
Oh, and back to swearing. Arum and me are on the same page regarding eff bombs. “The word fuck has ceased to be swearing, fuck is in such use by kids, by everybody. It’s ‘I went to a fuckin’ movie,’ that’s not a swear word, I went to a movie,” Arum said.
And no, we didn’t steer clear of politics. “Rudy Giuliani is punch drunk,” he said, when I said even Rudy could make the case that Bob is a living legend. Why bring Rudy into this, he said?
More spice: Arum shared a story about a writer who, he said, had borrowed money from Don King. The terms of the loan had the writer doing a “hatchet piece” on Arum, the promoter said. Arum said that King was loooking for a way to get in good with Muhammad Ali, so he put it out there that Ali’s main handler was too tight with Arum.
Arum shared more about some of King’s favorite behind the scenes negotiating tactics. He wasn’t afraid to play any card he could, including the race card. “That’s done to this very day,” he said. Yep, people will tell a fighter to keep it in the tribe, and try to attract talent that way, if they think it will work.
We of course touched on the Lomachenko vs Linares bout. “No, I don’t think it will be easy work for Loma,” he said, because Loma is going up in weight and Linares is a “tremendous boxer” in his own right.
“I would be absolutely shocked if my guy Loma didn’t turn out to be the winner.”
That’s only a taste of the talk. Here is the entire chat.