THE FORMER Justice Department lawyer has been one of the sport's top promoters since he entered the business more than four decades ago. His first contact with boxing came in 1962 when he was assigned to secure the proceeds from the Sonny Liston vs. Floyd Patterson fight.
A few years after leaving government work he entered boxing full-time. He formed Top Rank, Inc. and has been a major force in the sport ever since. The first of the more than 400 world championship fights he promoted was Muhammad Ali vs. George Chuvalo in 1966. Arum went on to promote 27 fights headlined by Ali, 20 with Marvelous Marvin Hagler, 14 with George Foreman, 10 with Alexis Arguello, 7 with Sugar Ray Leonard and all of Oscar De La Hoya's bouts through 2004.
Arum has also promoted fights featuring Joe Frazier, Roberto Duran, Alexis Arguello, Carlos Monzon, Thomas Hearns, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ray (Boom Boom) Mancini, Iran Barkley, James Toney, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. There are very few marquee champions who have never fought under the Top Rank banner.
In 1980 he launched the Top Rank Boxing series on ESPN and it became one of the highest rated regular shows during its run. He has also promoted shows through deals with such outlets as HBO, SHOWTIME, ABC, NBC, CBS and Telefutura.
Top Rank's current roster of talent includes pound-for-pound king Manny (Pac Man) Pacquiao and standouts Jorge Arce, Ivan Calderon, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Joshua Clottey, Juan Manuel Lopez, Antonio Margarito and Kelly (The Ghost) Pavlik.
In 2010, he promoted the first bout at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas that saw over 50,000 fans in attendance for Pacquiao vs. Clottey.