I was curious, does he ever watch these PBC events?
Bob Arum, 83, the Brooklyn-born dealmaker who started in this sphere in 1966, and has taken the reins as the standard-bearer of the fight promotion business about 15 years ago, after being neck and neck with Don King, chatted with TSS about all matters, like what’s next for Pacquiao, the Boxing After Dark card on June 13…and Haymon Boxing.
Arum, you might know, is not so much of a fan. He said he hated dealing with Haymon up to and during the #MayPac promotion…but, he said, he could do it again if it meant he could help put together a rematch between the Congressman and TBE.
“Yeah, I’ve watched one or two. I watched the DeGale fight with Dirrell, because I like DeGale, nice kid, nice family,” Arum said.He has the opportunity to tune in again, on Saturday night, on NBC, when Adrien Broner sees if Shawn Porter is a problem, or there is a solution for the stockier rumbler in this Best of the Buckeye state clash.
I told Bob we fans like more boxing on TV, but said that I think the jury remains out on the PBC experiment/experience, because we all crave A side versus A side fights, and I’ve seen more A side vs. B side events than I thought I would, being that I thought Haymon would more so use the “the fight is the star, the attraction,” not the fighter model, a bit more like what UFC does. (But then again I’m not sure fans are ready for that model, as they seem to be inclined to dismiss a boxer as a fraud so often when he loses for the first time, so it is a complicated issue, arguably.)
The jury really isn’t out for Arum; he thinks the Haymon model, pay to play, putting out money to secure platforms, is hurtful to the sport. “I think it’s very, very harmful for boxing, in the sense that you give away the product, you pay to put it on. That sends a very, very bad message,” he told me.
Arum like all of us doesn’t know the sustainability of the output of cash flowing out to put together this rapid-fire flurry of cards. He said he thinks the pending suit put together by Oscar De La Hoya, with Bernard Hopkins added as an accuser, will have Haymon in hot water. Arum said he thinks a case can be made that an anti-trust issue will speak to a judge, which I didn’t quite comprehend, because I see plenty of other competition still functioning. Arum said that anti-trust in this case means that Haymon “turns off the spigot” of available places to put content on TV, and that’s a no-no, in his deliberation.
Of course, the courts will weigh in and their decision is all that matters. And also of course, we know the wheels of justice grind ever so slowly in such matters…so I guess that proverbial jury will remain out for a longer spell.