11 Nov 2013 11:40:54 AM
Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s record $41.5 million guarantee for facing Canelo Alvarez in September elicited a series of reactions from the MMA community. Some fighters like Tito Ortiz made ridiculous comparisons (“What am I doing different from [Floyd Mayweather Jr.]?”). Others, like current UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones knew it was more politically expedient to downplay any direct comparison between revenues in boxing and MMA (“Boxing has been around over 100 years…The foundation is set and the money is there. MMA is so new.”). But the question looms large — why is it that boxing can boast stratospheric paydays whereas MMA’s purses are deliberately obscured from public knowledge?
We could talk about the structure of modern boxing where there is competition between promoters (Bob Arum, Golden Boy, etc.) and TV networks (HBO, Showtime, etc.), which drives boxing purses up. Or we could focus on the formula for self-promoting fights that Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. derived tremendous benefit from. The fact remains that with its limited 20-year history, MMA has much more in common with the monopolistic and mafia-controlled boxing of the 1950s and ‘60s than it does with modern boxing.
What the industry tends to ignore is that the passage of time is not what leads to progress. It was five years ago in 2008 that Jon Fitch was tossed overboard by the UFC for refusing to sign away his likeness rights away in perpetuity. While managers and fighters could have drawn a line in the sand, squared up with Zuffa and said “You’ve taken enough from us,” their response to the likeness rights situation was completely muted.
“That wasn’t a battle we chose to fight. All of our guys agreed,” said American Top Team president Dan Lambert.
Thus, the precedent was set. MMA managers acting out of fear negotiated with the UFC by giving up something in exchange for nothing.Read More DIGG THIS