It was a flashback to the old days, watching legendary fight promoters Bob Arum and Don King stump for their Showtime PPV matchup between Miguel Cotto and Ricardo Mayorga set for March 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
There was no verbal sparring or insults to he heard, just a whole heap of compliments and mutual respect displayed by the two. Arum acknowledged the differences the two have held, but praised King for his ability to promote fights.
“King is a professional. You don’t have problems with professionals. Now when we were younger we tended to get under each other’s skin,” Arum said. “I take my hat off to him. He’s a professional, he knows how to sell a fight and he knows what’s important and not important.”
King was just as complimentary of his counterpart.
“Bob is what makes me who I am, because I always have to stay ahead,” King said. “That means he’s a stimulant. He’s there because he’s competitive, he’s tenacious and he perseveres.”
Negotiations didn’t last long between the two, according to Arum. The promoters got in contacted each other a few weeks ago and had a deal done shortly after.
“We’re professionals,” Arum said. “It takes a half-hour.”
Arum was joking, of course. But the negotiations didn’t take long.
King and Arum working together is a site for eyes for a sport that has had trouble putting fights together. With Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions still at odds, someone has to step up and put good fights together.