5 Controversial Boxing Decisions with Bob Arum

The three things you can count on in life: death, taxes and controversial decisions in boxing.


Fans will get the chance to rewatch some memorable fights that were not only notable for their action inside the ring, but for the controversies after the scorecards were read.


"These are five fights that many people, myself included, felt could've gone either way," says Bob Arum, whose company, Top Rank, promoted all the matches that will be aired on ESPN.


In his own words, edited for clarity, here's what Arum had to say about those memorable -- and contentious -- bouts.


Felix Trinidad MD12 Oscar De La Hoya (Sept. 18, 1999)


Coming into this matchup, both De La Hoya and Trinidad were clearly the two best welterweights on the planet, undefeated in a combined 66 fights. "The Golden Boy" was the game's brightest star, while "Tito" was living up to his acclaim as the next great fighter from Puerto Rico, having made 15 successful title defenses after winning the IBF title in 1993.


Trinidad unified the welterweight titles by the scores of 115-113 (Jerry Roth), 115-114 (Bob Logist) and 114-114 (Glen Hamada).


Arum on how the fight came to be: "De La Hoya was the big box-office star, and Don King had Trinidad, who obviously was the top opponent. People were talking about that fight even more than, say, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. So King came to me and he used a guy in Las Vegas, who had been with the commission, Sig Rogich, to make that fight. We negotiated that fight in Sig's office on a Saturday afternoon, and we came up with a deal. But of course with King, once you negotiate something -- that's just the start of the negotiation.


"That's what happened, and then Oscar had this guy, Leonard Armato, as his adviser, who was this great genius. My idea was that Oscar would take not a great guarantee purse but reasonable guarantee, and an upside of the pay-per-view at a percentage. But Armato was pushing for the biggest guarantee possible. He was willing to give up all the percentage and so forth, in which case Oscar made, I think, 20, 21 million [dollars] on the fight, which was a huge amount.


"But if he had gone with the percentage, he would've made about 5 or 6 million more."


Arum on the controversial ending: "I mean, anybody objectively watching that fight, on the first 10 rounds can barely give Trinidad two of those rounds. Oscar beat the s--- out of him and out-boxed him the entire way. Now, the 11th round, you could go for Trinidad, and Trinidad clearly won the 12th. The best Trinidad did in that fight was win four rounds, it was clearly eight-to-four. It wasn't even a close fight and they gave it to Trinidad."


Arum's reaction on who won: "Oscar. I was stunned. ... I was stunned with those cards. He clearly won that fight."


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