MEMO: To the jackass photographer who called a female photographer a pig and physically threatened me when I spoke up on her behalf, and told you to chill out after getting absurdly heated up while jockeying to take a picture at the Oscar De La Hoya youth boxing clinic/hypefest to bang the drums for the Golden Boy/Barclays Center boxing deal which kicks off in 2012…You are a jackass.
I have never seen you before. I dont know who you work for. But I have to presume they wouldnt like the way you represented them at Gleasons, calling a woman a pig and then threatening me.
Now, please let me explain why I alerted the publicist who ran the event of your conduct, and sought to have you tossed out on your duff. You see, I was sorely tempted to take things up a notch, after you threatened me, and I briefly considered getting into the spirit of the gym, and firing a jab to bust your nose, and following up with a clubbing right for good measure. But then I came to my senses. I have a wife, and a new baby, and I cant work to make ends meet in a jail cell. Im too old, and hopefully, too wise to get lured into such shenanigans by someone in dire need of some anger management sessions. The old me, of a few years ago, would have accepted your offer, and I dare say, might well have left your face the worse for wear. If authoritioes were alerted, they may well have taken a look at you, deemed me the winner, and rewarded me with a trip to the pokey. Trust me, thats how they tend to handle things. To the victor does not go the spoils, unless you consider time spent in a 7 by 6 cell, and a balogna sandwich and bug juice dinner spoils. Trust me…
Anyway, even though you acted like a consummate jackass, I sort of feel for you. Feel free to reach out to me, and I can tell you about the benefits of pondering your actions, of coming to the conclusion that acting out in such a manner indicates deeper phsychological issues, which need attending to, and realizing that one never knows if someone is carrying a knife or gun, or knows enough jiu-jitsu to make you look like a purple pretzel. I dont carry a weapon, but one never knows, so its wise to assume everyones packing. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…
The scrum of photogs seeking to get a pic of Oscar De La testified to the fact that there is still interest in the Golden Boy, at the very least, and in the sport, Id say.
I dare say that De La Hoya and his CEO Richard Schaefer wouldnt be in the mode they seem to be in, a conquering mode, if this sport were on deaths door as so many seem to think.
By now, you probably heard about De La Hoyas interview in Broadcasting & Cable, which came out a couple days before he was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in Hispanic Television from Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable at the eighth annual Hispanic Television Summit in New York City. Oscar will receive that award today. It was a fascinating Q n A, and gave some insight in the direction he wants to take his company, but to me, also showed some ambivalence about his ambition, or maybe just how much of his plan he thinks it wise to share with the public.
Oscar told B&C EIC Ben Grossman that the The Don Kings and Bob Arums have had a chokehold on this sport for the last 40 years. Theyve been able to put great fights on, theyve been able to promote the sport, yes, but I believe the days are long past of the way they promote. He lauded the UFC for their methods and success, and said he was seeking to replicate their model. We need to sign all the talent and get all the TV dates; then you can have your own agenda and have a schedule for the fans and the sport. You can do a monthly PPV, a bi-weekly HBO fight, you can have the best fighters fight each other. When you have five or six promoters, its very difficult, he went on to say.
Sort of sound like he wants to end the reign of the Arums and Kings, and take their market share, no? My plan is not to take over boxing, but really do what no other promoter was able to do, and that is have unified rules and one commissioner and make sure the fighter is taken care of and is not cheated out of anything, he said. OK, maybe he doesnt want to take over. I stand corrected. But wait, maybe he does…
We are very transparent with whatever we do with our fighters, and in a way, yes, we do want to take over, Oscar said. OK, I stand again, corrected again. But wait! Well, we dont want to take control of boxing, but we want to do the right thing for the sport, he continued. Have one [entity] running it like UFC. Its very confusing with all these championship belts-my idea would be to have one champion in each division. There should be one heavyweight champion, not 20 like we have now. Too much confusion. We have to weed out the bad and bring in the good.
I wasnt able to get a clarification from Oscar at Gleasons; my man Mike Marley, a vet of this biz, slithered in ahead of me and grabbed his ear as he was beseiged by autograph hounds. But his main man Richard Schaefer told me that takeover isnt the right word. He said that Oscar basically meant that Golden Boy will be super aggressive in signing free agents.
On that front, they did just that yesterday, when they brought Brooklyns own Paulie Malignaggi, coming off a May loss to Amir Khan, into the fold.
I chatted with Paulie before the announcement was made, and asked him when he was fighting again. he split with longtime promoter Lou DiBella after the Khan loss, and admitted that he pondered hanging up the gloves after. But he says he still has some wins in him, and Golden Boy agrees.
So Paulie had a s— eating grin on his face. Others, mainly rival promoters, are far less happy with the Golden Boy hold on the sport, or what they see as a less than level playing field. They enjoy a sweetheart deal with HBO, others grumble. Others say that HBO boxing has slid, in lock step with their reliance on Golden Boy for product. The deal at the Brooklyn arena, for 12 shows, a mix of PPV, midsized and club shows, which isnt due to be finished until July 2012, grumblers say, doesnt make sense to the Barclays people; why not open the doors to all promoters, and sift through the best offers, as Madison Square Garden does, when they decide to do boxing?
Promoter Don Elbaum, was at Gleasons; hes been doing this since he tried to pit cain and Abel in a PPV scrap, so I asked him if there isnt some sort of gentlemans agreement which keeps Wets Coast guys from infringing on the turf of East Coast guys, which keeps promoters in a defined areaa of turf?
No, he told me, its basically logistics and infrastructure. A Vegas guy, he said, has his office and his crew in Vegas. He isnt easy to jump to NYC, say, and have the same efficiency in running your ship. So, Elbaum told me, we shall see how much success Golden Boy has in being a dual-coast operation. It is possible, Id say, that they spread themselves too thin, and after getting pulled like taffy, go back to their left coast power base.
SPEEDBAG Not too much extra time to do pure pleasure reading, but I have put an order in for Thomas Hausers newest, Waiting For Carver Boy. Jerry Izenberg said its a smash, thats enough for me. Ordering info here: www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL