Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are ready to laugh all the way to the bank for a fight that should be on April Fools’ Day.
A bombshell was dropped recently in the realm of boxing when Golden Boy Promotions which is headed by former Middleweight Champion Oscar De La Hoya filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles, California against boxing promoter Al Haymon and his business entities for repeated violations of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act as to some it appears as if Haymon has a monopoly over the top fighters.
For years in boxing there has been a seamy underbelly that has involved back door politics among promoters. The perceived stereotype is that the “punch drunk” boxer needs representation where a book smart guy in a suit manages his money. Boxing promoters make their money in the truest definition of the word which is to “promote”. The promoter will build up his fighters through various media outlets and fights which will build up his overall fan appeal. The promoter books the venues for the bouts, sells the tickets, and takes care of the fighter’s personal appearances. And of course the promoter doesn’t provide all of these services for free. And because some fighters don’t know the ins and outs of the business, they are left broke when their days in the ring are complete.
During his time as a fighter, De La Hoya learned the ins and outs of the business of boxing and in 2005 he started Golden Boy Promotions. With the help of his former business partner Richard Schaefer, De La Hoya turned Golden Boy into one of the top boxing promotions in the sport. De La Hoya and Schaefer recently had a falling out as Schaefer left Golden Boy. A big part of De La Hoya’s problems with Schaefer stem from his dealings with Haymon who is arguably the most powerful man in boxing.
Haymon has only been on the boxing scene for about 15 years and in that time he has made a big impact. Haymon has most of the top pugilists working under his brand as it ranges from the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., to Danny Garcia. Haymon has so many top fighters that he is holding all of the aces as other promoters basically have to work with him in order to procure the top fights for their talent.
Haymon has also received criticism from some people due to the fact that he always doesn’t put on top quality fights as he tends to protect fighters and their records by having them meet inferior opponents. And in an era where boxing is losing ground to mixed martial arts, that philosophy is not helping the sport. Haymon has also been accused of playing both sides of the fence as being both a boxing promoter and a boxing manager which the Muhammad Ali Reform Act was enacted to prevent. But Haymon knows how to keep his nose clean.
Haymon never talks to the press and he very rarely makes a public appearance. During the fights that Haymon promotes, it is always Sam Watson along with his sons Brandon and Marcus that are always in attendance and escorting fighters to the ring. And generally whichever fighter that Watson and his sons are in the corner of, is usually the guy that will get his hand raised when it is all over. Haymon is extremely smart because If you attempted to search online in order to find his net worth it will only show up as $15 million which is totally inaccurate for a man that carries as much stroke as he does in the sweet science.
De La Hoya is looking to loosen Haymon’s grip while “balancing” things out and in other words, getting his perceived piece of the pie. De La Hoya’s most prized asset is middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who is priming to become the next boxing superstar. But Alvarez is one fighter whereas Haymon has a crew. De La Hoya is one of the best boxers of Mexican descent and his name along with his legacy in the ring will allow him to hand pick the best fighters from Mexico to work for him. But he’ll still have to go through Haymon to get the top fights.
Haymon is a smart businessman as he has procured plenty of bargaining chips which will consistently allow him to make money and he has done what many other boxing promoters wish that they could do which is to simply corner the market. Haymon is so powerful in boxing that he is basically the only person that Mayweather will listen to. De La Hoya wants a legal fight and I don’t see Haymon backing down from it as sometimes the best bouts don’t take place between the ropes as they can go on in the courtrooms.