Promoter Bob Arum is bringing boxing back to Forum

Bob Arum
Boxing promoter Bob Arum says he’s hoping to arrange a May 17 fight at the Forum between world super-featherweight champion Mikey Garcia of Oxnard and Yuriorkis Gamboa of Cuba.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The Eagles last month brought new musical life to the Forum in Inglewood, and now boxing promoter Bob Arum says he’ll bring the sport back to where it shined a couple of decades ago.

Arum on Monday related to reporters specific details of the grand plan he first revealed to The Times last year, saying he’s aiming to make a May 17 date between Oxnard’s world super-featherweight champion, Mikey Garcia, and Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Getting Gamboa (23-0, 16 knockouts) is another matter, but Arum’s commitment to the Forum is concrete.

He’s close friends with Eagles manager and Forum part-owner Irving Azoff.


“I’d like to bring from six to nine shows a year to the Forum,” Arum said Monday at the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley news conference in Beverly Hills. “The question is, will fans go to the Forum? I think they will.

“We know it’s not in the same high-profile area as Staples Center, but the parking is inexpensive and it’s a place they’ve come before.”

Forum boxing used to routinely stage cards that were televised on local cable, showcasing fighters including Juan Manuel Marquez, Genaro Hernandez and many others. Oscar De La Hoya made his pro debut there. Tommy Hearns fought there later in his career.

Arum said that, in keeping with the arena’s reputation as a site of quality boxing, he’s also angling to place a third fight between Oxnard’s Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado in Inglewood.


The other cards would feature rising stars in Arum’s promotional company, Top Rank.

Told the area may also be in position to bring the NFL to Hollywood Park should Rams owner Stan Kroenke pursue that idea after purchasing that land, Arum rejoiced, “Yeah, that’d be perfect!”


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