14 Sep 2008 14:30:50 PM
Golden Boy Hopes Affliction Will Be Its Key to MMA Fans, HBO “Respectfully Declines” Arlovski-Barnett
The more we hear about the Affliction/Golden Boy partnership, the stranger it begins to sound. First there was the official press release, which seemed to put more emphasis on “signature shirts” and apparel than on fights. It’s almost as if Affliction is looking for a way to retreat with dignity from the money-sucking void of fight promotion and get back to what they do best: selling overpriced, hyper-stylized clothing.
But aside from their own line of skull-themed t-shirts, what does Golden Boy get out of it? According to CEO Richard Schaefer, they hope to siphon off some of MMA’s young fan base and bring them back into the boxing fold:
“We believe Affliction and the relationships they have with that demographic, the identification they have within that demographic group I think will help bring boxing to these people,” said the Golden Boy CEO. “We think as well, many of the mixed martial arts fans are fans of combat sports, and what they’ve seen of boxing is a very exciting sport as well that maybe they will discover their love for the sport of boxing.”
Naturally, Affliction VP Tom Atencio hopes for the same thing in the other direction, which should tell Golden Boy something (as should those Vegas ticket sales) about just how much of an MMA fan base they may have to draw from. But in theory, at least, it sounds like an idea that can work. That is, if you get the right fights in front of the right audiences. Already things are off to a slow start.
ESPN.com reports that Golden Boy tried to sell HBO on the idea of adding the original “Day of Reckoning” main event — Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett — to the Oct. 18 pay-per-view boxing bout between Kelly Pavlik and Bernard Hopkins. HBO “respectfully declined.”Read More DIGG THIS