HBO 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.
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 (with Dan Goossen), 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."
Its worse than kids ...it's An ex Swiss banker (Richard Schaefer) A cross dressing coke head/alcoholic (DLH) and a lying attorney (GBP's ex attorney- Mr Espinoza- now the head honcho at Showtime) My guess is HBO realized all this, specially knowing the Stephen Espinoza relationship... Probably knew the ragtag group were never giving them a fair shot or bid on any of these deals. That being said; I think they both (hbo and showtime) will step up the competition and the fans might benefit some.
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.
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.
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.
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 (what's interesting about him is he too like Espinoza is an attorney by orignal trade- and it gets even more interesting in that Mr Hershman use to be the head of Showtime sports-- the very position Espinoza now controls).