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Tragedy in the Shadow of the Storm King

Bob Arum

BOB ARUM: Legendary promoter still casting shadows...

Robert "Bob" Arum (born December 8, 1931 in New York City) is the founder and CEO of Top Rank, a professional boxing promotion company based in Las Vegas, who's also worked in the Tax division of the US Attorneys Office for the southern district of New York.

Although he clams he had no real interest in boxing until around 1965, Arum used his education and business savvy to eventually become a promoter, and during the 1980's became a driving force behind the sport, rivaling controversial Don King.

Arum has organized superfights like Marvin Hagler vs. Roberto Duran and Hagler vs. Hearns. During the past few decades, Arum kept himself busy producing several memorable big-scale undercards and big-time classic superfights of historical significance.

While working as a top boxing promoter, Bob Arum had been involved in many feuds and controversies too.

In 1994, he was involved with John Daly for the "High Noon in Hong Kong" boxing event. The fights were called off at the last minute when Barry Hearn withdrew his fighters as no purses were forthcoming. John Daly blamed Arum when he said, "I've tried desperately to convince my partners to keep the faith. I offered them as much security as I could but it was not quite good enough. It seems I was ready to take the shots, but Mr Arum wasn't."

He has been involved in a forty year feud with Don King, who once called him a "rat fink" in 2000 for admitting during a federal trial that he bribed the International Boxing Federation president in order to gain a more favorable rating for one of his fighters.

He was penalized $125,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in 1995 for a bribe to get one of his fights sanctioned.

In 2003, Arum complained about the judging in the September 13th bout between Oscar De La Hoya and "Sugar" Shane Mosley and suggested there was a vendetta against him from a member of the Nevada State Commission that led to DeLa Hoya's loss. Arum later apologized for the remark which commission chairman Luther Mack publically accepted.

On the first week of January 2004, FBI agents raided Arum's Top Rank office in Las Vegas. Arum was on a vacation when his office was raided, and the FBI originally declined to comment on the raid. The media reported that the FBI was investigating allegations that Top Rank was involved in fixing the rematch between De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, even though De La Hoya lost and Arum was De La Hoya's promoter. The investigation closed in the summer of 2006 with no charges being filed.

In 2007, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who Arum promoted from 1996–2006, accused him of both underpaying and undermarketing him while exploiting his talents and manipulating officials.

Bob Arum

Also, in 2007, UFC president Dana White accused him of "sucking the life out of the sport (boxing) and not putting anything back in."

Amongst White's criticisms were that Arum had created a weak undercard for the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight in 2007 saying Arum did not promote the show correctly. "He promoted that show completely the wrong way because he worried about the money as opposed to trying to secure the future" said White. "He should have stacked that card. He should have had Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins and (Marco Antonio) Barrera and Winky Wright on there and used it to show that boxing is back."

Bob Arum responded by saying that MMA fighters need to examine the revenues being generated and ask why the UFC wasn't paying them more. White had made these comments not realizing that Arum did not promote the De La Hoya-Mayweather bout and was not involved in any way with the fight. His only connection was being the former promoter of both fighters.

Arum has even been accused of being a racist by Robert Lee, the former president of the International Boxing Federation. Lee said of Arum "I pin the racism charge on him because he once told me: 'We will let the Blacks and the Latinos fight in the ring and we will count the money on the outside'."

Arum also filed a lawsuit HBO for overstepping its boundaries in the sport by becoming a defacto promoter while trying to intentionally eliminate him as a promoter. Arum complained that HBO dropped Floyd Mayweather Jr. from his exclusive deal after he insisted his fighter have a tougher bout than the network wanted.

The suit was settled out of court but Arum continued to criticize HBO by saying "Instead of working with promoters, like they have done in the past, they have become promoters themselves. They make the fights just like promoters and pay fighters", Arum said. "It's their money and they can do what they want, but Don King doesn't have to go along with it and neither do I. King and I can get along without HBO or Showtime."

Bob Arum and Manny Pacqiao

SEATTLE: Body of famed boxing promoter's son found in Cascades.

Searchers spotted the body of the son of Hall of Fame boxing promoter Bob Arum on a rugged Washington state mountainside on a Friday afternoon, five days after they began looking for him in North Cascades National Park, authorities said. The body belonging to John Arum, an experienced mountain climber, was seen from a National Park service helicopter at about the 7,700-foot level of the 8,500-foot Storm King mountain, park spokeswoman Kerry Olson said. Previous flights had been made in this area, but recent snow melt finally made it possible to locate the 49-year-old Seattle environmental attorney's body, she said. It wasn't possible to either reach or retrieve the body then, but Olson said it was clear to searchers in the helicopter that Arum was dead.

"There was no doubt of that," she said, adding it appeared that Arum had fallen. The search began Monday after Arum failed to return from a solo weekend trip to scale the mountain in early September 2010, which is about 85 miles northeast of Seattle. Family members said the climb was part of Arum's goal of reaching the summit of the 100 highest peaks in the state. "His plan was to climb Storm King on Saturday, so it's probably a safe assumption that he fell that day," Olson said.

Arum's larger backpack was found the prior Wednesday on a trail on the mountain's less arduous south side, Olson said. The backpack was found at about 7,400-feet along a climbing route, and climbing gear was missing from the pack. Climbers often take only essential gear to lighten their load while attempting a summit.

Arum's smaller pack was found higher on the mountain on Thursday of that week, and Olson said his body was discovered about 300 feet below that spot in an extremely steep area with a lot of loose rock.

About twenty people, some using trained search dogs, were out earlier Friday, along with four helicopters, two of them King County sheriff's aircraft with heat-seeking equipment. Counting coordinators and support workers, about fifety people were involved in the area search, Olson said. National Park Service workers were trying to develop a plan to recover the body, which is in an area so difficult "that people can't rappel down or climb up to it," she said. Earlier this week, his father Bob Arum and his current wife left Los Angeles to join park rangers coordinating the recovery effort. He had been on a three-city tour promoting the Nov. 13th fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. His stepson, Todd duBoef, took over the tour that also stopped in New York and Dallas.

While Bob Arum has obviously been faced by many of his critics and business rivals throughout his long and eventful career in boxing, no one would have truly wished the loss of his son upon him. The boxing community will surely wish his family their condolences.

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