Happy Days: Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya
Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions and Bob Arum's Top Rank Boxing are the two predominant promotional companies in boxing today. A quick glimpse at the roster of each company reveals a who's who of current champions and top notch contenders.
Golden Boy is home to Abner Mares, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, just to name a few. Top Rank proudly promotes Brandon Rios, Nonito Donaire, Timothy Bradley, and of course Manny Pacquiao.
The problem is that a long standing feud between Golden Boy and Top Rank is slowly sucking the life out of boxing. Sure, die hard boxing fans will continue to take the good with the bad because they are loyal and love the sport. But what about the future of boxing? What about bringing in new viewers by getting the best of the best to fight each other no matter what company they are represented by? Can you imagine if Leonard never fought Duran or if Hagler never fought Hearns because their promotional companies couldn't see eye to eye?
The genuine dislike between Golden Boy and Top Rank starts at the top with Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum and slowly trickles down to involve CEO's, managers, television networks and even beer brands. Richard Schaefer recently said it's impossible to make a fight with Top Rank, which doesn't bode well for fight fans who would love to see potential showdowns like Brandon Rios vs. Lucas Matthysse or Timothy Bradley vs. Robert Guerrero.
In optimal situations, matchups are built up until the fighters are at their best and interest in the fight reaches it's peak. Unfortunately, when fights sizzle with intrigue for too long, they eventually cool down and lose their luster.
Even without promotional beefs getting in the way, fighters get older, move up in weight class or lose to other opponents before a highly anticipated fight can be made, which is why it's important to give the paying fans what they want and strike while the iron is hot.
Is the feud between Top Rank and Golden Boy ruining boxing?
So what's the solution to getting Golden Boy and Top Rank to play nice? Usually, the potential to make tons of money would get people to put their petty differences aside, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
Just as Pacquiao's recent knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez really killed a lot of the excitement for a Pacquiao versus Mayweather fight, the same could end up happening with Abner Mares and Nonito Donaire.
Since an agreement could not be reached to put that matchup together, Donaire is now set to face Guillermo Rigondeaux, a tough fight that Donaire can potentially lose. Since Top Rank promotes both Rigondeaux and Donaire, pitting them against each other is a win-win situation for Bob Arum. That type of thinking is definitely bad for boxing.
It remains to be seen if Golden Boy and Top Rank can bury the hatchet in 2013 and actually put on worthwhile matchups which help boxing regain it's mainstream notoriety. If no real agreement is reached between the two companies, fight fans may be left to playing out their dream match ups on a video game.
If no feud existed between Golden Boy and Top Rank, what are some of the fights you would like to see?