Bob Arum, the founder of Top Rank Boxing, never envisioned a career in the sport of boxing. Since his arrival, however, he’s been one of the sport’s top promoters and, along with Don King, is credited with introducing the sport to a much broader audience. In all his years as a boxing promoter, Arum has amassed a fortune. What is Bob Arum’s net worth?
Bob Arum’s life before boxing
In 1962, Bob Arum worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice under the John F. Kennedy administration. That year he was assigned to a case where he had to confiscate the proceeds from the world heavyweight boxing title fight between Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson. It was during those proceedings Arum had a chance encounter with closed-circuit television (CCTV) pioneer Lester M. Malitz.
After Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Arum left the U.S. DOJ and joined a private law firm where he was responsible for researching information on Kennedy’s assassination for senior partner Louis Nizer, who would later become involved in the Warren Commission Report.
In 1965, Arum reconnected with Malitz, who was the promoter of a fight between Ernie Terrell and George Chuvalo. Because the fight was not garnering much attention, Malitz turned to Arum to negotiate a deal for the television broadcast.
To help increase interest, Arum thought they should hire a prominent black athlete to be a commentator on the broadcast. After learning San Francisco Giants outfielder Willie Mays was unavailable, Arum reached out to Jim Brown, who agreed to do it. The two struck up a friendship and soon after Brown suggested Arum shouldn’t be a lawyer, but a boxing promoter.
Arum becomes one of boxing’s biggest promoters
A year later, Bob Arum found himself working as vice-president and secretary of Muhammad Ali’s promotion company, Main Bout, where he worked with Brown, who served as the vice-president in charge of publicity. The company was responsible for promoting Muhammad Ali’s fights.
Main Bout eventually transformed into Top Rank Boxing, which was incorporated in 1973. In 1980, Top Rank partnered up with the fledgling sports news network ESPN. That relationship helped introduce numerous new fighters to the world who would go on to become some of boxing’s best.
During that same time, Arum promoted some of the biggest matches, including Marvin Hagler vs. Roberto Durán and Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s Arum produced other marquee matchups, including the Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard bout, as well as Evander Holyfield vs. George Foreman.
In the 1990s, Arum also worked with six-division world champion Oscar De La Hoya, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, and three-division world champion Erik Morales. In recent years, Arum has been the promoter of fights featuring five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather, world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and three-division champ Terence Crawford.
What is Bob Arum’s net worth?
Bob Arum has built the Top Rank Boxing empire from the ground up. Early in 2020, Arum suggested he might consider selling a stake in the company. In an interview with Business Insider, Arum said “anything is for sale.” If Top Rank were to be sold, it would potentially be worth billions, since the UFC sold for $4.025 billion deal in 2016.
Any size sale would be a huge windfall for Arum, who already has a reported net worth of $300 million. Until that day comes, Arum, who is 88 years old, plans to run the company along with his stepchildren Todd duBoef, who is president, and Dena duBoef, who is vice president.
Outside of boxing, Arum is a cannabis advocate, who said he started smoking in 1966. In a 2017 VICE interview, Arum offered his thoughts on the NFL and marijuana.
“I think the NFL is gonna revise its policy on marijuana and I think everybody should. It was the Nixon administration that demonized marijuana, to the real harm of a lot of people, particularly people who have terminal cancer. Marijuana can be a very therapeutic thing.”
Arum’s advocacy for marijuana isn’t all that shocking in today’s climate, but it’s a long way from his early days working as a lawyer for the Department of Justice. What an incredible journey Arum has had all those years in between.