Bob Arum is 85 years old. He has made boxing deals for 51 of them. He has dealt with Roy Cohn, the Nation of Islam and Don King.
He once promoted Muhammad Ali against a Japanese wrestler. “Fiasco” is an eye-of-the-beholder term with Arum.
With all the disaster movies boxing has endured, he says it will survive Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.
“If people are going to watch this, you can’t put a gun to their head,” Arum said Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s going to do as well as Mayweather and (Manny) Pacquiao, because, no matter how that fight turned out, it was a legitimate competition.”
But if McGregor somehow hurls one of his vaunted right hands against the jaw of a 40-year-old who hasn’t answered a bell since September of 2015, won’t he knock out the credibility of boxing?
“What?” Arum snapped. “Have you been drinking the Kool-Aid, too? Have you seen the videos of McGregor in the gym? Look, LeBron James is one of the world’s great athletes. If he went into the ring against (heavyweight champ) Anthony Joshua, he’d get killed.
“What I wonder about is the (Nevada state athletic) commission. How can they let McGregor fight this fight without having a four- or six-round fight against some tomato can first?”
Well, because the tomato can would win.
“That’s exactly what would happen,” Arum said. “Any fighter in our gym would beat him. But, like I say, if they want to put together a spectacle like this, that’s fine. Money’s money.”
The promotion — call it the Wild Irish Ruse — is set for Aug. 26 and would be the 50th win for the unbeaten Mayweather.
Most likely McGregor will find himself chasing a rabbit without a gun, with a face-full of Mayweather’s right hands in return.
But, really, that’s what happened to Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez and Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley. They all looked like they were in the wrong sport, thanks to Mayweather.
The promotion will feel much different, however, thanks to…