By Zach Arnold | September 20, 2013
Keith Kizer in the corner of Cyborg's opponent, expressing concern. Since when did he start giving a shit about fighters?
— Paul Lazenby (@MaulerMMA) September 21, 2013
$20M live gate & 2.2M PPV buys for Mayweather/Canelo. Can't wait for Keith Kizer next Wed. to use it to try to save his job. @MMASupremacy
— FightOpinion (@FightOpinion) September 20, 2013
The early estimates for the Floyd Mayweather/Canelo Alvarez PPV are extraordinary. 2.2 million PPV buys, a $20 million dollar gate at MGM, and over $2 million in closed circuit TV revenue. Plus, 22 million television viewers in Mexico watched the fight. In today’s languishing economy, these numbers are staggering and vindicate all the business decisions being made in Mayweather’s camp.
Which is why I highly suspect that Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, will attempt to use the figures in an attempt to save his job by claiming that he somehow is partly responsible for the fight’s big business.
It’s time for Skip Avansino, Sig Rogich, Bill Brady, and Bob Arum to pick up the phone and make the call to get Kizer fired. Keith Kizer is a political liability. He’s not respected by any of the major fight promoters. They know it or are at least starting to come to the realization that he makes them look bad. If you’re a fight fan or industry insider and want to see Keith Kizer get fired, don’t make a case based on morality or superficial respect. Make the case to the powers-that-be that it’s in their best self-interests to remove him from power. Appeal to their id that it’s in their best interests to get rid of the guy.
Keith Kizer’s track record over the last seven years has been absolutely lousy. However, why is his job in jeopardy? Because he made the political fixers and the casino bosses look bad with the Cynthia Ross judge booking. The regulators in Las Vegas are always going to be accused, to a degree, of being corrupt. If you’re going to be accused of being corrupt, then at least make sure that your critics don’t accuse you of incompetence or the appearance of incompetence. By defending Cynthia Ross after the Mayweather/Canelo fight, Kizer put a big bright media spotlight on what we’ve known all along in terms of his incompetence & tone-deafness. He’s being accused of being corrupt and accused of incompetence. That’s the kind of double whammy that’s simply untenable to the power brokers. Kizer’s not very competent as a public relations spinster. He loves to pick fights and alienate potential allies. He’s also not competent in terms of recruiting and attracting business to his state. Most importantly to the powers-that-be, he’s not very good at making the commission look qualified with the officials he books for fights.
If you’re going to be a front man that pretends to be the Godfather of regulators, act more like Tom Hagen and less like Fredo Corleone.
Keith Kizer’s biggest blunder for maintaining job security was defending Cynthia Ross. He went a bridge too far and allowed his enemies the opportunity to go after him with vigor because it’s politically safe to do so. Kizer’s made many enemies over the years but lots of scribes bit their tongue because who is really interested in reading a bunch of anti-Kizer screeds? Once Kizer gave an opening, game on. In our article five days ago about Keith Kizer’s job security, we noted how he is prone to spending plenty of time on boxing & MMA message boards rather than, say, accomplishing productivity at the office.
Ask yourself the following: if Keith Kizer was fired tomorrow from the commission, would the amount of revenue the commission takes in from shows really change? Of course not. He has zero positive impact on business affairs. The way Marc Ratner molded Nevada’s commission basically makes it easy to run on auto-pilot as long as you don’t massively screw up paperwork. Why do you think Keith Kizer sits on his ass and goes on boxing & MMA message boards and web sites every day? He has time to kill while drawing a paycheck he simply doesn’t have to do much work for.
Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal just happened to make a similar point about Kizer in his latest column. Graney says that Kizer gave him a sermon about taking pleasure in writing negative things (about topics like UNLV football). Don’t worry, Ed, you’re not the only one wondering why Keith has so much free time. It’s easy to have free time when other states are poaching some shows from your calendar to fill their event calendars. What’s next, Kizer disguising his voice in order to be a regular caller on Steve Cofield’s excellent ESPN 1100 AM radio show?
Next Wednesday’s dog-and-pony show
The other day, I wrote an article stating that it was intervention time for Sig Rogich, Skip Avansino, and other politicos to step in and remove Keith Kizer from the commission. They have the power to make the call and it would self their best interests to do so. Every day that passes that Kizer remains in power, the worse they look to the general public. Kizer’s poor performance will be viewed as poor political performance on their behalf.
Next Wednesday in Las Vegas at 3 PM local time, Keith Kizer will assign officials to work the Tim Bradley/Juan Manuel Marquez fight. An award for great timing considering that Cynthia Ross, as a judge, scored the Bradley/Pacquiao fight in favor of TB and Marquez would go on to KO Pacquiao. The chickens are coming home to roost.
The predictable move from politicos like Bill Brady & Skip Avansino is to put on a front for the media attending by making it look as if Keith Kizer will endure this horrible scrutiny that will force him to sweat a bit. A dog-and-pony show, in other words. It’ll give the commission members, who do not run the day-to-day operations, a chance to look tough in public. It would be easy to do. It would also not be a good long-term move in the self-interests of those who really wield power.
The correct move from the politicos would be to announce a vote of no-confidence for Keith Kizer and to grease the wheels for removal behind-the-scenes. When the meeting starts at 3 PM, it will start out with a session for public comment. That means anyone can show up, if they so desire, and basically have a couple of minutes to say what they want about commission affairs. Most people are not going to take time off of work to attend a commission meeting but all it takes is one person to actually show up and address the elephant in the room while pointing out why the guy is a political liability. Kizer is vulnerable right now and only one person needs to make the case in an eloquent manner to tell the politicians that the guy’s days should be numbered. It would have more impact if a fighter, active or retired, made such remarks.
Grant Sawyer State Office Building
555 East Washington Avenue, Suite 3200, 3rd Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89101
555 E WASHINGTON AVE STE 3200
LAS VEGAS NV 89101-1066
I suspect at least one television camera will be at the meeting. If you’re a Vegas local, it’s now-or-never to push the weakened Kizer out of office. Showing up is half the battle. Convincing the powers-that-be that it’s in their best political interests to ditch the guy is the other half.
Prediction: Keith Kizer will announce what has already been reported, which is a seminar for officials next month in Las Vegas. Amusing that Kizer, who’s never worked as a judge, will find a way to remain the selector of officials. There will laughingly be a “sub-committee’ created amongst the 5 members to work with Kizer on picking officials and creating an unofficial list of criteria that officials must be compatible with. In other words, a bunch of public relations spin.