Promoter says he's cooperating with investigation
LAS VEGAS -- Boxing promoter Bob Arum issued a statement Friday saying he has done nothing wrong and is cooperating with federal investigators who raided his company's offices earlier in the week.
Arum returned from an overseas vacation amid intense speculation in the boxing industry over the reason FBI agents seized computers and financial records from the Las Vegas offices of his Top Rank company in a Tuesday night raid.
Arum declined to answer questions. In his statement, he said he does not know the scope of the government's investigation but is "lawfully cooperating with that investigation."
He said he would not respond to published reports that linked the probe to a variety of misconduct, including the fixing of a September fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley.
"Top Rank will not comment on or respond to the rumors, speculation and unverified allegations appearing in the media," Arum said in his statement. "Top Rank will continue to focus on its business of promoting its boxers and fighters and appreciates all the support it has received from the boxing industry."
Some of that support came from Nevada's top boxing regulator, who said a suggestion that the De La Hoya-Mosley fight was somehow fixed was ridiculous.
"It makes absolutely no sense. It would be nonsensical for him to do such a thing," said Marc Ratner, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission. "I'm perplexed, and I can't even speculate how little sense that makes."
The FBI said the Tuesday night raid was part an investigation that involves New York City police, but declined to say what it was seeking. Agents returned the computers Thursday, but reportedly kept about two years of financial files taken during the raid.
A report in the New York Daily News quoted unnamed sources as saying the investigation had been ongoing for 20 months and included allegations the September fight between Mosley and De La Hoya was fixed.
Mosley won the fight, beating De La Hoya, who is promoted by Arum.
"It's preposterous that Bob Arum, who has the golden boy who lays the golden eggs, would throw a fight against his own fighter," said Gary Shaw, who promotes Mosley. "This kind of absurd allegation tarnishes Sugar Shane Mosley's great victory."
Mosley made around $6 million for the fight, while De La Hoya made more than $20 million. The fight was sold out and did strong pay-per-view business, meaning Arum's company also made millions.
Arum has promoted De La Hoya much of his career, matching him in his biggest -- and most profitable -- fights. Revenues from De La Hoya's fights were estimated to total some $500 million since he began fighting as a pro in 1992.
Shaw said no one from the FBI or law enforcement had contacted him, his fighter or his attorney. He said he talked to Richard Schaefer, De La Hoya's business manager, and he hadn't been contacted either.
Schaefer did not immediately return a phone call for comment.