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#1
Old 09-14-2009, 12:36 PM
Freedom2014
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Cool Arum's bigoted uppercut at MMA undercuts boxing's appeal

By Mike Freeman, CBS Sports

http://www.cbssports.com/columns/story/12206453

Bob Arum: legendary promoter, big freaking mouth.

During a publicity junket for the upcoming Floyd Mayweather fight, Arum went all Jimmy the Greek on fans of mixed martial arts.

"For me, I look at the UFC audience and the boxing audience as being two different audiences entirely," Arum told AOL Fanhouse. "Our audience in boxing is ethnic. Hispanic, Filipino, Puerto Rican, Mexican and the hardcore boxing fan who can't watch ... like me ... can't watch UFC. UFC are (sic) a bunch of skinhead white guys watching people in the ring who also look like skinhead white guys."


Bob Arum should be more worried about just promoting his brand instead of throwing punches at MMA and its fans. (Getty Images)
Oh, boy.

Where do we begin? The stereotype threat level just reached orange.

Other Arum beliefs: White men can't jump, Asians are excellent at math and women like to shop.

But, wait, hold on. Arum, who is one of the more iconic figures in boxing history and should absolutely know better, wasn't done with slinging his idiocy.

"For me, and people like me, [MMA] is not something they ever care to see," Arum explained. "They've watched it. It's horrible. Guys rolling around like homosexuals on the ground. It is not a sport that shows great, great talent."

Rampant bigotry combined with prickly homophobia. Beautiful.

Not sure Arum will be making an appearance with Ellen DeGeneres anytime soon.

I hate the MMA and even I believe Arum went too far (though president of the UFC Dana White has had problems of his own with ugly slurs). Arum also certainly didn't do the sport of boxing, struggling to remain relevant, any favors.

His words were inexcusable and boxing fans (as well as others) should hold him accountable.

Not to mention his facts were incorrect. MMA has become popular because a variety of peoples from many different backgrounds enjoy the sport (not sure why they enjoy it, but they do).

Arum's belief that MMA is popular only to a certain segment of the population is so flabbergastingly wrong he can't actually believe what he's saying.

Arum's words are important because they represent an even larger issue. Boxing possesses a continuing gastric discomfort with MMA's rise and still has yet to decipher a way to counter that popularity. So they bash it.

The rivalry between boxing and MMA has long been intense but Arum's blast takes it to a new, nasty level.

Why MMA has risen remains highly debatable. My theory: America has become a more bloodthirsty nation and watching NFL players beat the fiber out of one another isn't enough to satisfy that lust for violence any longer. So enter the MMA, which supplies more blood than a plasma bank.

MMA has surpassed boxing (strictly in terms of television ratings) not because it's a superior sport, but because its violence is superior.

That's basically what Arum was trying to say in his clumsy and bigoted rant.

Arum also forgot that over the past century, boxing's dominance has evaporated after a series of self-inflicted wounds and acts of cannibalism too numerous to list.

Boxing purists like Arum just don't get MMA. They're genuinely puzzled why it has become so popular when it's really not that difficult to understand and the reasons have nothing to do with ethnicity or sexual orientation.

For all the bad news boxing faces and stories of how it has been out-witted by MMA, there is one man (not Arum) who can save boxing, at least temporarily. Mayweather is a tremendous draw and one of the more interesting fighters in the history of the sport (as well as one of the more controversial and disliked). His fight Sept. 19 against Juan Manuel Marquez (which will be covered by CBSSports.com) has the potential to reenergize boxing.

What also makes MMA popular is that it's viewed by some as antiestablishment and an athlete or sport thumbing his or her nose at the mainstream often appeals to a younger audience.

Mayweather possesses some of that antiestablishment genome. He's unabashed in his desire to talk smack, openly attends topless clubs in Las Vegas and doesn't change his ways for the suits at HBO.

If anyone can do the impossible and give boxing a boost, it's Mayweather.

He's also a known hater of MMA, which makes him more appealing to the boxing faithful.

Old farts like Arum must realize this isn't the 1960s, when boxing captured the attention of continents, or even the 1980s, where Mike Tyson mesmerized a nation (and later the police). MMA is here to stay; to me, that's unfortunate, but it's accurate.

Boxers and promoters like Arum need to simply do their thing and shut the hell up. Boxing might also want to stop insulting entire groups of people.

Just a friendly piece of advice.
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#2
Old 09-14-2009, 12:39 PM
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god bless you Bob Arum...i knew you had that hate in ya
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#3
Old 09-14-2009, 12:50 PM
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Bob Arum with his PPVs is one of the people responsible for the decline in the popularity of boxing in the USA (Don King is obviously another, for different reasons).
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