Some of you may know the fighters Vic Darchinyan and Nonito Donaire. They're widely considered the two finest Featherweights in the game today. Back in 2007, Donaire was a no name and Darchinyan was the undisputed champ, a fighter many people thought wouldn't lose for years.
Somebody forgot to tell Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire—he knocked Darchinyan out in the fifth round.
Donaire was then promoted by Gary Shaw. He subsequently switched promoters, mostly because Shaw inaccurately provided revenue from previous fights. His new promoter was Top Rank Boxing owned by Bob Arum.
For almost three years, Shaw has held a personal vendetta against Donaire and refused a rematch with Darchinyan, even though both fighters wanted the rematch.
Finally, the fight was supposed to happen. The papers were supposed to be signed on May 4th and the fight scheduled for August 10th.
Shaw pulls out because of a reported disagreement over the PPV split in the Philippines.
The Philippines, I'll remind you, are a Third World country and the average pay-per-view costs $2.00.
Apparently Shaw wanted a 50/50 split in Donaire's native country. That would be fine, except that Top Rank had already given up all pay-per-view rights to Shaw in Darchinyan's native Armenia.
What's the big deal? All the money is made in the States, anyhow?
The big deal is these are two sleazebag promoters who put their own self interests, agenda, and egos in front of a fight that everyone wanted to happen. The revenue from the Philippines is minuscule compared to the overall purse. It shouldn't have mattered.
But it did.
Anyone who saw the Lucian Bute-Edison Mirande fight witnessed, first hand, the size of Gary Shaw's massive ego. Everywhere one looked, "Gary Shaw Productions" was plastered all over the ring.
I bring this up to illustrate the current dispute of blood testing between Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr.
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if Arum went to Pacquiao and said, "Kid, you're taking the fight, just take the blood tests," that Pacquiao would do it.
I also have absolutely no doubt that if Oscar De La Hoya went to Floyd Mayweather and said, "Look, who cares if he might be taking some PED's. He'll have, at maximum, a 21-day cycle and that's not a big deal. Just take the fight."
Mayweather Jr. would surely lace 'em up and get it on. So why not make the fight happen?
Because it's a pissing match, that's why.
Arum doesn't want to give into Golden Boy's demands, pure and simple. His ego is that big.
Arum considers himself the biggest promoter in boxing and shouldn't have to give into anyone's demands. He has enough cash and a big enough ego that he is willing to walk away from a fight for the smallest of details.
He also figures that Pacquiao is the biggest name is boxing and they determine the rules, not Golden Boy.
Speaking of which, Golden Boy isn't much better.
One could just as easily blame Golden Boy for bringing up an unprecedented demand for blood testing. Nobody in the history of boxing had ever made such a demand. Normally, drug testing is reserved for state commissions to determine and not promoters.
Even when Manny Pacquiao reportedly said he was willing to relent and receive blood tests up to 14 days in advance, Bob Arum went public and quickly denounced those statements.
Fights get cancelled for the most bizarre of reasons. Usually, it's where the fights will get held to diminish the chance of a a "hometown" advantage. Sergio Mora refused to fight Jermaine Taylor in his home state of Arkansas and he's fallen into oblivion.
Paulie Malignaggi famously lashed out at Golden Boy after his loss to Juan Diaz in Texas, saying he knew when he took the fight that Golden Boy would never let him get the win. That the judges and fighting in Houston (Diaz's hometown) were too much.
Most often, a promoter simply won't give a contender a shot at the title until the contender either signs with the promoter or gives him numerous rights to subsequent fights.
Don King was notorious for this.
"Why should I give some other promoter's fighter a shot at the title when I've got a stable of fighters?" went his line of thinking. So, a fighter either had to sign with King and play by his rules or risk never getting a shot and falling by the wayside.
This is the slimy, reptilian game of boxing.
And Arum and Golden Boy are playing it ruthlessly.
They don't care if they drag boxing's name through mud. Sure, Arum will come out and publicly say, "this fight has to happen," but then won't do anything to make it happen.
Mayweather might publicly say, "I'm trying to clean-up boxing," but that's more like someone whispering in his ear on what to say.
What's even more pathetic is both promoters will let their fighters take the blame for the fight not happening. Both Pacquiao and Mayweather have taken a lot of heat for the fight not happening, when their promoters are the ones who should be taking those bullets.
If Golden Boy really wanted to clean up boxing, why don't they make it mandatory for all of their fighters to have blood tests? Better yet, why don't they work with state commissions to make blood testing mandatory and only fight in states with mandatory blood testing?
For all of you gushing over Mayweather's win over Shane Mosley, just remember that not only is Mosley sponsored by Golden Boy, he's also a partner.
Who was Juan Manuel Marquez's promoter? Yes, that would be Golden Boy.
Ricky Hatton's promoter? Oh, that would be Golden Boy.
In other words, every fighter that Floyd has fought since his win over De La Hoya is managed by Golden Boy.
Coincidence? I think not.
For those of you who think Floyd Mayweather is "his own man," ask yourselves why he signed with Golden Boy shortly after his fight with Oscar De Lay Hoya?
Could it have been a backdoor handshake? In other words, he got the fight with De La Hoya but in turn had to sign with Golden Boy?
For decades there have been calls to clean up boxing. To get rid of the promoters once and for all and have a sanctioning body similar to the NFL, NBA, or MLB.
Don't hold your breath. It's never going to happen.
We're stuck with these parasitic promoters and their egos determining the fights.
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