Top Rank Chair BOB ARUM has the lucky position to find himself home in Las Vegas this weekend. As he tells it, “At least 50 percent of the weekends I’m doing a fight or I’m out of town, or I’m in Vegas but I’m working. So the 50 percent of the weekends where I’m not doing a fight, those I treasure and I kick back and relax.” But after living in the city for 27 years, his idea of relaxing is thoroughly Vegas-style.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! On Friday is my wife’s birthday, and the family is giving her a birthday party dinner at one of the hotels in Las Vegas. Don’t ask me how old she is because she would kill me if I told you. I generally buy her a nice gift, but if I’ve been very successful in my playoff and Super Bowl bets, she’d rather take the chips that I’ve won because she can spend it herself. This year I had Baltimore for the whole playoffs and Super Bowl and the year before I had my New York Giants for the whole playoffs and the Super Bowl. And I keep just rolling over the money so it ends up to be a very substantial sum.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: I have friends that come in from all over the world and they always know that the gift that I like them to bring the most of anything are the Cuban cigars, which I can’t bring in myself because of the embargo against Cuba. I have humidors filled with Cuban cigars 'cause they’re the best cigars in the world. We have a pool house at our home and it’s really got nice here now. The spring comes early in Las Vegas, so you open the whole pool house. I smoke in the pool house because my wife won’t let me smoke in the house, which I don’t blame her. But I have a big television set in the pool house.
LET’S TAKE A STROLL: I’ll probably take a nice walk on Saturday. I love to walk. It’s Saturday and the weather is good, so it probably won’t be til 9:00am. We have great paths where I live, so I generally take about a 3-mile walk; takes me about an hour.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s a big weekend this weekend because it celebrates the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake. My wife LOVEE and I will be attending the celebration dinner at the Venetian Hotel, which has a big, big event to celebrate Chinese New Year. They brought in hundreds and hundreds of customs from China and we have brought in to train at the Venetian the No. 1 Chinese fighter, whose name is ZOU SHIMING. This young man has won two Olympic boxing Gold Medals for China, one at the Beijing Olympics and the other at the London Olympics. He’s a major, major sports star in China and he’s now turning professional on April 6 at the Venetian Resort in Macau. So we thought we would bring him here to train him as a professional in the United States and he’s training now at the Venetian and he will be attending this New Year’s celebration, he and his wife with my wife and myself. It’s an unbelievable celebration, it’s old-style Chinese entertainment. It’s really something special.
INK ON THE NOSE: I love to read the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times. There are lengthy articles in both papers and unfortunately, because of my schedule during the week, I just don’t have time to read them. … Sunday night, because no matter how late we’re going to be entertaining, we tape “Downton Abbey,” which is on PBS and “Girls,” which is on HBO.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: I’m a tremendous movie buff, so we watch all the movies. We have friends who are in the Academy who get these DVDs. So they send us -- I don’t know if they’re supposed to so I’m not going to mention names -- but we get the DVDs from them and we watch movies or we go to the movie theater. So we’re tremendous movie goers. I love movies.
SWEET SIXTEEN: On Sunday we have a dinner at my home with the guest of honor, Zou. The co-guest of honor will be SHELDON ADELSON, who is the chairman of Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian Hotel & Resort in Macau. There’ll be sixteen people at the dinner and it’s going to be a very, very nice affair. … When we entertain we bring in a chef from one of our favorite restaurants. Sunday’s dinner will be cooked by Mac, who’s the chief chef at CUT restaurant at the Venetian.