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Old, White Guy Bob Arum Continues to Insist on Racializing MMA

(Bob, could you use this staircase to show us where boxing is today compared to, say, thirty years ago? PicProps: Pacquiao-Margarito.com)

The last time we heard from boxing promoter and cantankerous old white dude Bob Arum he essentially dismissed MMA types as “a bunch of skinheads who like to roll around like homosexuals.” In other words, Dale Carnegie this guy is not. Good news is, Arum managed to keep the homophobia under wraps this week when he and prized possession Manny Pacquiao sat down with USA Today writers Sergio Non and Scott Zucker. Unfortunately, when the topic of MMA came up, Arum continued to weirdly define his objections to our sport on the basis of race. It’s almost as if he’s trying to distract us from something else … something like realizing his words are just the impotent flailing of an old man who realizes his place in the world grows smaller each day …

“I don’t want to demean UFC, because they’ve done a marvelous job of marketing,” Arum said, in response to a question from Non about the record-breaking ticket sales in Toronto for UFC 129. “But it’s the same audience over and over. It’s white males, and they have never been able to expand their demographic … Hey, this country is becoming more and more Hispanic, and it’s growing (more) African-American (in the) audience. So the future success of UFC is limited. The success of boxing is not, because boxing reaches those groups. The only demographic that boxing has lost is the white, young males, period.”
Yeah, we don’t know if it’s technically correct to say the UFC has “never been able to expand their demographic,” as the company’s current international expansion flies directly in the face of that statement. As Non correctly points out in his own blog on subject, Arum conveniently leaves out “non-Caucasian groups” like Brazilians and the people of the city of Japan, who both seem to like MMA okay. Not to mention the rise of current Latino fighters like Cain Velasquez, who appeared to draw pretty well from that particular demographic while he was whipping Brock Lesnar’s ass in Anaheim.

We could also talk about the recent rumblings that the UFC might bring “The Ultimate Fighter” to the Philippines this year – and the large crowds Anderson Silva and GSP recently drew during promotional trips there – or talk about the promotion’s plans for more shows in the middle east and its current work to make inroads into India and China … all that maybe makes too much sense for Bob Arum … but to really know that the 79-year-old promoter (79!) is totally missing the point about the popularity of MMA, we need to look no further than the following quote.

Just a bit of set-up: Part of Non’s original question referenced a recent boxing match between Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley in Detroit, which only sold 6,000 tickets. He wanted to know what boxing coud “take marketing-wise from an up-and-coming combat sport like MMA?” Arum responded thusly:

“That event didn’t belong in Detroit,” he said. “Neither fighter came from Detroit. Neither fighter was that well known. It was put in a building that has long functioned as a normal sporting arena. In boxing, typically, fights not on the magnitude of big title fights with Pacquiao or Mayweather, generally draw 4,000 to 5,000 people. This goes back to the ’70s and ’80s.”

Boxing events don’t draw well if they’re not in Vegas and they don’t have Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather on the card, huh? So, we guess now would be a good time to tell Bob Arum that – by way of comparison — during the last calendar year the UFC packed houses in Nevada, Australia, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Abu Fuckin’ Dhabi, Quebec, British Colombia, California, Massachusetts, Indiana, England, Germany and … let’s see … where else … oh yeah, Detroit. The UFC sold out the Palace of Auburn Hills with a main event featuring one guy from Memphis and one guy from Brazil.

Not too shabby, huh? Now, if this sport could just get some traction in a widespread demographic, we might really have something here …

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ed_words- February 19, 2011 at 10:38 am
*Sandler
ed_words- February 19, 2011 at 10:37 am
That's totally the staircase Adam Sandlet dances down in Billy Madison.
RwilsonR- February 18, 2011 at 7:46 am
@ Drizzal - don't forget the three Brazilian champions. The black one, the brown one, and the lighter shade of brown one.
DizzyLittleLord- February 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm
great article, really want Bob Arum to get Arm-Barred
Drizzal- February 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm
Well, for all the racism going on it sure isn't affecting the fighters. There's a Brazilian FW, MW, and LHW champ, Mexican-American HW champ, an Italian-American LW champ, and a French-Canadian WW champ. How's that for multi-culturalism?
adolfie- February 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm
how did we not barbaque this stupid jew back in 44?
ccman- February 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm
Brazillians are not caucasion. Been there and don't even try telling one they are, they are also racist based on skin tone, and their police kill street kids daily as "crime prevention".

As for arum.... lemme look back into my marketing degree and research based on demographics for disposable income for who you want to market to.... hmmm.

In the usa, order of best demographics per income.
Gay males (70% white males 18-35)
Asians males
White males. In order.
By population
Gay males (6%)
Asians total (5%)
White males (29%)

It is the most coveted marketing group in the u.s. canada its probably higher. Blacks (more than african) total are in total 13% of the population. 1 point higher than gays with 1\3 the buying power. If that's your target audience your screwed.
white bear- February 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm
You knost most brazilians are caucasian. It has more european immigration than the US. Why are americans so dumb?
heyjd- February 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm
your all a bunch of skinhead fagots

on that note why does race matter anymore i dont get it?
as a "white" guy i dont give a fuck who jizzed in your moms axe would to create you. doesnt make any difference if you are a good person then you are a good person. i dont give a shit if you have dark skin or a tan or are wearing a green suit.

he is 80 years old and is from a time when things were defined by race. he is a fucking dinosaur and his opinion is outdated and racist
SFalvo- February 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm
I bet if I told Arum that women are allowed to vote, he'd call me a queer and talk about how women voters are the reason we'll never have a black president in America.
Sudos KFC- February 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm
What is racist about TRYING to target minority groups to be part of your fan base? Seems pretty inclusive to me.
Fatbellyfrank- February 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm
@ Bongtar,any chance your friend could cut his throat?
RwilsonR- February 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm
I'm furious at the racism of boxing! Boxing has done zero outreach to the Asians! And don't give me that crap about Manny Pacquiao. If the UFC can't lump Brazilians into a 'non-Caucasian' group, then Arum can't lump Filipinos into the Asians.
Dynamo- February 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm
That sounded about as racist as Dana saying he was trying to target African American and Hispanic groups recently.
ArogStru- February 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm
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Videodrome_NOW- February 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm
I hate Bob Arum because I wish I could be as racially and culturally ignorant/insensitive in public as he is, that old bitch.

And if anyone in Africa actually had a TV, you know they would be watching MMA. That's a whole continent we have yet to break into. Can you imagine a UFC event in Johannesburg? or fuckin Cairo? Goodnight Irene!!
knucklesamitch- February 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm
@Viva Hate
@The Real Bob Arum

Thanks a helluva lot for making me laugh so hard that now people in my office are wondering what I'm up to in my cubicle.
Towelie- February 17, 2011 at 11:56 am
@v3n7o

back in the days you speak of, boxing was huge and pretty much the only combat sport around, aside from the kumate, which was never spoken/written of as THERE IS NO KUMATE. I can pretty much guarantee you that everyone knows who Manny Pacquiao is.
ReX13- February 17, 2011 at 11:54 am
Viva >> +1
BONGTAR- February 17, 2011 at 11:51 am
a freind of mine actually cuts Arum's hair in Beverly Hills. Said he is a major asshole to most people, and makes racist jokes constantly.
The Real Bob Arum- February 17, 2011 at 11:31 am
You little ungrateful bastehds! How daye you question my hubbubbub? I've promoted fights in Africa and the Phillipines while you were still little tadpoles in ya fahthas shlong. Have a little respect for ya elders or I'll roll up my sleeves and give you a kick in the pants. I played halfback and kicker for thee Hebrew Hayemakers of the now defunct no helmet, six man Manhattan Foosball league, you little bastehds.
Viva Hate- February 17, 2011 at 11:29 am
I am shocked that a 79 year old guy would be out of touch.

Cp should have run the rest of the article where they asked him about some other popular culture topics.

On Lady Gaga he said "Back in my day we didn't let those he-shes around, I mean that thing has a penis and breasts, it is bad for the kids."

When asked about Cyborg Santos he said "Back in my day we didn't let those he-shes around, I mean that thing has a penis and breasts, it is bad for the kids."

When asked about Kayne West he said "back in my day had a colored got out of hand like him, we'd have cut a switch and whooped him one good."

When asked about Gina Carano he said "Have you seen the sweater bags on that hose hound?"
Steve W.- February 17, 2011 at 11:27 am
So, basically he's saying that to draw in boxing you have to hold the event in a fighter's home town.

That's funny, I seem to recall the UFC drawing 21,000 people with a main event featuring two Brazilian fighters, who speak little English, let alone French, in MONTREAL QUEBEC CANADA!
Towelie- February 17, 2011 at 11:23 am
I'd have to disagree with you,v3n7o, on Pac-man's drawing potential. The man has fought twice now in Cowboy's Stadium, which is a huge venue for a fighter. He's probably the only saving grace of boxing at the moment IMO, and to me he's really the only boxer worth watching.
RearNakedSpoon- February 17, 2011 at 11:20 am
I'm sensing a pattern, ignorant old white men with a link to boxing don't like MMA.
That old codger needs 50cc's of bitch slapping, STAT!
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