September 11, 2009

Boxing Promoter Bob Arum Slams Mixed Martial Arts: In an interview with AOL FanHouse, longtime boxing promoter Bob Arum responded to a question about a UFC bout by blasting the sport of mixed martial arts and its fans, calling them "a bunch of skinhead white guys watching people in the ring who also look like skinhead white guys." Arum dug himself deeper by adding, "For me, and people like me, it is not something they ever care to see. 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." Thems fightin' words.

posted by rcade to boxing at 10:25 PM - 24 comments

I thought the interviewer did a good job of giving Arum room to hang himself without just going along with it.

posted by dusted at 10:58 PM on September 11

Doh! Rope to hang himself...

posted by dusted at 12:00 AM on September 12

LOL! I'm sure it'll come as news to Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva (to name but two) that they're skinhead white guys...

It's not a sport that shows great talent? Good grief. You have to be skilled in so many disciplines at the level UFC is at now.

Though I think with this second to last comment on that about "homosexuals" probably more accurately explains why he doesn't like it. Bit uncomfortable with the feelings you're getting there are we Bob?

Is it just me? Or do you never see MMA guys disrespecting boxing? It's always the boxing people whining. Pisses me off as I like BOTH.

And clearly Bob is equating MMA with UFC. UFC is MMA. MMA is not UFC. You don't like the "rolling around like homosexuals" part? Go watch K1. (I love K1! And dearly miss PRIDE... Oh wait, that must be gay, after all, GAY PRIDE!!!)

dusted: I think either way works. You gave him both room to do it, and the rope to use:)

posted by Drood at 01:31 AM on September 12

Well then, I guess I'm all gay for the UFC.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:19 AM on September 12

Me too, Weedy. Arum is pissed at seeing the boxing money go to the UFC. Nice of him to pound the nails into the coffin with the homosexuals line.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:42 AM on September 12

you dont see mma guys bashing boxing?? i have seen plenty of mma guys especially dana white bash boxing every chance that they get. there is enough room for boxing and mma fans.people need to stop this nonsense about which sport is better. it takes great skill to be good at both of them.

posted by rageagainstthemachine at 11:38 AM on September 12

Truth, well said by Bob Arum.

Fact is, both sports (that is if UFC is not in fact all "works" as is often whispered amongst the periphery and loose lipped insiders) ought to abolished ... if for nothing else than to put an end to the inevitable brain damage that all participants will inherit as their permanent legacies.

posted by Plaintruth at 04:20 PM on September 12

I'm surprised any of Arum's comments were intelligible with that foot in there.

On Edit: Plaintruth, wow, that has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of the post.

posted by BoKnows at 04:28 PM on September 12

Let's see if we can unpack anything from that fairly crappy assemblage of comments from Arum.

i suppose you can pair it with Floyd Mayweather saying in July that "there's no white fighters in boxing that's dominating, so they had to go to something else and start something new". As the commenters to that linked post note, that's BS: there are plenty of dominant white fighters, but few of them (with Kelly Pavlik as a notable exception) are American. So I think there's a grain of truth in the notion that the cold, hard business side of MMA (especially PPV) has a particular demographic in mind that won't pay to watch title fights.

posted by etagloh at 06:13 PM on September 12

Fact is, both sports (that is if UFC is not in fact all "works" as is often whispered amongst the periphery and loose lipped insiders) ought to abolished ... if for nothing else than to put an end to the inevitable brain damage that all participants will inherit as their permanent legacies.

Funnily enough, the exact oppostie is true. Boxers will undoubtedly suffer more brain damage than MMA participants. 16 ounce glosves insure a barrage a damage is absorbed by the brain. There's no 10 count in MMA, which protects the fighters, and you have a greater variety of defensive techniques available if hurt by a punch. The only good criticism I've heard in terms of the safety comparison is that in boxing you can be victorious by making the other guy miss. MMA - not so much.

I don't know why I'm forced to choose one sport to the exclusion of the other. That's just dumb.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:02 PM on September 12

You're not being forced to choose, Weedy. However, the 'promoters' of both would like you to think so. TV ratings = money, and they don't want to share 'their' (= our) money with any competitors. Who gets shafted? As usual, the fans.

/I'll stop whinging now.

posted by owlhouse at 09:36 PM on September 12

If you believe that over a twenty five fight span, MMA dopes are receiving less concussive brain damage from knee strikes, kicks and 4 ounce strike gloves (w heavily wrapped bones beneath) to the head than boxing's dopes are from being struck soley by 10 to 8 oz gloves (w heavily wrapped bones beneath) ... then you might want to reconsider if you are one of the .....s too.

posted by Plaintruth at 12:00 PM on September 13

No. Think about it. Boxers take hundreds of punches to the head every fight. Hundreds. MMA fighters take a fraction of that.

Plus - you get knocked out in an MMA fight and the fight is over. You don't get 10 seconds (or 8 second counts) to get a fresh adrenaline rush so you can wobble up and take more punishment. And you can win by submission - which is infinitely less abusive to the brain. MMA is a much safer way of fighting.

And if you don't believe me - look at the medical evidence. "Punch drunk" ain't a fucking beverage. Look at all those smart retired boxers. God they age well, don't they?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:56 PM on September 13

Look at all those smart retired boxers

De La Hoya is the only one that I can really think of that was smart enough to leave while he still has the ability to speak without any slurred speech and is still in the business as a promotor.

posted by BornIcon at 03:47 PM on September 13

Perhaps the gentleman should look to fix boxing's woes - more rigged fights than professional wrestling, and being dominated by Don King, crook extraordinaire - rather than trying to cast aspersions on the competition.

Still, I guess crying racism is easier that fixing something that's been broken a long time. Remy Bonjasky and Ray Sefo might find it an amusing claim.

posted by rodgerd at 04:44 PM on September 13


Yes they might ... as might the Kiltchko brothers. It also interesting that Arum has had a role in promoting them too.

posted by Plaintruth at 09:33 PM on September 13


If you believe what you've written, perhaps it time to lighten up the weedy mix in your pipe.

For boxers the medical stats on "pugilistica dementia" is approx 20% with participants with 60+ amateur plus 40+ pro bouts under their belt and it typically doesn't arrive until after 35, but it almost always has its irrevocablely permanent visit before 45 ... i.e. - as it affects the vulnerable 20 percentile.

Its onset in not entirely dependent on the volume of punches received. Successive serious concussions for instance also lead to pugilistica dementia .... without mentioning thier nearly immediate impact on cognitive abilities.

MMA is a relatively young sport (despite that sans the limb locks and chokes, bare knuckle boxing was mostly conducted in a similar fashion for nearly its entire existence ... despite rules to the contrary) where sufficient stats are not yet readily available/discernable for meaningful analysis. But ... its clearly obvious that serious concussions are absorbed amongst its participants at a very high rate (perhaps at an even greater rate than in boxing) and that fist strike knockout stoppages in MMA are all too often decided way too late by MMA referees either for ignorance or deliberatively as a way to ensure the crowd gets sufficient blood lust satiation. It sonly a matter of time before the Emil Griffith v Benny Kid Parette type tragedies become common place in MMA.

posted by Plaintruth at 10:03 PM on September 13


I direct you to the 20% v 80% stats above.

Despite the relatively havened 80% is it not oxymoronic that Boxing's two current heavyweight champions both hold Doctorate degrees? That is an extemely rarified stat amongst active professional athletes in all sports. Its even possible that might they may be the only two in the world of all professional athletes at the moment. I would thnk not, but its entirely possible.

Amongst truely knowledgeable sports historians, its acknowleged that Gene Tunney, although not enamored of, nor by his contemporary sports journalists, not only might have been the best heavyweight champion of all time but that he was probably the most intellectually gifted or at least capable of all athletes across all sports. Is it not ironic that he made his mark in Boxing?

The simple and very concrete fact is ... Boxing has been in very sharp decline in its most recent eras, which was markedly accelerated by the medical community's concluded studies leading to the birth of the medical term " pugilistica dementia" during the 1970s (which in turn led to great advances toward the development of a seperate science - Altzheimer Disease. When the results came in, just about every university in the US immediately dropped it as a varsity NCAA sport., etc., etc. You get the picture.

Despite that a "smart" fighters have a huge edge over lesser lit bulbs and that there are huge financial rewards to be reaped at Boxing's top levels, its been on only very rare occasions that smart people participate in it anymore ... yielding the recent/current crop thats no doubt contributing to your low opinion.

I can confirm that it wasn't always like this. I can also confirm that maybe its better this way ... less tragic endings (i.e. - a smaller 20% group).

Ironically, the subject 20% group is being expanded in numberical volume by MMA participants. In markets parlance, this might be referred to a "correction" phenom. How tragic is that?

posted by Plaintruth at 11:11 PM on September 13

Ok, but that's nothing but speculation. Certainly all these inevitable tragedies haven't occurred thus far. And to be honest - it's just relatively new to you. Regardless there isn't the data to support, nor deny your claim.

Your solution to these yet-to-occur tragedies is outright banning? I mean that's your point isn't it? We should not allow this sport to be played?

fist strike knockout stoppages in MMA referees either for ignorance or deliberatively as a way to ensure the crowd gets sufficient blood lust satiation.

Wow. You hate it, claim that it's fixed, not to mention simple brutality, and have and an opinion on the quality of the officiating - so you either can't stop watching it, which would seem pretty hypocritical since you have such a low opinion of it, or you've actually never watched it (because what you describe is simply not the case). I can't decide.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:04 PM on September 14

Speculation? Speculation?

The fact is ... you refuse to digest, to even acknowedge what you see and what you've seen with your own eyes, even if the closest you've been to either is your TV or the 200th row from ring or cage side!

Ironically, you're closer to the moral truth when you admit your indecisiveness than when you belch your denials of the heavy tragic volume of brain damaged potted plants both "sports" brew.

PS - assuming you are a person of concience, I'd have to, based on your posts, conclude you don't know or have ever met a human being that has/had been converted by either "sport" from a functioning human being ... into a walking vegetable. And therefore, you actually know very little about either sport outside of the base enjoyment you derive watching them on TV.

posted by Plaintruth at 12:05 PM on September 15

You're laying it on pretty thick, Plaintruth. Can we just accept as a given that Weedy and the other fans of these sports are bad people and get back to the specifics of the discussion?

posted by rcade at 12:27 PM on September 15

... and give homage to slimeballs like Bob Arum and Dana White instead?

The horror ... the horror!

posted by Plaintruth at 12:33 PM on September 15

All you have is a perspective, nothing more. No facts, just testimony.

But hey, here's to your next campaign to rid civil society of the abomination that is Pro-fessional and Ko-lee-gee-at football.

...than when you belch your denials of the heavy tragic volume of brain damaged potted plants... know very little about either sport outside of the base enjoyment you derive watching them on TV...

Sweet crackers, you're a merciless blowhard.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:35 PM on September 15

Merciless ... yes, but only seemingly blowhard to the dims of wits and the deniars of that which is as plain as the shnoozles on their pusses.

Sweet crackers?

posted by Plaintruth at 07:22 PM on September 15

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