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Tag: Golden Boy

Video: John McCain, Lorenzo Fertitta, Jon Jones, Bernard Hopkins, and More Boxing/MMA Figures Unite to Support the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study

(Props: Senator Reid)

There are few occasions where you could get executives from the UFC, Bellator, Golden Boy, and Top Rank in the same room without a full-scale brawl breaking out. But today in Washington, DC, an unprecedented congregation of combat-sports power players joined forces to support a common cause — the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, which is being conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.

According to a press release distributed today, the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study was launched in April 2011, and is “focused on developing methods to detect the earliest and most subtle signs of brain injury in those exposed to head trauma, as well as determining which individuals may be more likely to develop chronic neurological disorders.” You can read a little more about the Cleveland Clinic’s work here.

Senators and lifelong boxing-lovers Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ) were keynote speakers at today’s press-conference, which you can watch above in its entirety. The list of speakers also included UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Spike TV President Kevin Kay, Bellator lightweight star Michael Chandler, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Top Rank President Todd duBoef, and boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. Collectively, the combat sports promotions in attendance pledged $600,000 to help the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study continue its research for another year. As the press-release explains:


Oscar De La Hoya Paid $20 Million to Buy Lingerie and Heels He Wore In Infamous Photos and To Make Model Who Took Them ‘Go Away’

(When you wake up with a bad hangover and the front page of The NY Times is emblazoned with photos like these of you, you know it’s about time for you to hit the Betty Ford Clinic.)

Fresh off of a recent stint in rehab, Oscar De La Hoya sat down for a cathartic interview on Univision’s “Aqui y Ahora” show this week in which the former boxing champ came clean on a number of things, including his alcohol and drug abuse, infidelity and the fact that the infamous photos of him in lingerie, fishnet stockings and high heels  were real.

The New York Times now reports today that the boxer and Siberian model, Milana Dravnel who took the cross-dressing photos and later sued De La Hoya for $100 million for making her out to be a liar and accusing her of digitally adding his face to the images reached an out of court settlement for $20 million. Court documents obtained by the newspaper show that one of the stipulations of the settlement, that bound both sides to a confidentiality agreement, was that the outfit De La Hoya wore in the photos be returned to “The Golden Boy.”


Arlovski Signs with Golden Boy, Will Box Next, and Why Not?

(Arlovski tries for the Dan Severn, sweat-soaked-grey-t-shirt look.)

Following his knockout loss to Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Day of Reckoning, Andrei Arlovski has signed with Golden Boy Promotions and will begin his career as a boxer, reports  

You may recall that Arlovski’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said he’d like to see Arlovski take on heavyweight boxing champ Nikolai Valuev if he was victorious against Fedor.  Of course, he wasn’t, so maybe Valuev won’t be Arlovski’s first opponent, which is probably just as well.  But whoever he does face in the boxing ring, at least he won’t be tempted to try another flying knee.

If you’re Arlovski this move makes perfect sense right now.  Having lost to Fedor, there’s no immediately obvious opponent for him outside the UFC ranks.  He’s already beaten Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson, Josh Barnett has the next shot at Fedor (though it won’t happen until the summer, at the earliest), so why not put on some bigger gloves and find out whether Roach really knows a boxing diamond in the rough when he sees it?

The upside for MMA fans is we get to see someone from our world match his skills against a real boxer.  We’ve all heard about how superior their striking is for so long, wouldn’t it be nice to find out the old-fashioned way?  Not to mention, this could actually get people to care about boxing’s heavyweight division again, at least for a little while. 


Larry Merchant Attempts to Explain $5 Million Claim, Makes Himself Seem Kind of Pathetic

(‘Lying is such a negative word.  I prefer to call it efficient storytelling.’)

By all accounts, HBO boxing commentator Larry Merchant’s claim that Oscar De La Hoya was missing the Shane Mosley-Antonio Margarito bout on Saturday because Affliction paid him $5 million to attend their show is straight up false.  The question is, did Merchant know it was untrue when he said it?  According to what Golden Boy CEO Richard Shaefer told Sherdog, the answer is: kind of.

Schaefer says he told Merchant that De La Hoya would be helping to promote the Affliction show because “our partners at Affliction made an over $5 million commitment to the event.”  Merchant took that and twisted it to mean that Golden Boy was paid $5 million by Affliction, which is quite a leap, as even Merchant almost admits:

“The $5 million was the number thrown out,” Merchant told on Tuesday. “There was not a discussion on how that precisely was allocated or how it was branded. Is it a little bit glib or short-handed to say that Golden Boy got $5 million and Oscar had to be there? Yeah. Yeah. I’m on television and I’m trying to tell a story as tightly as I can.”

That’s obviously a pretty sorry excuse.  Being on TV doesn’t give you license to distort a story just to make it shorter, as Merchant well knows.  The fact is he just doesn’t like MMA, as he freely admits without ever being asked.  Even tacked on to the end of his erroneous $5 million claim was this little zinger: “It would take that much to get me to go to one of those things.”  Now he says he’d go for a mere $100,000, despite the fact that no one in the MMA world wants or needs him there.

But the thing that’s frustrating about Merchant’s disdain for MMA is that it makes no sense coming from a guy whose life has been spent covering the fight game.  Just look at this quote from Merchant about the decline of boxing, taken from Joe Layden’s book about the Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas bout, The Last Great Fight:


Videos: Danablog #2 (aka “Pinkberry Makes You Crazy”), Arlovski Thanks “Classy Fans,” + Mosley-Margarito

Dana White’s UFC 94 video blog, episode 2 – Watch more Free Videos

In the second episode of Dana White’s UFC 94 video blog we get a look inside the taping of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and encounter a man identified as Dana White Sr.  Could this really be the father of the UFC prez?  The brief look we get at their relationship seems contentious yet oddly loving enough.  After that it’s off to NYC for more Pinkberry (so no more Men’s Health cover shoots any time soon, then?) and another race through the city streets.  Oh, to be rich and loaded on sugar.  Nothing at all about GSP-Penn in this episode, by the way.

Andrei Arlovski comes home to Chicago and thanks his fans for their support after his loss, which he attributes to a stupid mistake.  His cameraman, playing the role of the enabling sycophant, insists it was just necessary risk-taking, but Andrei knows better.  He also tosses another jab at “pee-pee-pee taster” Tim Sylvia, because that always makes a man feel better when he’s down in the dumps.


Ben vs. Ben: Affliction “Day of Reckoning” Edition

(Looks like Andrei’s the only thing standing between Fedor and another trip to the scary rollercoasters.  That is not a safe place to stand.)

Is it sad that this installment of Ben vs. Ben is forced to dwell on questions surrounding Affliction’s possible demise?  A little, but that’s life.  We can’t just pretend that they aren’t paying Andrei Arlovski roughly 20,000 t-shirts for an event that has no clear path to a profit…or does it?  That discussion and more awaits you below.

What are the odds that this is Affliction’s last show?

BF: -300.  In other words, 3-1 odds that we’ll never see another Affliction MMA event again.  I’m not happy about that, but if I’m being honest I have to look at how difficult it’s been for them to get a second show together, how much they’ll spend on it and how little of that will be recouped in ticket sales or pay-per-view revenue, and I can’t see how they justify another money pit of a show after this.

Of course, three has always been their magic number.  That’s how many shows they said they were committed to, and it would give them the chance to put on the Josh Barnett-Fedor Emelianenko fight they’ve obviously been angling for since the start.  But if Arlovski’s getting over a million bucks for this fight, imagine what it would cost to put on Barnett-Fedor alone, not to mention the rest of the card.  It would be an obvious money-loser, and even Affliction can’t bleed cash forever.  If they don’t pull out a miracle on Saturday night, they’re going to pack it in.

BG: I really hope nobody at Affliction has their fingers crossed and breath held for this miracle of which you speak. Between Margarito/Mosley and the UFC’s usual counter-programming and market saturation, Affliction won’t even be outperforming their first event in terms of ticket sales or pay-per-view buys. But I have to assume that they already know this. Maybe Atencio & Co. are bad at running an MMA organization, but they’re not childish enough to believe that money will literally fall out of the sky. And yet they sign Gegard Mousasi to fight in their third event, and announce they’ll be promoting four events a year with Golden Boy.

I’m not Affliction’s CFO, so I don’t know how much money the company is willing to lose on this MMA pursuit. But is it naïve to think that they wouldn’t be making these concrete plans if their future really depended on the financial performance of "Day of Reckoning"? Short answer: yes. Still, I’m going to set the odds for this one at a more generous -200. Now if I could just find a gambling site that offers a parlay bet on "Affliction won’t put on a third show" + "Tito Ortiz will never fight again," I could probably make a decent profit…


Golden Boy Puts Mosley-Margarito in L.A.; “Day of Reckoning” Kind of Screwed

(Will Andrei Arlovski be the man to beat Fedor Emelianenko? Will anybody actually get to see it?)

Let’s get this out of the way first: If you didn’t watch Manny Pacquiao’s one-sided walloping of Oscar De La Hoya last night, click here. My God this Mexecutioner.

Okay now. We’ve already told you that boxing promotion juggernaut Golden Boy’s relationship with Affliction could be described as "non-committal" at best. What was originally announced as a grand partnership devolved into straight-up rivalry when GB scheduled a superfight between welterweight stars "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito on January 24th, the same night as Affliction’s "Day of Reckoning" event. And it gets worse: The match is slated to go down at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, about a half-hour drive (depending on traffic) from Affliction’s venue of the Honda Center in Anaheim.

"Day of Reckoning"’s original date of October 11th was canceled due to nearly non-existant ticket sales, and they weren’t even competing with a major boxing match on the same day for attendance and local media coverage. Simply put, Mosley/Margarito on 1/24 is a death-blow for Affliction. It’s hard to envision them filling an arena without rescheduling the event yet again. Still, Fabricio Werdum is under the impression that Affliction has promised 16 events in 2009. Quite a lofty goal for an organization that has put on exactly one event in the last five months. But hey — everybody gotta have a dream.


Golden Boy Can’t Be Bothered With Affliction’s Problems

(‘Affliction…nope, sorry, doesn’t ring a bell.’)

Remember when Affliction trumpeted a huge announcement, which was mostly a ploy to detract attention from the “rescheduling” of their second event?  And remember when that huge announcement was that they would be partnering with Golden Boy Promotions, thus bringing the feuding cousins of MMA and boxing together?  And then Golden Boy said, ‘screw that,’ and decided to promote a competing boxing match on the same night?  

Well on today’s conference call to promote the upcoming De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight, the ever-intrepid Michael David Smith (or MDS, if you’re nasty) of MMA Fanhouse hit Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer with a question about whether they’d really be promoting both the Affliction: Day of Reckoning card and the Mosley-Margarito bout on the same night.  His answer was the equivalent of when you asked your mom if you could stop for ice cream after soccer practice and she responded with, ‘We’ll see.’

"I don’t want to talk about it right now," Schaefer said. "We’re still trying to finalize it. The one thing I know for sure is that Antonio Margarito and Sugar Shane Mosley will be fighting on January 24."

I don’t know about you, but to me that does not sound like a man who is involved in a solid partnership that he is genuinely excited about.  Granted, Schaefer’s first order of business on this call was to promote the upcoming fight, not one in January, but he stopped just short of saying that he does not know, nor does he care what Affliction does on Jan. 24.  Will they have a show at all?  Your guess is probably as good as Schaefer’s, with the difference being that you might actually give a damn.


LOL @ This Affliction/Golden Boy ‘Co-Promotion’

Day of Reckoning Affliction MMA

We’ve mentioned more than once that Affliction’s postponed “Day of Reckoning” card (January 24th; Anaheim, CA) will be a co-promotion with Golden Boy Promotions — though we weren’t really clear on what that partnership might look like. But it seems that Golden Boy is putting on a big-name boxing match the same night — Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley — which will air on HBO opposite Affliction’s pay-per-view card. In other words, they’re not so much partners as direct competitors. As Bloody Elbow’s Michael Rome sees it:

I don’t think there is any joint promotional deal between Affliction and Golden Boy. I heard a few weeks ago that nothing was signed, and it looks like all they have is a t-shirt deal, or a production deal at most. They announced it prematurely to distract people from the fact that they cancelled their October show because it sold about 700 tickets.

This is not good. Without the promotional muscle of Golden Boy, there’s no guarantee that “Day of Reckoning” won’t tank as hard as it did originally. We already know that Affliction may be trying to cut their losses, and if there’s no real pact with Golden Boy in place, that’s one less incentive for them to remain in the game.


Behind the $cenes: MMA Biz Roundup

Kimbo Slice Gina Carano MMA EliteXC
(Don’t expect to see these two fight for a looooooong time.)

— Golden Boy no longer plans to hold hybrid boxing/MMA cards with Affliction. As Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer explained the change-of-heart to, “We want to get to know the MMA market better and truly evaluate if there are synergies between the two sports. We are planning to do some focus groups where we will ask boxing and MMA fans how they would feel about it. Once we get the results of that, then we’ll be in a much better position to decide which strategy to apply.” Affliction’s MMA-only fight card on January 24th will still be co-promoted by Golden Boy.

— Though EliteXC’s fighters are currently in legal limbo because their contracts may be considered company assets in bankruptcy court, the regional promotions that Pro Elite swallowed up over the last two years could be immediately free to operate again. As Dave Meltzer reports:

Most deals [with Pro Elite] included putting the former owners under contract as executive consultants (and then not listening to them), giving them some cash as well as company stock, at the time worth millions and now worth almost nothing. The deals were structured as such that if Pro Elite went bankrupt, all could go back to promoting using the names they developed. King of the Cage, which was the only group profitable underneath the Pro Elite banner, is expected to continue running events as soon as possible. Cage Rage, a U.K. based group whose losses were so staggering they greatly sped up the demise of Pro Elite, is likely not to last much longer.