Bob Arum Reveals How Much It Cost Him to Stage Fights Without Fans

Published 02/22/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Bob Arum, chief executive officer of Top Rank Boxing Inc., participates during a panel discussion at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. The conference brings together hundreds of chief executive officers, senior government officials and leading figures in the global capital markets for discussions on social, political and economic challenges. Photographer: Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Top Rank’s Bob Arum has revealed the harsh reality of staging fights in the bubble during the pandemic. The American promoter spoke about the financial burden of having big fights without fans or half full arenas. Additionally, he revealed how much it cost him to host the fights.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 11: Top Rank Founder and CEO Bob Arum speaks during a news conference for the heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Otto Wallin at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on September 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wallin and Fury will meet in a heavyweight bout on September 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Arum is one of the sport’s most prominent promoters. Moreover, as he has many big-name fighters on his roster, the cost of setting up fights for these superstars without fans is a massive challenge.

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Speaking on the Barbershop Conversations on YouTube, Arum confirmed they would not do any more events in the Bubble, as gate revenue is a huge thing for sporting events.

He added, “I’m very proud of what we did in the bubble. But it was costing me between five and six hundred thousand dollars a show, to do each show, in addition to the cost of the fighters’ purse. And there was no revenue against those expenses.”

These comments showed how much Arum had to forego to put on the big events in the MGM Grand bubble. Moreover, it also explains the complications he had to overcome to put on the shows that Top Rank did.

READ: Bob Arum:- Where Does the Top Rank CEO Live?

Bob Arum makes a big claim about the Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Berchelt fight

The Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Berchelt fight on Saturday was also in the MGM Grand bubble. Therefore, Top Rank missed out on the gate revenue and other additional sources too. However, Arum made an intriguing claim about the event.

He said, “If this fight, Berchelt, and Oscar had been with fans, we would have sold out Staples Center or the MGM Grand, and that revenue from ticket sales, would have exceeded our costs.” 

With this comment, Arum confirmed that the fight was not profitable to them.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 14: Terence Crawford and Bob Arum post fight after his victory over Kell Brook for the WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand Conference Center on November 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

This is not the first time the promoter has voiced his opinions on the losses caused by the pandemic. The American got into a controversial verbal battle with his fighter Terence Crawford over accusations of Crawford being too expensive to promote.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Arum doesn’t want to stage fights behind closed doors anymore. However, this could spell bad news for fans as they would have to wait a while until they get to see the big-name Top Rank fighters back in the ring.

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READ: Bob Arum’s Top 10 Boxers of All Time

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Leonardo Carvalho

1042 articles

Leonardo Carvalho is a Boxing Writer for EssentiallySports. Before working as a boxing web journalist, Leonardo dabbled in roles ranging from an SEO specialist to a Chegg expert. Alongside his current role, Leonardo runs a YouTube channel where he combines his passion for fitness with sports.

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