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HBO: We Are Not Buying Fights From Golden Boy

BY Michael Woods ON March 18, 2013
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WardFrochOaklandPC TJHogan 152HBO Boxing, the crew led by Ken Hershman, Kery Davis and Mark Taffett, decided that HBO would not be, in the near future, buying fights from Golden Boy Promotions.

“In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups we've decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies," said Hershman, president of HBO sports.

A source at HBO told me that the two parties on not on the same page strategically. It has been simmering for a year or so, I'm led to believe, with HBO not being pleased at seeing talent they've nurtured then being brought across the street to be showcased. And so if Golden Boy, after a spell, said we'd like to have HBO be available as a platform for our boxers, called HBO, would HBO take the call. Yes, the source said, but he didn't seem optimistic that such a call would be forthcoming in the near future. This being boxing, of course, with strange bedfollows popping up in cahoots not so long after declaring war on each other, we'd say nothing is cemented in stone. "But this will clarify the business place," the source said.

The timing could have been worse for HBO; their Saturday showing of the Top Rank Tim Bradley-Ruslan Provodnokiv bout, which wasn't overly buzzed over coming in, was well received. The two men fought a Fight of the Year type tussle, which had fight fans yapping still on Monday.

The two Godzillas of promotion, Top Rank and Golden Boy, are at odds and have been for seemingly forever. This seemingly cements that "cold war" and means that clear choices have been made; Showtime is the "Golden Boy network" and HBO is the "Top Rank network." It looks like the March 9 fight promoted by Golden Boy, which pitted Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud, will be the last time you will see a Golden Boy fighter on that platform. Adrien Broner was slated to meet Paul Malignaggi, a Golden Boy fighter, on June 22. Broner has been an HBO mainstay, but is in the midst of a contract negotiation with them; it looks like he will now be forced to have the choice made for him, and will be part of the Showtime stable.

HBO is now left with top dogs Andre Ward (promoted by Dan Goossen, seen in above Hogan photo, from Aug. 2011 with then Showtime boss Ken Hershman and foe Carl Froch), Nonito Donaire (with Arum), Sergio Martinez (with Lou DiBella), Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez (Arum), Gennady Golovkin (Klitschko) and Brandon Rios (Arum). Showtime has Golden Boy fighters Floyd Mayweather (though he has a contract which allows him to exercise an "out" option after every bout), Canelo Alvarez, seemingly Broner, Bernard Hopkins and Amir Khan, plus others.

I'm gathering that some at HBO are interested to see if Showtime can juggle the talent and accomodate it, with Broner, and Hopkins and Andre Berto and the rest of the boxers now involved in a marriage, instead of being allowed to date freely.

Some Twitter reaction:

@Boxing_101 said: Forces TR & other promoters to step up w/best match-ups possible; wider pool of fighters from which new star can be found.


@JimJoyz said: "It was bad enough not having promoters working together but now having networks not working with promoters hurts the sport worse."

◦@Boxing: "It puts more work on Showtime to be able to support these fights that GB has planned."

@alrodriguez99: "It pretty much means that the two major promotors won't be working together anytime soon. #ColdWar #Boxing
.
@ThePoetG: "Good ole supply and demand. It brings the market purchase price of fights down."

I put in a call to Richard Schaefer at Golden Boy and with Stephen Espinoza at Showtime. Schaefer was in a meeting, and Espinoza, through a spokeman, declined to comment.

Thoughts, readers?

Comment on this article

amayseng says:

like a bunch of kids running boxing..

SouthPaul says:

Its worse than kids ...it's An ex Swiss banker, A cross dressing coke head/alcoholic and a lying attorney running it. My guess is HBO realized all this, specially knowing the Stephen Espinoza relationship... Probably knew the ragtag group were never giving them at fair shot or bid on any of these deals. That being said; I think they both will step up the competition and the fans might benefit some.

Radam G says:

Dangit! No one should be surprised. Don't forget, if it is about boksing, it is surely "The threatre of the unexpected."

I didn't mess with dat ho at the Bradley's concussion beatdown because I thought that my wifey sneaked to the USA, and was really to put a concussion beatdown on me.

OMFG! That that evil-twin wife is at the new 1.5bil casino in Manila gambling her arse off with my share of the money. Hehehe! Holla!

Carmine Cas says:

Maybe we'll see the best from both networks/promotional companies

brownsugar says:

My understanding is that Golden Boy along with all of Al Hayman's fighters got the boot. Since Hayman is technically not a "promoter", his true title is "advisor" whose fighters are promoted by Goldenboy.

This was bound to happen... Golden Boy thought it was too beautiful,... too irresistable to be cast aside by her increasingly irrate lover who was growing more and more impatient with its companions overt ventures to the bedroom of another Network...

Surely all GB had to do was flaunt her ample assets (in the form of Mayweather and Canelo) to make thing right again . But a lovers triangle was never meant to be a permanent arrangement.

Those involved can get lost for an indefinite period of time... blinded to the truth... trapped by the inability to let go,..... hoping dearly against the invitable betrayal that one day they will become the sole possessor of the object of their desire.

While boxing insiders and competing promoters pointed a finger at HBO with a knowing smirk, and cautious whispers that things at home are not quite what they seem to be.... and definitely not what they should be.

The jilted lover has to eventually reconcile the necessity of having to either shamelessly share it's beloved with another lover in the full view of his friends and assocciates.... or simply man-up and cut the ties of an unhealthy relationship.

The latter will be painful... but the outcome will be worth the effort. With the end result empowering the newly emancipated bachelor with the opportunity to form an infinitely more trusting relationship... one where both parties have a unified vision and work together to obtain and enjoy mutually shared benefits.

Sorry,.. we were talking about boxing weren't we?

And we're also talking about a business, not a marriage.

HBO could have been more flexible,.. they could have "punished" GB by letting TopRank have a majority of the best dates. The best option for the cable giant would have been to leave the doors open for both promoters and used it's influence to gently force a compromise between GB and TR so that the viewing public got the benefits of the best matches for 2 of the best stables in boxing.

By cutting off GB, HBO has cut off it's own big toe. GB has figthers everywhere... fighting on regular network tv, Mexico, cable and they are beginning to expanding to Europe.

Of course the golden goose (mayweather) will be gone relatively soon. But GB is rapidly developing, signing and showcasing new talent on a daily basis.

Boxing will eventually hobble it's way through it all,.. Much like Bradley did on saturday night....... but it will also become unnecessarily concussed, and damaged as it clings desperately, and needlessly to it's foolish pride.

SouthPaul says:

If someone doesn't negotiate or bargain in earnest then why bother with them at all? I'm assuming that's exactly why they've decided to severe ties with Golden Boy Promotions all together. Oscar and his company can put up a good smile, they can claim they've tried working with Top Rank but I truly believe there's a behind the scenes conspiracy going on between all them (GBP's, Stephen Espinoza, Team MAyweather, Al Haymon Management) to drive Bob Arum and Co out of business and it's what continues to be the root of conflict. Now, don't get it twisted, I ain't saying Arum and Co., are perfect..they got plenty of faults to work on ...but yea...... Some suspect stuff going down behind closed doors.

deepwater says:

Check out the Irish bare knuckle fights on YouTube at least it's free. Boxing is dirty behind the scenes .alot of money changes hands,favors cashed in ,people trying to get a piece of the pie, people got fired over this for sure.

SouthPaul says:

You mention people getting fired ...right or wrong in these deals ...I believe Ken Hershman of HBO Sports will get the ax before the year is up. The bottomline is; some good fighters have walked across the street ... Revenue lost ...someone has to answer to that. He best get his creative and deal making juices flowing or else he'll be out of a job.

Radam G says:

C'mon! Guys, you have been bamboozled, hoodwinked and all the others, HBO has just gone GLOBAL. The money it will be making in Macau is five-times the amount in any U.S. superfight city and/or site. For five years, I've been posting in this Universe that Asia is where the game is going to make dat moolah.

Big Money O, GBP and ShowTime are perpetrating frauds. HBO, Top Rank and Da BobFather beat 'em to the pot of gold. And with that weak-@$$ U.S.A. currency, GBP and ShowTime are just fronting. Holla!

SouthPaul says:

The folks who bought and latched onto the PED propaganda back when Team MAyweather and Golden Boy Promotions were fanning that flame ... They've got to be feeling pretty naive right about now. Hoodwinked multiplied by 10 doses of deception. All this ever was about ...is driving Top Rank out of the promotional picture. Nothing more, nothing less. Crystal clear.

stormcentre says:

SP, you have some good insight there. I agree with most you have said.

Arum and Oscar, I think, will be business enemies till they day one of them dies. Ever since Oscar went his own way, came out with his own promotion, and walked out and threw his GB banner right over the Top Rank banner; Arum was seething.

Oscar’s signing of Pacquiao, and then back down from the resulting action Arum brought forward probably didn’t motivate either of them to let sleeping dogs lie.

Espinoza’s move from GB over to Showtime was the watershed moment. When that happened I knew something big was going to follow, and I knew Floyd’s signing – as significant as that was – was not it.

amayseng says:

You have lawyers involved.


Nuff said.

stormcentre says:

Yes, that's true Amayseng.

stormcentre says:

Yes, that's true Amayseng.

deepwater says:

Guys arum is ahead of the curve on this one. Asia owns our country due to the illegal federal reserve bankers. To prove it watch idaho. China bought most of the soil and is tranplanting it back to china. China is also building chinese only cities in idaho. As the american people watched kardashians the country was given away Under a suspended constiution .Gangsters run boxing from behind the scenes. A long as racketerers are giving us good fights the boxing fan overlooks the racketerers . The people behind he curtain are forcing garbage on the fan. Thurman,Broner fighting no hopers, we're too much. Sam watsons and his sons acting like fools and skimming of the catering service contract was too much.

Radam G says:

It is the reverse. Top Rank has put Big Money O, Money May, GBP and ShowTime in a hearse. Enjoy the funeral prosession. Da muthasuckas and muthapuckas are in regression. It is an ugly sight and a front of might. They are on their way to boot hills. They cannot handle da BobFather's kick-arse promotional skills. BMO takes too many pills. And his and gang are headed for a lot of spills. Holla!

SouthPaul says:

I think what Arum was seething about was ... Being called the biggest Jew to ever come out of Harvard law school (quoting Oscar's sarcastic/racial/condescending remark). So it wasn't just that he left Top Rank which I'm sure chapped their hide...the loss of revenue ..... But that DLH and Company started bad mouthing him. Then of course DLH being the double talking two face he is... He at some point went back to Top Rank .... Did some business ......then departed again...then went on a cross dressing coke binge in between starting his own promotional company .... In between that had a dildo pow wow with some escorts...in between all that bad mouthing Top Rank yet smiling on camera like nothing ever happen ...pretending he'd be willing to work with his ol' matching making company (the same people who brilliantly stacked the odds in his favor over the years). Anyhow, I ain't advocating for Top Rank as much as I am just pointing out who the real trouble makers likely were in these promotional rivalries.

SP, you have some good insight there. I agree with most you have said.

Arum and Oscar, I think, will be business enemies till they day one of them dies. Ever since Oscar went his own way, came out with his own promotion, and walked out and threw his GB banner right over the Top Rank banner; Arum was seething.

Oscar’s signing of Pacquiao, and then back down from the resulting action Arum brought forward probably didn’t motivate either of them to let sleeping dogs lie.

Espinoza’s move from GB over to Showtime was the watershed moment. When that happened I knew something big was going to follow, and I knew Floyd’s signing – as significant as that was – was not it.


negotiation

Real Talk says:

I agree with and Amayseng, we are on one accord. What can one expect from rebellion?

Real Talk says:

Radam G you are clueless

SouthPaul says:

Radam's a clown .. A comedian ..... A poet ....crazy------ like a a fox---- he definitely ain't a dumb box of rocks. Don't be mislead by his tongue and cheek comments. The man is full of wisdom even when he sounds like he's full of bs. Lmfao.

I've heard a rumor swirling around the boxing circles that he's coming out of fight retirement. Can you confirm or deny , Radam?

SouthPaul says:

Radam's a clown .. A comedian ..... A poet ....crazy------ like a a fox---- he definitely ain't a dumb box of rocks. Don't be mislead by his tongue and cheek comments. The man is full of wisdom even when he sounds like he's full of bs. Lmfao.

I've heard a rumor swirling around the boxing circles that he's coming out of fight retirement. Can you confirm or deny , Radam?

Radam G says:

No comento! Hehehe! Holla!

Radam G says:

C'mon, Real Talk, don't be full of poop! I'm straight-up in da loop. And I'll never stoop. You wanna play some hoop? Big Money O, GBP and ShowTime have not conducted a coup. They are just bullsyeting you. You may not dig my style, but I'm no child running wild. BMO, GBP and ST are acting tough, but they are sissy mild. They have been beat. And are on the retreat. They believe their hype. They have badly lost the fight. Holla!

SouthPaul says:

Showtime suddenly got a whole lotta' inventory on their boxing shelves. Definitely more fighters than fight dates. So at what point do the lower level, not very important, not so popular fighters get ansy and start finding ways out of their contracts? Did Ken create a log jam over at Showitme? Hmmmmm....

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