Juan Diaz pulls fast one and signs with Don King
Lightweight champion Juan Diaz‘s manager, Willie Savannah, recently announced that the “Baby Bull” was leaving Main Events to accept a promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions before pulling the ultimate switcheroo by signing with Professor Longhair, Don King.
The 23-year-old Diaz (30-0, 15 KOs) and Savannah were at Gallagher’s Steak House in New York this afternoon where King announced that his newest acquisition will defend his title against TBA on Nov. 4 in Phoenix on the undercard of Liakhovich/Briggs.
“We’ve got a one-bout contract right now and we’re going to finish the rest of it later this week,” Savannah told Dan Rafael at ESPN.com. “We haven’t got down to signing the actual promotional deal yet. We’ll get it done later this week, unless something pops up out of the ordinary or a snake [sic] pops out of the closet.”
DK promised Diaz a half-mil-plus signing bonus and minimum purses of $400,000 for each of the fights on their deal, whereas Golden Boy agreed to only a $200,000 signing bonus with purse minimums in the $300,000 range.
“This was strictly about the financial reward. My first choice for Juan was to go to Golden Boy, said Savannah, but boxing is a short-lived thing. You get in that ring and you don’t know what will happen. I wanted to get as much money up front for Juan as I possibly could.
“You’ve got to do the best deal for the fighter. We wanted to be with Golden Boy, but the offer King made was so much better financially. I told Richard Schaefer that I had a better offer from King and I apologized to him. I agonized and I agonized, and what Richard said was, ‘I can’t believe you would do me like that.’ I told him what King offered and I haven’t heard from Richard.”
“In boxing you can’t trust anyone,” a disappointed but growing wiser by the minute Schaefer said. “I haven’t really heard anything from Willie. I did leave a message for Willie and he has not called me back. I hope he will call me back and give me at least that courtesy. I just spoke to Oscar and I told him what was going on, and his reaction was, ‘I feel really bad for Juan Diaz.”