Arum Open To Selling Top Rank
A businessman at heart, Top Rank’s Bob Arum recently announced he is open to selling Top Rank, a promotion he founded in 1973. Speaking to Business Insider, Arum 88, stated he has heard offers from Endeavor, Liberty Global and DAZN.
“Anything is for sale,” Arum stated.
As of now, nothing is guaranteed. If a deal was to take place, however, it could exceed the UFC’s $4 billion deal in 2016 with media company WME-IMG, aka Endeavor.
“We’re talking to Endeavor. We’re talking to Liberty Global. We’re talking to DAZN,” Arum went on to say. “I met with [DAZN owner] Leonard Blavatnik last week. We’ll see. Maybe we don’t sell.
“Again, our dream is to really get boxing on a global level with fights all over the world,” Arum continued. “That takes resources … money … so we know even though we’ve done really well and we are a solid company, we will need more resources to reach what can be accomplished in this business.”
One of the most obvious deals that could take place is with Endeavor. The company bought the UFC, and Dana White’s company has a deal with ESPN, just like Top Rank. Todd Duboef, Arum’s stepson, was the driving force to get a broadcast deal with ESPN and ESPN+. The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury rematch will be held under that banner. He is under the belief that the partner they choose has to be the right fit for himself, Arum and all of Top Rank.
“We wanted partners with the biggest reach which aligns with our brand,” Duboef stated. “We just felt boxing should have a sports platform as people aren’t channel-surfing anymore. Let’s get our product, boxing, where the sports narrative is, and where the sports talk shows are. NFL, MLB, NBA, hockey, college sports … they’re showing everything, and this is how we elevate the sport and generate awareness to sports fans.”
Perhaps if the rematch does record numbers, the decision could sway in Endeavor’s direction. Regarding DAZN, the OTT platform currently has deals with fight promotions Bellator and Matchroom Boxing. With the ESPN deal in place, DAZN, while profitable in its own right, may not end up being the right fit for the promotion. Anything is possible, however.
Along with the company name, fighters under contract would be involved in the deal. Athletes like lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford, Michael Conlan, Shakur Stevenson, Jarrell Miller and Vasyl Lomachenko are among those under contract with Top Rank. The promotion has continued to add some of the top fighters out there, and doesn’t appear do be done yet.
Besides being an organization that produces boxing events, Top Rank is a library, holding archival footage of over 10,000 fights. The promotion just recently opened up their vault for Black History Month. Fights open to the public include Evander Holyfield v. George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks, Marvin Hagler v. Thomas Hearns and Floyd Mayweather Jr. v. Genaro Hernandez.
Stay tuned as more details should be released on potential deal. Is Arum serious about handing over Top Rank?