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ZIBBY'S NEW bOSS ????????

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King, Arum put discord aside for Mayweather-Judah

By Chuck Johnson, USA TODAY

The IBF welterweight title fight April 8 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas is being billed as "Sworn Enemies."

That's a reference to the friendship gone sour between "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. (35-0, 24 KOs) and Zab "Super" Judah (34-3, 25 KOs), but the headline could also be mistaken as a reference to Bob Arum and Don King.


Despite an often bitter rivalry during more than 70 years combined as boxing's most enduring successful promoters, Arum and King have put aside past differences and are channeling their collective, hype-active energy into making Mayweather-Judah (HBO Pay-Per View, $44.95, 9 p.m. ET) one of boxing's biggest draws.


"It's not about Don and myself. It's about Zab and Floyd," Arum says. "I think Pretty Boy Floyd is the best fighter in the world, and, for me, he's the best since Muhammad Ali. I recognize that in Zab Judah he faces his biggest test. Why? Because Judah can match him in speed, he can punch like hell and he's a southpaw. It's going to be a great, great fight."


In launching the publicity tour for Mayweather-Judah, King and Arum, both still vigorous at 74, shared the same podium last Saturday before the WBC heavyweight fight in Atlantic City, where Hasim Rahman retained his title after fighting to a draw with James Toney.


King calls Rahman "a traitor" for recently leaving Don King Productions to join Arum's Top Rank Inc., but he doesn't hold Arum at fault.


"The remarkable part is that I'm sitting here next to Bob Arum, the man who pirated my fighter, but I have enough sense to know that his piracy couldn't have happened if you had a man worth his salt that would be loyal," King says.


As Mayweather's promoter, Arum admits he thought a potential mega fight was dead after Judah was upset Jan. 7 by journeyman Carlos Baldomir. He says he was persuaded otherwise by the public.


"The fight is even bigger because Judah lost. He obviously didn't take Baldomir seriously, and now the kid's back is against the wall because he's fighting for his career. That makes him more dangerous than he was before. I think you're going to see a fight that exceeds everybody's expectations."


Rarefied air


Don King and Bob Arum have co-promoted four major fights since 1975, including the April 8 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Zab Judah welterweight title bout. Others:


1975: Muhammad Ali (King) def. Joe Frazier (Arum) for heavyweight title (retired, 14th round).


1980: Roberto Duran (King) def. Sugar Ray Leonard (Arum) in 15-round welterweight title fight.


1999: Felix Trinidad (King) def. Oscar De La Hoya (Arum) in 12-round welterweight title fight.








The scheduled 12-rounder is just the fourth fight King and Arum have promoted together in their long careers.


The last was Felix "Tito" Trinidad vs. Oscar De La Hoya in 1999, which still ranks as the highest-grossing non-heavyweight title fight in history. First was Ali-Frazier III, the "Thrilla in Manila," in 1975.


"I wouldn't know how good I was if I didn't have Bob as a comparison," King says. "Working together we can accomplish more than not working together. We're going to make this fight bigger than Trinidad and De La Hoya."


A permanent King-Arum alliance doesn't seem likely, although they've found a common target in Golden Boy Promotions. Both made backhanded comments about De La Hoya's emerging company, which signed Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley and Marco Antonio Barrera, giving them all vice president titles, and has promoted many of boxing's biggest recent fights.


King dismisses them as "executive fighters," saying that other than Arum and himself, "the rest are pretenders and contenders, but they're not promoters."


Arum had a bitter split with De La Hoya two years ago and still is angered at De La Hoya for leaving Top Rank and for signing Hopkins when Top Rank was about to sign the then-middleweight champion to a multifight deal.


Citing HBO's decision to televise Hopkins' fight vs. light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver on June 10 in Atlantic City instead of Top Rank's card in New York featuring junior welterweight star Miguel Cotto, Arum suggests Golden Boy gets preferential treatment from the networks. As another example, he says HBO isn't doing a Mayweather-Judah preview show as it has done for some big fights promoted by Golden Boy.


"What's happened in boxing is that fighters are encouraged by various entities in the sport that control a lot of the money to feel they could be fighters as well as their own promoters," Arum says. "Well, they can't be. Just the way I can't go in the ring and jab and throw left hooks and right crosses, they can't promote.


"As long as the networks encourage that type of action, we're going to have a rough patch in boxing. But Don and I have the ability to present to the public matches that they want to see. As long as we're not thwarted, boxing will be very healthy."


Mark Taffet, HBO Pay-Per-View president, says it was mutually agreed with Arum to forgo a Mayweather-Judah preview show and to spend the money in other ways to market the fight. Kery Davis, the network's vice president of programming, disputes any suggestion HBO Sports plays favorites when it comes to dealing with promoters.


"It doesn't make a difference to us who's the promoter," Davis says. "We do business with a promoter because the promoter has a fighter the fans want to see."

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Guest irishrick

as i understand the contract, zibby is to receive no monies for this fight ? until he graduates, ? Then who is paying all the expenses, the promoter, his father , what happens to zibby if he doesn't for fill the contract, it seems to me that the kid loves to box, but the promoter is the one who is making monies on this, as just look at the irish fans that will watch the fight, he will be wearing green and the notre dame victory song will be playing and several thousand at the garden will be cheering, this is a win win for Mr arum , zibby, notre dame and fans all over, i just wish he would wait til he graduates before he fights, there is plenty of time to fight in madison square garden. . if this is ok with him i guess i can go along with it. to much hype here> did zibby play in the last game aganist OHIO STATE ??????????? over 600 ap yards, where was the defense, and zibby? i know this will upset people but i feel that he should pay more attention to football and less to boxing, where is the team concept here? who is looking out for his welfare ? Mr Arum ???, Don King ?? quack/ quack/ :roll: go irish

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