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« | Home | »

A pyrrhic Mayweather victory for Leonard Ellerbe and Al Haymon?

By Zach Arnold | May 2, 2015

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And another Floyd Mayweather unanimous decision win. 116 x 112 (8 rounds to 4 rounds) twice, 118 x 110 (10 rounds to 2 rounds).

Look on the bright side. Michelle Beadle and Rachel Nichols reportedly had media credentialing problems due to Mayweather’s camp putting their foot down. It was humorous to watch the general sports media in an uproar over this when they never blink an eye to the tactics UFC has used against media writers in the past for obtaining or maintaining credentials. Hell, Beadle and Nichols getting stiffed was an orgasmic moment for sportswriters to get more shots in against Mayweather regarding his history of domestic violence.

As for who really won, you know who won:

I remember when Ken Hershman jumped to HBO after his tenure at Showtime and his many defenders said Ken just needed HBO’s resources to really stomp Showtime out as a player in boxing. Your guess is as good as mine on reading the tea leaves now.

Showtime ended up as a playground for Al Haymon. Now Haymon and his money marks are (reportedly) insanely paying out hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcast networks, along with cable networks ESPN & Spike TV, for airing events. At this point, who knows if Return on Investment is even a feasible or desirable option on the table if PPV isn’t the end game.

Worse, it’s clear that Haymon going all-in with pay-to-play deals means that TV executives aren’t going to open up their pocketbooks to pay for boxing events, especially on basic cable. It’s why ESPN killed Friday Night Fights. If/when Haymon’s experiment implodes, what will be left for boxing on basic cable (non-Showtime, non-HBO) or broadcast television? If Friday night’s Golden Boy event on Fox Sports 1 is any indication of what kind of cards you can expect on basic cable, heaven help us all.

Can’t wait for the next predictacle MMA sales pitch that Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo in July will be as big as Mayweather/Pacquiao and that UFC delivers what boxing can’t.

I am interested in the Association of Boxing Commissions trying to go after Al Haymon. It won’t go anywhere, at least I don’t think it will, but some eager attorney general looking for a high profile political fight could take a shot at Haymon with the Ali Act. I wonder who could be interested

Topics: Boxing, Media, Zach Arnold | 13 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

13 Responses to “A pyrrhic Mayweather victory for Leonard Ellerbe and Al Haymon?”

  1. Alan Conceicao says:

    It is way, way too early to establish that PBC is a “failure” in any sense. This is a multi-year project in the making. As for what will happen if they fail? That’s long since been the concern for promoters like Main Events, who are the loudest at voicing their disapproval. They’re looking at their business model being possibly reduced the rubble. In truth, their business model is what reduced the sport to fringe status.

    Losing TV money isn’t a new possibility. Back in 2004 ESPN cut back to offering no TV money at all for promoters. Solo Boxeo has been cancelled, to my recollection, twice from Telefutura/UniMas in the last 6 years. Those have been the only two weekly TV programs for boxing for the sport since USA’s Tuesday Night Fights series was eliminated. That razor’s edge has been there for awhile, and yet it keeps on coming back over and over and over.

    My guess for the absolute worst case scenario for all this is that HBO and Top Rank control boxing in the United States. I think most of the TV outlets that have historically been showing boxing the last few years will keep on showing it. We may even continue to see more new networks coming to the forefront – Spike is one (Snowden had a chain of tweets a few weeks ago where he revealed the Pres of Spike told him it wasn’t a time buy). TruTV may be another, as it seems to be the establishment of a ladder for HBO and Top Rank.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      The fight last night isn’t going to help boxing at all.

      I’m not saying it is dead, but that fight did some damage.

      1) There is no current super fight anybody wants to see.

      2) They did nothing to promote a new star on the undercard.

      3) Concussions becoming a bigger issue won’t help the sport.

      4) I saw a lot of comments of people who typically never complain, were complaining about the MayPac fight. The disgust for the lack of action was pretty high. It will be a long time before casual fans get tricked into buying another PPV.

      • Mark says:

        You think Floyd’s September fight billed as his retirement fight isn’t going to sell? Come on now. And Pacquiao’s next major fight will probably be regular for him.

        Most of the people very vocal about this aren’t even casual boxing fans, they’re people who haven’t watched a fight since the Oscar/Mayweather fight in 2007. I kept seeing “Mike Tyson wouldn’t have done this.” Well, who else fights like 80s era Tyson today? That shows how out of the loop they are if they have to go to a guy who peaked in 1988.

      • Alan Conceicao says:

        None of the above is a hot new take. I lost track of the number of “That was the last big fight for boxing” comments on the internet, and they’ve been happening before that for a century.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I didn’t order the PPV. The term “sheep” is thrown around way too much to talk about the general public blindly following something. I believe the term “sheep” is appropriate for the people who purchased this PPV.

    There was no real undercard. The fight was $100. Floyd waited multiple years until Manny’s main weapons were no longer a threat to him. And Floyd’s fights are typically extremely boring.

    Why anybody would buy this fight outside of diehard boxing fans is a sheep.

  3. Liger05 says:

    Am I in the twilight zone?

    I remember after Floyd v Oscar the same stuff was being said how long term the fight would hurt Boxing etc etc.

    Personally I enjoyed the fight and it played out just how I thought. Mayweather is a masterful boxer with defensive skills that are on another level. If Pacquiao sux at cutting off the ring that’s his fault. I tried to tell people Floyd would hold centre ring just like he did v Canelo and Manny would be cautious of stepping in due to Floyds lazer right hand. It’s not one punch power but it it’s so accurate and hard enough to make you think twice.

    Reading some mma forums reaction to the fight is embarrassing. Some of those fans are desperate to see Boxing dead. They use the same ridiculous arguments that have been said for years while ignoring may I add that if Boxing is somehow some niche sport on the decline then God knows what the UFC is?

    Boxing will survive once Floyd is gone and will find another star just like it has in the past. Last night was never going to live up to the expectations but casual fans tuning in expecting a slugfest need to educate themself on the fighters before claiming such a thing.

    Looking forward to Canelo v Kirkland!!!

    • Zach Arnold says:

      I’m not a “boxing is dead” guy.

      What I wonder about, however, is what Haymon’s game plan will do to change the financial structure of the support — especially if his deal implodes.

    • Mark says:

      Practically every major FM fight has a “this killed boxing” talking point afterwards. It’s like people forget what kind of fighter he is every year. That’s their fault.

      Also funny to me the sports media obsesses over CTE, but now they’re pissed two boxers had a safe fight. So I guess if NFL games cost $100 on PPV they’d forget all about the League of Denial stuff.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      FO has been around long enough that you can actually go back to Mayweather/De La Hoya and see that kind of talk too. Here we are in 2015, and boxing is as big as ever on the global stage and pulled what sounds like a 3-4 million buyrate show on PPV with a $70 million + gate. Big money has entered the fray and is behind a charge to effectively take the sport over and bring it back to network television. Meanwhile in MMA, things aren’t bad, but they aren’t that good either. That takeover of the world stalled out real quickly.

  4. sweetviolenturge says:

    Do I think that last night’s fight “killed boxing”, as seems to be the popular refrain of the day from so many of the folks on social media, among sportswriters/broadcasters & even many actual fight fans?
    Hell no, not even close.
    At the rapidly approaching geezer-ish age of 53, I’ve been around in & around the game as an amateur & pro fighter, a sparring partner to several world class fighters, a cornerman, an assistant matchmaker, as well as an inspector & a judge for the NYSAC. Making boxing pretty much a full time job for me – from that first day, just a day removed from my 17th birthday when I walked into Singer’s Gym in Buffalo to the final day of my boxing career when I worked a small hometown heavyweight show for the late, great Cedric Kushner at the tiny Flickinger Arena.
    A show which, like far, far too many of the cards I either fought on or worked on, lost oodles of money. Meaning that I didn’t get paid for the weeks that I’d put in helping to put the damned thing together, babysitting the fighters ( which – right here & now – I will take the opportunity to state with no hesitation whatsoever, was my ABSOLUTE least favorite task. A f*cking job that they should only be able to hire licensed mental health professionals for. LMAO.
    Because – fighters, in the days leading up to their bouts ( ESPECIALLY those final 24 hrs! ) are almost all clinically insane. No sh*t. So many of the things that I had to personally deal with while the promoter was locked down crushing the numbers with the $$$ men, would simply amaze you. Including, but certainly not limited to, for instance:

    – A fighter who snuck out of the hotel in the middle of the night, hours after he was supposedly comfortably “down for night”, resting for the next day’s main event. Instead, he’d found his way to Buffalo’s biggest whore house in order to gratify himself, but found that the “establishment” didn’t take kindly to dudes who short their girls & then refuse to pay for the non-negotiable “room rental fee” on top of it. Imagine how much fun THAT was to deal with at 4:00 AM. Luckily I had a wad of the promoter’s cash that he entrusted me with for “incidentals”. LOL. But it took every last cent of it to calm down & compensate the two gents with the sawed off that were “monitoring” the sitch until I arrived.

  5. sweetviolenturge says:

    If boxing died after every over hyped “Fight Of The Century” that turned out to be a tepid, mediocre affair in the end, then it would have never survived beyond ancient Greece I’m sure.

  6. JV says:

    OMG, the sport is going to die off when Ali retires.
    OMG, now that Tyson is in the joint it will surely die.
    OMG, when De La Hoya retires there will be NOBODY left.


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