THE OPTIMISTIC TAKE: Al Haymon Has the Crystal Ball

So many good things happening in boxing I cannot even count. We don’t have to talk about the Roc Nation infusion and Sergey Kovalev. Terrace Crawford. Gennady Golovkin. Wladimir Klitschko fighting in the United States again, slowly bringing heavyweight boxing back. Miguel Cotto/Amir Khan calling each other out. Khan says everyone’s name in the book, flipping pages through top ten lists at or near 147 pounds saying, “Hey, fight me!’ I am ready to beat all of you.” Funny thing; Khan can probably do it.

I ran into Frank Gore about three weeks ago. The coolest part about meeting Gore (besides the fact that he talked to me for three hours, right after he got off the phone with the San Francisco 49ers head coach, Jim Tomsula) was that he thought I was a boxer. Gore goes “Hey, are you a boxer?” I’m like, “Naw. I just stay in good shape.” I was pleasantly surprised by Gore’s boxing IQ. It’s well known throughout the boxing community in the Bay Area that Gore practices pugilism in the gym during the off-season but I did not know he knew the fight game like a hardcore boxing fan.

First topic Gore talked about was Khan. He said Virgil Hunter has Khan looking good. Then he asked me, and a group of a few others, if we think Khan can beat Floyd Mayweather. The former 49ers RB and current Indianapolis Colt clapped his hands in excitement, before he answered his own question; “I think he (Khan) can put hands on him (Mayweather).”

“Hands on him,” is my favorite boxing quote.

“Hands on him,” says boxing is like a game of tag. You hit to not get hit. It’s cat and mouse. Stick and move. Crowd-pleasing slugfests have a place in boxing but most of the greatest champions were keen on protecting their beck. Mayweather gets hit flush. And Roy Jones never got touched during his prime. Khan is a young lion in an old lion’s game. Khan, the once wildly aggressive lion is honing his craft. He’s like a young shooting guard taking too many shots and then suddenly trusting his teammates. Or it’s like Michael Jordan passing the ball to John Paxson to seal the deal in Game 5, 1991 NBA Finals. (I mean, Khan is not MJ because Jordan is the true king. But I know you see the connection.)

Khan is an example of boxing maturity. The game done changed for him, and everyone else. Fight fans. Media. The game is changing all around us. Boxing is on network television now, thanks to Al Haymon. Many neglected to consider that Haymon had a method to his madness years ago. He didn’t sign over 150 active professional boxers to keep them out of the ring. He waited until the right time to pit them against one another. Haymon’s image used to represent bad principles in boxing. He was an example, (in my eyes) of the politics that separated the best boxers from fighting the best. Now Haymon is creating a new way of thinking in boxing that should carry the sport after Mayweather/Pacquiao retire. Haymon doesn’t believe in boxing separation. Haymon believes in boxing monopoly. And his influence is growing daily. Who cares if the fights on Haymon’s PBC series televised on NBC and Spike TV so far were mismatches? They were entertaining fights on free TV.

Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao should have happened years ago. But, nothing is perfect in sports. The NBA had a referee admittedly fix games for gambling purposes, and go to federal prison for cheating. The NFL is America’s favorite sport but no one knows the rules. The NFL replay booth tries to make us believe that our eyes lie to us and create rules on the fly. Then NFL officials pretend like reviewing a play takes five minutes when everyone can figure the result in ten seconds. Major League Baseball is just perfect because we all have time to watch a four-hour game, 162 times a year. Every sport has its flaws, including boxing.

Money matters more than championships. Haymon’s sudden transformation from a behind the scenes boxing master controller, to creating an unofficial boxing league, tells me that the shot callers in sports think miles ahead. They are pushing buttons, making business moves that will make impact years from now.

Mayweather and Pacquiao will not carry boxing long after May 2nd. Are we really going to talk about a rematch for another five years? No. May 2nd is the end of an era. Boxing fans might feel strange when the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao wave starts to calm. But don’t you worry because Haymon is here for the rescue.

Haymon has the crystal ball. Haymon can see the future. And we must thank him for it.

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COMMENTS

-deepwater2 :

Who cares if all the fights have been mismatches because they were free? I care. A mismatch is a mismatch whether you pay for it or not. HBO walked Haymon out the door because he was putting on mismatches. The more mismatches put forth to the public, the less the public will watch. You do not need tsAH's magic crytal ball to know that. And yet here we are again. So far nothing but mismatches. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. This writer reminds me of a coworker in the dept. Every morning ,at 7 am,sales reps bring in breakfast. Bagels with butter,cream cheeses and lox. Juices and coffees. Some people come in at 7 am 8 am 9 am and the breakfast is great. It is free and it is fresh.There are always left overs, and everyone is busy or goes to meetings or conferences somewhere else. A certain coworker comes in at 2 pm and stops at this conference room and eats the hard bagels,rotten fish and sour juice. Every time and he says it is good enough because it is free. Well it catches up to him and he usually has to go lay down and when he goes to the operating room the staff says OH NO not this guy because he smells from the rotted food in him. No one wants to work with him. But hey it is free so what.


-brownsugar :

Count me in ... The fights were fun and entertaining...and in most cases the underdogs or so called mismatches werent mismatches until later deemed so after the fight was concluded. Were there favorites...yes........ Desgnated mismatches......no. With Charlo vs Martirosyan, Dirrell vs DeGale, Stevenson vs Kovalev on tap in the near future. You won't hear me complaining. And thats only the tip of the iceberg.


-deepwater2 :

Count me in ... The fights were fun and entertaining...and in most cases the underdogs or so called mismatches werent mismatches until later deemed so after the fight was concluded. Were there favorites...yes........ Desgnated mismatches......no. With Charlo vs Martirosyan, Dirrell vs DeGale, Stevenson vs Kovalev on tap in the near future. You won't hear me complaining. And thats only the tip of the iceberg.
That broner fight was hard to watch. It was fun watching Thurman beat on RG for a bit and it got exciting in the last few rounds but it was no thriller. Charlo And Lil Gary are the favorites. Do you think a favorite will be upset this weekend? no favorite has lost yet. I wouldn't bet on it. did you cut your hbo/showtime yet?


-Froggy :

So far, IMHO, tsAH, has done more harm than good for the sport, time will tell, but I am not very optamistic !


-brownsugar :

That broner fight was hard to watch. It was fun watching Thurman beat on RG for a bit and it got exciting in the last few rounds but it was no thriller. Charlo And Lil Gary are the favorites. Do you think a favorite will be upset this weekend? no favorite has lost yet. I wouldn't bet on it. did you cut your hbo/showtime yet?
Yes ....and I'm experiencing some heavy withdrawal symptoms...now i know why cavemen drew on their walls its not easy but im cutting th3 cord. Also switched phone carriers for a sweeter deal....TAKE YOUR BILLIONS BACK AMERICA!!! But i get out more...and actually met a female friend who has cable... She let me watch Kovalev at her party. ...some coincidence right!!! Anyway i've gone completely rogue.... Off the grid and i love it.


-Pazuzu :


Who cares if the fights on Haymon?s PBC series televised on NBC and Spike TV so far were mismatches? They were entertaining fights on free TV.
This just blew my mind. First of all: nothing in this world is free. The fights are being paid for, for now, by Haymon and his investors, and, in the future,
if his model is successful, by the commercial sponsors whose ads you have to watch between rounds. Me? I'd rather pay HBO each month so I can watch the entire fight, uninterrupted, and see the action between the rounds, rather than sit through ads for Corona and Bob's Unpainted Furniture Emporium every three minutes, so that Leila Ali can tell me, second hand, what the trainer just said to his fighter, or God forbid, how the ring doctor just stopped the fight, and I missed it because I was watching a beer commercial. Also, boxing loses something if you try to clean it up for prime time network TV. Remember, we are talking about the red light district of professional sports. When I watch boxing, I want to see it in all of its tawdry glory. There was something small and sad about watching Adrien Broner try to be someone he's not, with none of his spectacular vulgarity, or even his daddy there to brush his hair. There's a reason HBO has a show called BOXING "AFTER DARK". If I wanted a vanilla, white-bread sport, I'd watch golf. Do not delude yourselves for one second thinking that PBC is free. The cost will be in the quality of the match-ups, or the integrity and style of the broadcasts. Remember, nothing is free. One way or another, Haymon will make us pay. Second. "Who cares if the fights were mismatches?" I care. Because mismatches are not entertaining. And in a very real way, they are bad for the sport. Fact: PBC is brought to us by the same people who gave us Garcia-Salka and a whole smorgasboard of terrible Showtime cards in 2014. This year, we have Stevenson-Bika. More of the same. Speaking of which, I do think that the WBC is forcing Haymon's hand, and that it will be very interesting to see what happens in the Stevenson-Kovalev negotiations. Stay tuned. As Brown Sugar mentioned, there are some potentially competitive fights slated over the next month. I'm holding my breath. If Haymon and Co want to make money on this, they will eventually have to give us a product worth buying. Eventually. I hope. But I'll believe it when I see it.
B-Suge: Are you going to get HBO's new standalone streaming service? I think it's called HBO NOW. "...come back to the dark side!!!"


-Pazuzu :

A final thought with regard to Haymon's "free" boxing that he is bestowing upon the masses with his visionary benevolence. The man has a plan. We have just entered the second of three phases. He is building a market and demand for his product. The third phase, Haymon's end game, will result in an established boxing league, with fights broadcast on his own subscription-based channel, or through arrangements with a select number of distributors, with premium content (good fights) available on a PPV basis. Sound familiar? More of the same, only now with one man pulling the strings. Must drive Don King crazy. Folks who are cheerleading Haymon are putting a lot of trust (and the future of the sport) in the hands of a man who is not forthcoming about his intentions.


-King Beef :

As a fan of "Boxing" I am going to support it on network television. It's not perfect, and it can get better, the fights so far haven't been any worse as what has been pushed on HBO and Showtime. I gotta agree with you Pazuzu; this "clean version" of boxing is going to take some getting use to. Love him or hate him..that "neutured version" of Broner just didn't seem natural. Can't imagine what version of Pop's Garcia we are gonna get. If anything PBC may not transform boxing; and it definitely won't make most people get rid of their HBO/SHO, but hoopefully it will/has wake them feel alittle pressure and step their matchmaking up and pump out a few more shows.


-brownsugar :

This just blew my mind. First of all: nothing in this world is free. The fights are being paid for, for now, by Haymon and his investors, and, in the future,
if his model is successful, by the commercial sponsors whose ads you have to watch between rounds. Me? I'd rather pay HBO each month so I can watch the entire fight, uninterrupted, and see the action between the rounds, rather than sit through ads for Corona and Bob's Unpainted Furniture Emporium every three minutes, so that Leila Ali can tell me, second hand, what the trainer just said to his fighter, or God forbid, how the ring doctor just stopped the fight, and I missed it because I was watching a beer commercial. Also, boxing loses something if you try to clean it up for prime time network TV. Remember, we are talking about the red light district of professional sports. When I watch boxing, I want to see it in all of its tawdry glory. There was something small and sad about watching Adrien Broner try to be someone he's not, with none of his spectacular vulgarity, or even his daddy there to brush his hair. There's a reason HBO has a show called BOXING "AFTER DARK". If I wanted a vanilla, white-bread sport, I'd watch golf. Do not delude yourselves for one second thinking that PBC is free. The cost will be in the quality of the match-ups, or the integrity and style of the broadcasts. Remember, nothing is free. One way or another, Haymon will make us pay. Second. "Who cares if the fights were mismatches?" I care. Because mismatches are not entertaining. And in a very real way, they are bad for the sport. Fact: PBC is brought to us by the same people who gave us Garcia-Salka and a whole smorgasboard of terrible Showtime cards in 2014. This year, we have Stevenson-Bika. More of the same. Speaking of which, I do think that the WBC is forcing Haymon's hand, and that it will be very interesting to see what happens in the Stevenson-Kovalev negotiations. Stay tuned. As Brown Sugar mentioned, there are some potentially competitive fights slated over the next month. I'm holding my breath. If Haymon and Co want to make money on this, they will eventually have to give us a product worth buying. Eventually. I hope. But I'll believe it when I see it.
B-Suge: Are you going to get HBO's new standalone streaming service? I think it's called HBO NOW. "...come back to the dark side!!!"
Cigars, profanity in the corners, and a rowdy sweatr, tumultuous ring walk to the tune of " anotherone btes the dust " while the camera pans the concerned wifeys of the fighters try to look brave as they cheer their men to the prize. Gotta love it. I admit the presentation seems a bit watered down ....but the boxers still remember its the hurt business once they enter the ring. Personally i can afford to pay $200 bucks a month to watch all the cable fights every month in the privacy of my own dwelling place..... Plus the extra 75$ every now and then to watch a few ppv's but it offends me to fork over a small car payment every month just to watch a half dozen fights while the same 20 or 30 shows recycle repeatedly shows for up to 6 weeks at a time.. Besides boxing, the only show i watch is "The Walking Dead" and it comes on basic network tv. Everything else i get is on dvd or on the internet. The cable companies force you get entire packages of content that consumer have absolutely no interest and saturate your programming movies you've already rented three months ago. If you ask to pay for what you watch the cable companies tell you that the providers (the producers, distributors and originators of the programming) force them to sell preset packages so its out of their hands. Ask the distributors and they tell you the cable companies make them parcel their content that way. So the consumer gets a bloated package of 100 channells playing 65% of the same reruns. Cable is not a life sustaining requirement... It doesnt provide equal value for what the customer receives in proportion to what is being charged ...until they decide to change their business model im just done...ill figure out another way. Ive alerted my associates and relatives to clear a space at the dinner table and on the comfortable couch because my boxing needs take priority over weddings...romantic evenings alone, birthday parties and graduations... I will unashamedly mooch of my family and friends just like they have mooched off me until i perfect a method to do it my way. Anyway despite the watered down presentation...and commercials ...because someone has to pay for it. Im gonna utilize the pioneering efforts by Al Haymon to return boxing to its former prominence as often as i can. Russell vs Gonzales. Quillin vs Lee, Charlo vs Martirosyan are better matchups than most shows that get aired by the cable giants. I can understand Haymon probably satisfy everyone but he's doing something no one else has even tried. If i never see another ring walk again and have to watch 13 beer commercials between rounds ...i will watch gladly because the money isnt coming out my pocket. ...and the fighters who develop a following will eventually return to the cable shows who serve up the fights the way we like em.


-brownsugar :

This just blew my mind. First of all: nothing in this world is free. The fights are being paid for, for now, by Haymon and his investors, and, in the future,
if his model is successful, by the commercial sponsors whose ads you have to watch between rounds. Me? I'd rather pay HBO each month so I can watch the entire fight, uninterrupted, and see the action between the rounds, rather than sit through ads for Corona and Bob's Unpainted Furniture Emporium every three minutes, so that Leila Ali can tell me, second hand, what the trainer just said to his fighter, or God forbid, how the ring doctor just stopped the fight, and I missed it because I was watching a beer commercial. Also, boxing loses something if you try to clean it up for prime time network TV. Remember, we are talking about the red light district of professional sports. When I watch boxing, I want to see it in all of its tawdry glory. There was something small and sad about watching Adrien Broner try to be someone he's not, with none of his spectacular vulgarity, or even his daddy there to brush his hair. There's a reason HBO has a show called BOXING "AFTER DARK". If I wanted a vanilla, white-bread sport, I'd watch golf. Do not delude yourselves for one second thinking that PBC is free. The cost will be in the quality of the match-ups, or the integrity and style of the broadcasts. Remember, nothing is free. One way or another, Haymon will make us pay. Second. "Who cares if the fights were mismatches?" I care. Because mismatches are not entertaining. And in a very real way, they are bad for the sport. Fact: PBC is brought to us by the same people who gave us Garcia-Salka and a whole smorgasboard of terrible Showtime cards in 2014. This year, we have Stevenson-Bika. More of the same. Speaking of which, I do think that the WBC is forcing Haymon's hand, and that it will be very interesting to see what happens in the Stevenson-Kovalev negotiations. Stay tuned. As Brown Sugar mentioned, there are some potentially competitive fights slated over the next month. I'm holding my breath. If Haymon and Co want to make money on this, they will eventually have to give us a product worth buying. Eventually. I hope. But I'll believe it when I see it.
B-Suge: Are you going to get HBO's new standalone streaming service? I think it's called HBO NOW. "...come back to the dark side!!!"
Cigars, profanity in the corners, and a rowdy sweatr, tumultuous ring walk to the tune of " another one bites the dust " while the camera pans the concerned wifeys of the fighters trying to look brave as they cheer their men to win the prize. Gotta love it. I admit the presentation seems a bit watered down ....but the boxers still remember its the hurt business once they enter the ring. Personally i can afford to pay $200 bucks a month to watch all the cable fights every month in the privacy of my own dwelling place..... Plus the extra 75$ every now and then to watch a few ppv's but it offends me to fork over a small car payment every month just to watch a half dozen fights while the same 20 or 30 shows recycle repeatedly for up to 6 weeks at a time.. Besides boxing, the only show i watch is "The Walking Dead" and it comes on basic network tv. Everything else i get is on dvd or off the internet. The cable companies force you get entire packages of content that consumerconsumers have absolutely no interest in and saturate your programming with movies you've already rented three months ago. If you ask to pay for what you watch the cable companies tell you that the providers (the producers, distributors and originators of the programming) force them to sell preset packages so its out of their hands. Ask the distributors and they tell you the cable companies make them parcel their content that way. So the consumer gets a bloated package of 100 channells playing 65% of the same reruns. Cable is not a life sustaining requirement... It doesnt provide equal value for what the customer receives in proportion to what is being charged ...until they decide to change their business model im just done...ill figure out another way. Ive alerted my associates and relatives to clear a space at the dinner table and on the comfortable couch because my boxing needs take priority over weddings...romantic evenings alone, birthday parties and graduations... I will unashamedly mooch off my family and friends just like they have mooched off me in challenging times until i perfect a method to do it my way. Anyway despite the watered down presentation...and commercials ...because someone has to pay for it...... Im gonna utilize the pioneering efforts by Al Haymon to return boxing to its former prominence as often as i can. Russell vs Gonzales. Quillin vs Lee, Charlo vs Martirosyan are better matchups than most shows that get aired by the cable giants. I can understand Haymon probably wont satisfy everyone but he's doing something no one else has even tried. If i never see another ring walk again and have to watch 13 beer commercials between rounds ...i will watch gladly because the money isnt coming out my pocket. ...and the fighters who develop a following will eventually return to the cable shows who serve up the fights the way we like em.


-kidcanvas :

u dont need HBO/SHO or PPV nothing ... they stream all the matches no matter what channel they are on for free..just and example here :
->http://livetv.sx/en/allupcomingsports/6/...........http://www.stopstream.me/.............http://ifirstrowus.eu/sport/boxing-wwe-ufc.html all the fights are on these. pac and floyd inc ..all of them


-brownsugar :

Good info KidCanvas...