Top Rank

Top Rank, Inc. is a boxing promotional company founded by Jabir Herbert Muhammad and Bob Arum, which was incorporated in 1973, and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Top Rank, Inc.
TypePrivately held company
IndustryBoxing promotion
PredecessorMain Bout
Founded1973 (1973)
Founder
Headquarters,
United States
Key people
Bob Arum (CEO)
Websitewww.toprank.com

Since its founding, Top Rank has promoted many world class fighters, including Muhammad Ali, Alexis Argüello, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Durán, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Marvin Hagler, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erik Morales, Thomas Hearns, Paulie Ayala, Iran Barkley, Michael Carbajal, Larry Holmes, Ray Mancini, Carlos Monzón, Terry Norris, Gabriel Ruelas, Rafael Ruelas, James Toney, Kubrat Pulev, Guido Vianello and Tyson Fury.

The company has promoted such superfights as Hagler vs Leonard, Chavez vs De La Hoya, Holyfield vs Foreman, Foreman vs Moorer, Leonard vs Hearns, Hagler vs Hearns, Ali vs Frazier II and both Ali vs Spinks fights. The company also promoted George Foreman's comeback to regain the world championship, culminating in the knockout of then IBF/WBA champion Michael Moorer on November 5, 1994.

History

Main Bout

The precursor to Top Rank was Main Bout, a company founded by Muhammad Ali in 1966 to promote his fights. Along with Muhammad Ali, other early equity owners of the company included Jabir Herbert Muhammad, Bob Arum, and John Ali (chief aide to Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad).[1] The company was founded after the Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson fight, and the company mainly handled Ali's boxing promotions and pay-per-view closed-circuit television broadcasts in the late 1960s. The company's stockholders included several other fellow Nation of Islam members.[2]

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN

In the early 1980s, Top Rank Boxing and then-fledgling ESPN formed a partnership to bring a weekly boxing to the cable network which culminated with the first regularly televised boxing series since 1964. The first event was held on April 10, 1980, in Atlantic City, when middleweight Frank Fletcher decisioned Ben Serrano.[3] The original Top Rank Boxing on ESPN was the longest-running cable series and weekly boxing series in history, after celebrating its 16th consecutive year in 1996. ESPN broke away from the contract afterward, replacing it with Friday Night Fights—a new series that would feature fights from other promotions and aired on ESPN2.[4]

In July 2017, Top Rank began to soft launch a new broadcasting agreement with ESPN, beginning with Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn,[5][6] followed by two more cards in August.[7] That month, ESPN officially announced a multi-year agreement, calling for events airing across ESPN linear and digital properties (including its recently-launched subscription service ESPN+), and an option to carry events on pay-per-view.[8][9] On August 2, 2018, ESPN extended the agreement through 2025.[10]

Announcers

Kenneth Anderson AKA (Mr. Kennedy Aka Mr. Anderson)

Blow-by-blow
  • Sal Marchiano (1980–1983)[11]
  • Sam Rosen (1983–1986)[12]
  • Al Bernstein (1986–1996)
  • Don Chevrier (1987–1988)[13]
  • Tom Kelly (1988–1989)
  • Barry Tompkins (1989–1994)[14]
  • Bob Papa (1996–2003)[15]
  • Joe Tessitore (2003–present)
Color Commentator

Current boxers

BoxerNicknameNationalityWeightRecordTitle
Carlos Adames DominicanWelterweight20-1 (16 KO)
Joseph Adorno"Blessed Hands" Puerto RicanLightweight14–0–2 (12 KO)
Mike Alvarado"Mile High" AmericanWelterweight40–5 (28 KO)
Efe Ajagba"The Silent Roller" NigerianHeavyweight15–1 (12 KO)
Jerwin Ancajas"Pretty Boy" FilipinoSuper flyweight32–1–2 (22 KO)IBF super flyweight champion
Jared Anderson“Big Baby” AmericanHeavyweight10–0 (10 KO)
Arnold Barboza Jr. AmericanLight welterweight26–0 (10 KO)
Raymundo Beltrán"Sugar" MexicanLightweight36–9–1 (22 KO)
José Benavidez"Merciless" AmericanWelterweight27–1 (18 KO)
Alexander Besputin RussianWelterweight15–0 (11 KO)
Artur Beterbiev RussianLight heavyweight16–0 (16 KO)WBC, IBF, and lineal light heavyweight champion
Jeyvier Cintrón"Perrito" Puerto RicanBantamweight11–1 (5 KO)
Michael Conlan"Mick" IrishSuper bantamweight17–1 (8 KO)
Robson Conceição BrazilianSuper featherweight17–2 (8 KO)
Christopher Díaz"Pitufo" Puerto RicanFeatherweight26–3 (16 KO)
Isaac Dogboe"Brave-Son" GhanaianFeatherweight22–2 (15 KO)
Esquiva Falcão BrazilianSuper middleweight28–0 (20 KO)
Gabriel Flores Jr. AmericanLightweight20–1 (7 KO)
Tyson Fury"Gypsy King" BritishHeavyweight32–0–1 (23 KO)WBC, The Ring & lineal heavyweight champion
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov UzbekWelterweight9–1 (5 KO)
Jesse Garcia AmericanFeatherweight9–0 (5 KO)
Jose Gonzalez"Chocolatito" AmericanFeatherweight15–0–2 (5 KO)
Oleksandr Gvozdyk"The Nail" UkrainianLight heavyweight17–1 (14 KO)
Jeff Horn"The Hornet" AustralianWelterweight20–3–1 (13 KO)
Jesse Hart"Hard Work" AmericanSuper middleweight26–3 (21 KO)
Naoya Inoue"Monster" JapaneseBantamweight22–0 (19 KO)WBA (Super), IBF, and The Ring bantamweight champion
David Kaminsky IsraeliLight middleweight6–1 (3 KO)
Bryant Jennings"By-By" AmericanHeavyweight24–4 (14 KO)
Egidijus Kavaliauskas LithuanianWelterweight22–2–1 (18 KO)
Vasiliy Lomachenko"Loma" UkrainianLightweight15–2 (11 KO)
José López"Chino" Puerto RicanLight welterweight12–1 (10 KO)
Teófimo López"El Brooklyn" AmericanLightweight16–1 (12 KO)
Bryan Lua AmericanLightweight8–0 (3 KO)
Jessie Magdaleno AmericanSuper bantamweight28–1 (18 KO)
Miguel Marriaga"The Scorpion" ColombianFeatherweight30–4 (26 KO)
Mikaela Mayer AmericanLight welterweight15–0 (5 KO)
Trevor McCumby AmericanLight heavyweight25–0 (19 KO)
Kieran Molloy IrishWelterweight2–0 (2 KO)
Andrew Moloney"The Monster" AustralianSuper flyweight22–2–1 NC (14 KO)
Jason Moloney"Mayhem" AustralianBantamweight22–2 (18 KO)
Ryōta Murata JapaneseMiddleweight16–3 (13 KO)
Emanuel Navarrete"Vaquero" MexicanFeatherweight34–1 (29 KO)WBO featherweight champion
Steve Nelson AmericanLight heavyweight17–0 (14 KO)
José Pedraza"Sniper" Puerto RicanLightweight29–3 (14 KO)
Duke Ragan AmericanFeatherweight
Jose Ramírez AmericanLight welterweight26–1 (17 KO)
Casey Ramos"The Wizard" AmericanSuper featherweight24–1 (6 KO)
Mike Reed"Yes Indeed" AmericanLight welterweight25–2 (13 KO)
Jean Carlos Rivera Puerto RicanFeatherweight16–2 (11 KO)
Julian Rodriguez"Hammer Hands" AmericanLight welterweight21–1 (14 KO)
Alex Saucedo"El Cholo" AmericanWelterweight30–2 (19 KO)
Joe Smith Jr."Irish Bomber" AmericanLight heavyweight27–3 (21 KO)WBO light heavyweight champion
Jason Sosa"El Canito" AmericanSuper featherweight23–4–4 (16 KO)
Genesis Servania"Kashimi" FilipinoFeatherweight34–3 (16 KO)
Shakur Stevenson"Sugar" AmericanLightweight19–0 (9 KO)
Josh Taylor"Tartan Tornado" BritishLight welterweight18–0 (13 KO)IBF, WBA (Super), WBC, WBO light welterweight champion
Nicholas Walters"Axe Man" JamaicanSuper featherweight26–1–1 (21 KO)
Óscar Valdez MexicanSuper featherweight30–0 (23 KO)WBC super featherweight champion
Félix Verdejo"El Diamante" Puerto RicanLightweight27–2 (17 KO)
Henry Lebrón"Moncho" Puerto RicanLightweight14–0 (9 KO)
Xander Zayas Puerto RicanLight middleweight11–0 (8 KO)

Notable fighters

Other events

Early in its history, Top Rank promoted the Snake River Canyon jump of daredevil Evel Knievel in September 1974.[19][20] The event, at Twin Falls, Idaho, was shown live on paid closed circuit television in hundreds of theaters, for about ten dollars each.[21][22][23] The steam-powered Skycycle X-2 had a premature deployment of its parachute and Knievel survived.[22]

References

  1. "Risk vs. Reward". Top Rank Boxing. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  2. Ezra, Michael (2013). The Economic Civil Rights Movement: African Americans and the Struggle for Economic Power. Routledge. p. 105. ISBN 9781136274756.
  3. "40 Years of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN". Big Fight Weekend. April 10, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  4. "No longer fighting, Top Rank, ESPN talk about fights". ESPN.com. ESPN Inc. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  5. "Pacquiao-Horn To Air Live on ESPN, 9PM ET/6PM PT". Boxing Scene. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  6. "ESPN to televise Manny Pacquiao's next fight as part of new Top Rank agreement". Bloody Elbow (SB Nation). Vox Media. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  7. "Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford to headline live ESPN cards in August". ESPN.com. ESPN Inc. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  8. "Top Rank signs exclusive 4-year deal with ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  9. Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 26, 2017). "ESPN And Top Rank Announce Multi-Year Agreement For New Fight Series". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  10. Hayes, Dade (2018-08-02). "ESPN Sets Landmark Boxing Deal With Top Rank Through 2025". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  11. Alfano, Peter (July 12, 1983). "Embarrassing Night in Boxing". The New York Times.
  12. Winderman, Ira (May 13, 1986). "ESPN's Bernstein Won't Go Down Without a Fight". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  13. "Roundup Baseball". The Globe and Mail. September 24, 1987.
  14. Sarni, Jim (November 18, 1988). "Saturday is Dream for Football Fanatics". Sun Sentinel.
  15. Lindquist, Jerry (August 22, 1994). "Berman's Forecast on Redskins: Wait Till Next Year". Richmond Times - Dispatch.
  16. Katz, Michael; Johnson, Roy S. (October 19, 1982). "Announcer Loses". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  17. Myslenski, Skip; Kay, Linds (August 29, 1985). "Odds & INS". Chicago Tribune.
  18. Pugmire, Lance (December 13, 2017). "Boxing analyst Teddy Atlas is removed by ESPN from live fights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  19. "Is he an athlete, daredevil, promoter, hoax, or a nut?". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. June 25, 1974. p. B2.
  20. "Congressman says Evel bad influence on kids". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 4, 1974. p. 2.
  21. "Evel Knievel canyon leap today". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 8, 1974. p. 16.
  22. Sellard, Dan (September 9, 1974). "Evel Knievel's leap at canyon ends in draw". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1B.
  23. "Snake River Canyon Jump". Chicago Tribune. (advertisement). September 6, 1974. p. 2, section 3.
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