Bob Arum: Boxing icon smokes pot 'every now and then'
Legendary fight promoter Bob Arum, less than two weeks shy of his 86th birthday, is still a powerhouse in the industry.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, attorney and longtime rival of Don King, Arum started promoting in the 1960s and has been a driving force behind the sport since the 1980s.
So, what's his secret to longevity in a cut-throat business and how has he continued to thrive, evolve and adapt over a 50-year span?
Make no mistake, intelligence, resolve and a commitment to hard work are probably at the top of the list.
... But is there something else?
CBS Sports recently caught up with the sports icon who made a riveting admission.
The new Puff Daddy?
“…. It's legal now [so] and I have a puff every now and then,” said Arum, who emphasized he’s not using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in any way, shape or form.
“I plead guilty to that. Other than that [pot], I keep my body in pretty good shape."
Arum’s fans will be relieved to know he’s not taking steroids and would happily submit to VADA testing; However, a little HGH at his age might not hurt (But that’s another topic for another article).
Not for youngsters, not during work
"I started [using marijuana] in 1966," Arum told CBS Sports. "Kids, young kids shouldn't do it because your brain is being formulated. But in 1966, I was in my 30s and I started. I don't do it at work, I do it for recreation. It's good for you, it's good for you. Cannabis is good for you!"
There's nothing like a little weed after a hard day's work for ‘Uncle Bob.’
Let's cycle back to 2013 when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr tested positive for marijuana after a fight and was subsequently hit with a stiff penalty. At the time, Junior's biggest defender was Arum.
"I was sorry that it happened, that he tested positive, but I'm not going to condemn a kid for smoking a joint a month before a fight to go to sleep," Arum told FightHubTV in 2012. "What the f--- has happened? I mean, let's be real about it. Let's not be hypocrite about it. "
Four years later, Arum still insists that using that PEDs (such as steroids) is cheating, but smoking pot is harmless and in no way unfairly enhances athletic performance.
So what about stronger drugs such as cocaine and heroin?
"It's these damn people during the Nixon administration that really put cannabis into the position where it was a drug like heroin and cocaine and that was wrong,” Arum told CBSSports.
" Now I think people in states like Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and soon California, people will be able to go into places and buy it legally like I do in Nevada."
Top Bob Arum quotes
- “Yesterday I was lying, today I am telling the truth.”
- “If you think Barkley was mad before the fight, wait until he sees how many people are taking part of his purse”
- “Sugar Ray Leonard's retirements last about as long as Elizabeth Taylor's marriages.”
- “Don King sucks...Don King sucks...Don King sucks...”
- “I'm gonna make a ton of money on the rematch, but that decision was horrible.”
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Arum rose to prominence as a tax attorney in New York and was in-line to head the tax division of the U.S. Justice Department before the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963 would ultimately send him on a different career path.
As it relates to boxers (not promoters or the general public), is Arum on to something?
Medical marijuana for violent head blows and brain injury
According to a recent article on ABC News, research done by Hebrew University in Israel reported in the journal 'Nature' suggests that 'cannabinoid, which is similar to the active ingredient found in marijuana and is produced in the brains of many animals, protects injured mice from added brain injury.
But in all fairness, arguments can be made for and against marijuana in boxing, so the debate rages on...
How do you feel about pot in the sport?
Should it be banned completely? Should it be OK (a la alcohol)?
Should it be used for medicinal purposes only?
Also, can smoking weed actually curtail athletic performance in the longterm and cause addiction?