Speaking with Business Insider, Bob Arum has confirmed that he is open to the idea of selling Top Rank and its many assets, and that he has had talks with Endeavor, Liberty Global, and even DAZN.
The 88-year-old Arum also adds (and this has to be stressed) that “maybe we won’t sell,” but it’s certainly worth noting that Arum — who is a co-promoter for Wilder vs Fury 2 this weekend, which is the biggest fight on the boxing calendar — is open to the idea, and has had talks with companies that could very possibly be legitimate buyers.
Endeavor, of course, is the company that bought UFC for $4.025 billion back in 2016, back when it was known as WME-IMG; Liberty Global is is a major multinational telecommunications company; and DAZN is DAZN, the over-the-top streaming service which has invested heavily into boxing since launching in the United States in 2018, including major content deals with Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions.
The DAZN interest is perhaps the one that will most make boxing fans’ eyebrows raise. That could be difficult to pull off, since Top Rank have a long-term deal with ESPN networks and are, in fact, a competitor with DAZN, directly so through their own ESPN+ streaming service, which televises plenty of boxing and is the home for their pay-per-view efforts from both boxing and UFC.
Arum says he met with DAZN backer Leonard Blavatnik “last week.”
Endeavor would seem a logical buyer, given their ownership of UFC and the fact that both UFC and Top Rank have major content deals with ESPN. I’m not going to pretend I have any reasonable idea about Liberty Global’s interest, but they certainly have the money.
It’s more than just a boxing promotional company, the fighters under contract, and all that, too. It’s also a massive and highly valuable content library, several physical buildings, etc.
This could well be Arum just hearing people out. It would hardly be the first time over the years he’s been approached about selling either all or some of his interest in the company, and until there’s something more than Arum admitting that he’s hearing people out, it’s probably nothing to get terribly worked up over.