Promoter Bob Arum has been a key figurehead in boxing for more than half a century and has been involved with everyone from Muhammad Ali to Manny Pacquiao, but that doesn’t mean he’s an easy man to work with.
Eddie Hearn, who is co-promoting the huge heavyweight unification clash between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua this year with the American, says that he’s often found himself on a different page to Arum when trying to get this fight over the line, even going so far as to think that the 90-year-old doesn’t want to see the fight happen.
“I think there’s like two or three Bob Arums, because I messaged him last night after seeing one of his articles like, ‘What’s going on?,’” Hearn told Anthony Crolla and Dom McGuiness ahead of this weekend’s action in Manchester headlined by Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora.
“[Arum said] ‘Well, you know, it’s taking time.’ I say, ‘Of course it’s taking time, it’s the biggest deal in boxing history.’
“He said we haven’t spoken for a week. The last communication was Friday, and Thursday, the lawyers were on the phone on Sunday, so I don’t know. I think sometimes, ‘Bob, he’s 90’, but I think a lot of the time he likes to put the pressure on, and this is his way of saying they need to hurry up, but it takes [time].
“There’s a lot of lawyers involved in this - you’ve got one guy who’s on Middle East time, a lawyer there, a guy who’s on UK time, lawyer, you’ve got a guy in New York, lawyer, you’ve got a guy on the West Coast, lawyer. So we work as fast as we can but when he [Arum] says, ‘Eddie Hearn’s run out of time,’ what’s it got to do with me? We’re supposed to be in this together. Why am I the one running out of time? I’m the only one doing any work!”
“So, if you don’t want to get involved, you don’t want to do anything, don’t want to lift a finger, and you just want to rely on me... wait, because everybody’s told, we’ve had it in writing that [we all accepted] the site offer, they’ve signed the contract, the contracts have come in, this fight is on, but if you listen to Bob, part of me thinks they don’t want to do the fight."
Whilst Arum might not yet be convinced that we’ll ever see Fury vs Joshua, Hearn has confirmed that ‘the Gypsy King’ is still very much keen on the AJ bout… as well as a few more.
“That’s why I wanted to see Tyson in Vegas because he reassured me that he wants the fight. He called out about six people this morning on Instagram but one of them was AJ, so that’s a good sign.
“Cross-Fit dosser, or something like that.”