Al Haymon, help or hindrance?
Fighters will tell you he's the definition of a solid manager, using his considerable expertise and skills in securing them premium money for their efforts.
Many fans will tell you he's the bane of the game, the single-most reason for the too-often underwhelming pairings we've seen on Showtime too often this year. Likes his guys in soft, likes his guys to retain belts, actually hinders development of some because they don't seek out the stiffest challenges, and too often has them on the sidelines, and doesn't give a tinker's damn about what the fans want.
Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle? Or maybe it isn't…
It feels like the sport is deciding how much power the Wizard of Oz-ish figure should hold, and we do still wonder if that case filed by Main Events' Kathy Duva which named Haymon as a counterproductive figure stemming from the aborted Sergey Kovalev-Adonis Stevenson deal will result in any blow to the Haymon power base, which makes him, arguably, the most powerful man in the sport. Or maybe that's past tense, or somewhere in the middle.
I asked Oscar De La Hoya today, point blank, is Al Haymon part of the brick wall that needs to be torn down so various promotional and televisionary parties can all be working off the same page…or is he not a malefactor at all? "He's a manager, has no impact whatsoever, it's up to the promoter to make fights happen," he said.
Um, OK, I thought to myself as I chewed on that statement, but if Haymon advises one of his guys not go for a deal that Oscar is putting together, then he would indeed be having a heavy impact upon the state of the game, and, I think, we could tag him as a stubborn brick that didn't want to fall, or be re-positioned.
De La Hoya gave a hint of Haymon's impact not being felt in the same degree it has been when he said that a few weeks ago the promoter and Hopkins got together, and decided to work on making Hopkins-Kovalev.
Oscar said that Haymon volunteered to "help," and that Hopkins said he didn't need "help."
Interesting possible shift in dynamic of power, right? Me, I think Haymon has proven himself to be not easily shoved off his throne, and people tell me he's the single smartest person they have ever dealt with, so you can't bet against his will or his brain…
Your thoughts, Forum Faithful?
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Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV