This Business of Boxing

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
This Business of Boxing
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

 

        Feliz Columbus day fans. As a history major I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about Mr. Columbus reign as a conqueror and as a mobile calculating oppressor, however, as a pragmatist I have the fore sight and the social grace to keep my raging opinions to myself. At least as it pertains to history. Now boxing as we all know my friends is a different story. I had a message in my inbox after my last piece asking why I don’t write more often and calling in to question my complete commitment to boxing scribedom. I have all sorts of answers for that question but in the meantime I will appease my friend Rick and attempt to sort out things in and around boxing that are taxing my good nature. When my informational space ship last docked we examined the worlds top fighters and the everlasting drama that surrounds them and their handlers.  I have been focusing a lot on providing you fans with detailed rankings and such so as an intermission of sorts I am simply going to do a little first and ten (first take style) concerning the water cooler topics of the day (boxing only of course). I have taken a collection of questions collected in my inbox and perhaps collectively we answer these questions. Keep those tray tables up and those seat belts on

 

  What do we make of the JML/CC/Gamboa situation? What fight will happen first and why is there so much indecision coming out of JML camp

This is an emerging debacle that Robert Arum (more on him later) really is not enjoying at the moment. JML about a year ago was an albatross in the 122-pound division. No comers or takers anywhere in site. The future looked so bright, so fruitful, and so limitless. Then Arum shot himself in the foot and he has no one to blame but himself. For reasons that escape me Arum began promoting JML the way he promotes JCC jr. Headlining him on a Latin fury PPV cards against any mandatory that we can find and count the Puerto Rican money that comes in. He has taken a true primed pound for pound fighter and turned him into a house fighter. As the public began to grow restless with Arum’s in house machinations a hot tall young champion of Cuban descent emerged with two 122 pound alphabet titles and mouth that Clay could admire. CC in all his glory began to speak the boxing publics mind

1.     “When he going to fight a real fighter?”

2.     “How many Latin fury PPV can this dude headline before he steps up in class”

The list goes on and on and as CC accusations and rants grew the light began to shine more and more on the handpicked nature of JML campaign as a top-level fighter. As if this was not enough to upset the Top Rank apple tide, recently inked Gamboa was elevated to a full titleholder even though he had not defeated Chris John (more on that later). No matter my feelings on how his title came to be the bottom line speaks loudest. He is an official world titleholder without the interim tag. He is also undefeated and would be relatively cheap to compensate at this point in his career. Conventional wisdom would push arum to protect his assets for another couple of months and try and make the fight with CC therefore not assuming in house risk. If Gamboa and JML tangle it is written in stone that one of his undefeated fighters will lose that undefeated marketability. It’s all about the market place ladies so lets just plan on a nice crisp 122-pound unification in the first quarter of 2010

What do you make of Thomas Hauser’s assertions about HBO budget problems and that Boxing after dark will be discontinued at the current rate we are traveling?

I read the work. Brilliant piece of writing and its amazing that we don’t have to pay some type of fee to have access to the cutting edge reporting of Mr. Hauser. I consider Thomas a friend. He has always been supportive of me and my ambitions as a writer and he was even kind enough to let me interview him about a year ago. This latest effort was bone chilling to say the least. Russ Greenburg is guilty of a lot of things. Personal decisions, giving Golden boy nod after nod when the situation seems to dictate otherwise. I believe where HBO is running into trouble is quite simple: Match making and distribution of license fees. I believe that 7 million for DLH/Forbes is the dumbest f##king thing I have ever heard in my life. I believe paying just fewer than 3 million for a Johnson/Dawson re-match is suicidal when it comes to maintaining an expectation of good service from your registered viewers (me among them). I am of the school of thought that no real boxing fan wants to see Paula Mal/JD rematch. They are going to sell the entire promotion off of the integrity of Texas’s judges. Well Russ the Judges that gave the fight to JD are not actually going to be combatants, they wont even be in the building. So what are we really watching? Then if that is not enough Victor Ortiz who re defines the word soft is going to be the co headliner. Where HBO loses me if the fact that they are going to throw Sergio Martinez on the UNTELEVISED undercard. The only solid current world champion, who will easily be the best fighter on the card, is relegated to no TV. Now what do JD and Victor Ortiz have in common? You guessed it GOLDEN BOY. Look at the scenario that I just painted. Russ and his band of merry men are making tactical business follies that are dilapidating the HBO brand and hurting us as consumers. So I guess I agree with Thomas haha. Tell me this fans…instead of the awful proposed situation that seems to be upon us why not pay 2 million for Tua/Cristobal A? Or even  a JMM/JD rematch. In those particular fights neither side can command more then half of the proposed license fee AND it would be an exciting fight with exciting fighters with a history of being exciting. Not the craptastic (had to use that word (=  ) product that will be coming our way

 

    Could you address the MMA situation and the repeated comments about boxing by Dana White?

 Where do I begin (=………I will admit that MMA as a business entity is on the upswing and has a model in terms of its basic infrastructure that has it poised to succeed in this capitalistic society. I would also say that having the backing of one of the world’s billionaires (Lorenzo Fertitta) is not a bad annual subsidy to have. By the way Dana White is not the man with a billion bucks. In fact he is not the head of the UFC. Yes he is the acting president but Forbes reports that he only holds ten percent of the shares….that number is synomous with minority not majority which is the way he carries himself. False bravado. This issue is Multi layered much like an onion so I will try to move about the situation with delicacy. I hear all over the place that boxing is dead; MMA is taking over blah blah blah blah. In reality MMA is its own worst enemy. I liken them to china. China has a standing army of 200 million, vast wealth and space. They seem like the new America. With all that power respected economist say that internal problems such as population control and health will be their un doing, not any one war or bomb. I see the same happening with UFC. UFC does about 6 of the top ten PPV every year which is fantastic. However they pay there fighters such a minute percentage of the total take that the math suggested by all the figures in the equation could be compared to a sweat shop. The UFC does not care about their fighters; they don’t take fiscal responsibilities for mental injury such as concussions or pain killer addictions (which are rampant when you do Cock fights for a living), no 401 K, no percentage of the TV money. Forget boxing, forget trying to be us or outlast us, its not going to happen. When Jack Dempsey was attracting 120,00 people to his fights where was the UFC organization at that point in time? Oh that’s right it was not even a thought so lets dispense with all Boxing/UFC debate because there isn’t one. I believe that if this LLC UFC does not do more for the fistic civil rights of their stars then eventually they are going to be put out of business by a more liberal promoter or by a lawsuit. Either way the pay scale of nothing short of communist. The UFC peaked in 2006 in terms of buys and revenue but by the numbers has come back down to earth a little. Maybe buying 10 PPV’s a year is starting to wear on the consumer in light of this depression)not recession). The slide could be a number of things. I have a message for that minion (because in reality that’s what he is) Dana white…. Boxing may be struggling but I do remember VK/CA attracting more viewers for there title fight then the PPV did the weekend before. What makes that so impressive is that only 30 million people have access to HB0 while about 280 million people could have bought UFC whatever it was. Case closed. Get your weight up and halla at me in about 100 years with this stupid debate

 

What do you make of Bob Arum, and Roaches overall approach to the reemergence of FMJ?

It disappoints me to say the least. Since FMJ reaffirmed his status as a financial commodity, fistic artist, and a man with a chip on shoulder the reaction from top rank has been frantic. Every day I read something else about why they don’t need FMJ, why his contract demands are not worth there time, what options Manny has in 2010, and then today I read that the fight is unlikely in 2010?! I knew this was a possibility as I stated in the fistic top ten, however, this has nothing to do with money, or revenue split, or business acumen. This is fear, pure fear; fear of the beating, fear of buys that FMJ generated, and ovb a fear of a cash cow losing his ability to squeeze out tons of money at a time. I would be fearful too. SRL and his camp were so afraid of the motor city cobra that they simply tried to minimize the situation completely. They demeaned his belt, his record, his pedigree, everything. This is much the same thing that is going on here. They cannot take anything away from FMJ in the ring or in terms of his buy rate so they instead are going to focus on his documented character flaws and handsome demands for Revenue dowry. If you are unfamiliar with FMJ’s rights to the lion share of the loot simply refer to my last work located in my archive because I hate to be redundant given the limited time I have to communicate with you fans. Warning fans, everything you see and hear from the Manny camp concerning FMJ is fear and minimization tactics, stay true to common sense boxing fans and you will be just fine

Well fans it was my honor to come back to you once again and to those who questions I did not answer I promise that I will get to them next time. A while ago I saw that big fat Dan Of ESPN weekly prints a random thoughts piece. This discovery led to the death of my very own random thoughts. I will now attempt some random ramblings…been while (=

-Pauline Mal is a disgrace to boxing. He is a poor mans John Ruiz if you will except John actually lands power shots and is not a f&&king wuss. To make his unwatchable style even worse is his big mouth. He gets on the microphone before and after fights like he goes for broke, like he really goes out there to take it to someone, that’s the exact opposite of what he does and I can wait until the next time I see him fight

- Now I remember SSM being present for Paul Will/winky because Ronald is promoted by Golden Boy. Now why didn’t Shane BUM rush Paul? He did not have a fight at that time, yet, when he did have a fight then all of a sudden he wants to play self promoter…. very soft sequence of events displayed by Shane Mosley

- I am a little disappointed that HBO did not release an official statement on the Max/$ fiasco. When DLH fought sweet Pea in the 90’s Larry merchant made a very ill timed comment about mariachi music and the particular timing of it in that particular situation. When Oscar went nuts and demanded that Larry be fired HBO simply made Larry apologize on the air. I think it would go a long way towards smoothing over the situation with fans and critics if Max did the same

Hold up, so cotto is sending sparring partners home. Much smaller sparring partners with no Pop? And now all he is left with are two club fighters who are not in the same universe as Manny. Anyone laying money on Cotto is going to have to re examine this situation and I think it is very red flag that Cotto is firing dudes because they are whuppin his ass

When I first heard about the show 360 with out hesitation I made an inquiry about the show, its presentation the Premise etc. My friend told me that is was not any better then 24/7 per say But it was different so that made it cool. Boy was she right. 24/7 is the greatest show ever. EVER. What made 360 so cool though was how it depicted the Genesis of the event. By the time 24/7 picks up the contracts have been inked, the press tour is over, and the fighters are going through final prep for the contest. By contrast 360 shows the origin of the event, the arguing and negotiating and all the things that go into making the event. It does not show the fighters getting ready for the event, instead, it shows how the event came to be in the first place complete with dibella wise cracks and fat Gary Shaw

Let me get this straight. Chris John is 42-0, has been the WBA featherweight champion since 2003, and yet somehow, some way, the shameless, spineless jelly fish of an Organization the WBA found a way to elevate Gamboa to Full champion and then they give the title of “Super” champion to John. What is going on here? Is this a ploy for fees? is it a power move to force unification if that’s what you would call it? It has to be about the money because no sane boxing person can come up with a legit boxing reason for this bulls##t. I hate the WBA

 

 

 

 

 

Load More Stories

Follow B/R on Facebook

Out of Bounds

Boxing

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.