With Consent of Al Haymon, Amir Khan Fighting Danny Garcia on HBO

By Ivan G. Goldman

HBO has a show scheduled this Saturday, thanks to Al Haymon, who reportedly rules boxing from a mysterious bunker somewhere beneath the earth’s crust. Haymon consented to a match between his fighter Danny Garcia and hapless Amir Khan, who is finally getting back in the ring following a series of disappointments and bad breaks.

Photo: Gene Blevens/Hogan Photos

After Khan was robbed December 10 of two titles in a Washington, D.C. hometown decision for Lamont Peterson, he had a rematch with Peterson cancelled after the champ tested positive for synthetic testosterone. The entire card was cancelled.

A sycophantic HBO executive, reportedly bowing and scraping, expressed appreciation to Haymon for providing the network with the opportunity to be a minor segment of his empire. Haymon, in a blizzard of bewildering moves, took over the fight game several years ago after apparently getting bored with ruling R&B. He also, from time to time, allows Showtime to be part of his deals.

Golden Boy, Khan’s promoter, as usual expressed its undying loyalty and appreciation to Haymon, but when CEO Richard Schaefer tried to kiss his hand Haymon reportedly swatted him away. “You guys should stop trying to copy those Godfather reruns and just tend to business,” sneered Haymon while Schaefer retreated.

Not much is known about Haymon, whose roster of fighters is startlingly long. A former colleague of mine at Ring magazine, Jim Bagg, wrote several funny paragraphs about him a while ago in his column and shortly afterward Bagg and his editor Nigel Collins were fired from the Golden Boy publication, along with a bunch of others from Ring, including me. Haymon didn’t even have the courtesy to warn us with a dead fish the way Sicilians tend to such matters. A photographer did manage to snap his picture once, but then disappeared. According to my sources, he turned up several months later in Outer Mongolia, where Haymon allows him to make a living milking goats and serve as a living lesson to other media snoops.

Mayweather told Greg Bishop of the New York Times, “If I would have had Al Haymon from the beginning, I probably would be a billionaire right now.” Bishop also reported that the inscrutable Haymon grew up in Cleveland and has a Harvard MBA.

Why Haymon didn’t make a couple of phone calls to keep Mayweather out of jail is another mystery. Mayweather, doing ninety days for slapping around his ex-girlfriend again, was last heard complaining that the low quality of food and water in the Clark County hoosegow threatened his health. His attorneys figured a woman-beater of his stature should get nothing more punishing than house arrest, that is, being confined to his mansion. They filed a motion to that effect, but the judge, apparently receiving no instructions from Haymon to do otherwise, ordered that “Money” Mayweather must serve out his sentence like a regular dude.

Garcia, 23-0 (14), holds the WBC light welterweight title, which he picked up after decisioning much-worn Erik Morales. Morales had already been stripped of the title for failing to make weight. There’s also some kind of “super world” WBA title at stake, which means that alphabet gang is siphoning dollars out of the Las Vegas event too. Haymon is known for putting together lucrative mismatches, but Garcia, who holds a split decision over Kendall Holt, is a legitimate opponent for Khan, who actually looks for difficult challenges.

British-born Khan, trained by Freddie Roach at his famed Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, spars with Manny Pacquiao. Khan was once stopped in the first round by relatively unknown Bredis Scott, but bounced back to win nine consecutive fights. His victories include stoppages of Zab Judah and Paul Malignaggi and a decision win over Marcos Maidana in a brutal fight that tested both men to the max.

Don’t expect to see Haymon on camera Saturday at the Mandalay Bay. He rarely attends fights, preferring to watch them from his undisclosed location.

Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE

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