Tag Archives: Al Haymon

Thurman-Garcia Is Great…But What About Afterwards?


Thurman-Garcia Is Great…But What About Afterwards?
By: Sean Crose

“That’s when they were fighters,” the man behind the counter said.

I had heard that line a million times before and had always, without exception, rolled my eyes at it. This time, however, it struck me. Why? Because the man behind the pizza counter loved boxing. Loved it. He talked to me about it all the time. He knew his stuff. And now he didn’t seem to love it anymore.

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And, honestly, why should he?

This was a guy who could remember Graziano fighting Zale, Frazier facing Foreman and Hagler battling Hearns, a man who could talk about Ali the fighter rather than just Ali the celebrity. In other words, he could remember a time when boxing actually had stars…because boxers fought their way to stardom. Those days are over – at least temporarily. They ended after Mayweather (who became a celebrity after beating De La Hoya) beat Pacquiao (who also became a celebrity after beating De La Hoya) in something of a snoozer.

Now we have Canelo Alvarez, whose biggest fight was a loss to Mayweather, and perhaps Gennady Golovkin, who Canelo literally gave up his title rather than face. Not exactly thrilling stuff. Meanwhile, across the street at the UFC, Ronda Rousey just brought down another seven figure pay per view event. Sure, she lost, but she lost coming back against a top opponent – after losing to a top opponent her last time in the Octagon.

Conor McGregor, the UFCs biggest star, fought thrice in 2015, twice against the rugged Nate Diaz – who beat him once, thank you very much – and once against the talented Eddie Alvarez. No tuneups. No showcase performances, just big fights against big names. Kinda like boxing used to be. Robinson lost to LaMotta, then came back to beat him just weeks later. Now Ward wins a controversial decision over Kovalev and shows no real interest in a rematch.

Of course, all is not bleak on the boxing horizon. There’s some big fights coming up this year – some of them consisting of Al Haymon fighters, no less. For this author, the best match is between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman for a healthy chunk of welterweight supremacy. For here are two top men facing off. Sure, they’ve been thoroughly modern fighters in that they haven’t fought a whole lot lately (at least not much against other top fighters), but now we’re going to see who the best of the two is. Great stuff.

What will happen after that fight, though? Will both men move on to other exciting bouts, or will they both take more long term career breaks? The odds say they’ll take the career breaks, which is why boxing is hurting right now. Look, lots of time in the ring can lead to lots of serious damage, everyone gets that. There’s a difference, though, between self abuse and fighting part time.

And the era of part time boxers needs to end if the sport is ever to grow again here in the states.

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Pacquiao-Broner? Stranger Things Have Happened In Boxing


Pacquiao-Broner? Stranger Things Have Happened In Boxing
By: Sean Crose

Manny Pacquiao is supposedly retired and embracing his new job as a Filipino senator. Yet there’s word that the aging great may be coming back to face one Adrien Broner. That right, the one and only Adrien Broner. While this bout may seem absurd on the face of things, there’s little doubt that there’s a certain appeal to it. Boxing is very much a personality based business, after all, and the contrast in personalities here would be glaring. Bad boy Broner, with his history of legal trouble, is a brash, showy, obnoxious guy who some say puts his persona over his genuine talent.

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Smiling Pacquiao, on the other hand, doesn’t have much bad to say about his opponents in the lead up to fights. He’s just not into trash talk. He is, however, quite into beating the hell out of his opposition in the ring. Sure enough, it’s hard to imagine many people picking Broner to win the matchup, should it occur. Even if Pacquiao is indeed growing long in the tooth, Broner has simply never looked great against the most serious of his opponents. The Cincinnati native may simply have to become an all-around new man if he wants to be serious enough to beat Pacquiao.

Still, some very smart people in and around the fight world are claiming this is all a lot of talk – at least for the moment. Golden Boy, the promoter of Canelo Alvarez, supposedly wanted its man to (ridiculously) fight Pacquiao (he’s a lot smaller than middleweight Gennady Golovkin, after all) but that they were led to believe (by who, we don’t know) team Pacquiao essentially had its eyes on a Broner fight. Whether this bit on information is true or not remains to be seen, though it’s worth noting Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum claims he has Broner in mind should Pacquiao return to the ring.

As for how this fight might play out, we’ve only got what has come before to use as a guide. Pacquiao isn’t what he was as a fighter, but he’s still one amazing athlete. Lightning fast and aggressive, the guy employs angles that may truly fluster Broner, who, let’s face it, doesn’t have great foot movement. As for Broner, well, he’s disappointed a lot of people. He’s fast and has a solid skill set, but his Mayweather influenced defense is a pale imitation of the original. Still, it’s ridiculous to write the guy off. Broner is a VERY talented fighter. If he were to somehow develop that talent while Pacquiao were simultaneously to slip deeper into decline, an upset might well be in order.

That, however, is a very big if.

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Waiting With 100 Media Aristocrats to Question Floyd Mayweather


By Ivan G. Goldman

I’m in a nondescript room in downtown Los Angeles with about 100 other media people, mostly writers, a few photographers. We wait for Floyd Mayweather. This is about two hours prior to the big media conference to kick off publicity for the welterweight superfight I will refer to hereafter as FloydPac, to be fought May 2 in Las Vegas between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Floyd is 50 minutes late, somewhere outside in the Nokia Plaza on the red carpet, we’ve been told. There are lots more media people out there, about 600. They were awarded credentials in other colors but deemed unworthy of the prized green credentials we have dangling from chains around our necks. We greenies, the hundred media aristocrats, will get to interview the fighters and their principal team members in separate, back-to-back, open-ended sessions.

I look around for “The Ghost,” Floyd’s adviser Al Haymon, who supervises events from his secret headquarters. Could he be here in disguise? Spotting him would be like a bird watcher seeing a blue-tailed Pterosaur, a flying dinosaur that hasn’t been around for the last 66 million years.

I’ve already seen Floyd Mayweather, Sr., outside the building. Once again chief trainer for his son, he was surrounded by about 30 determined operators of smart phones and other electronic devices, their users drinking in his every word as though he held the secret to world peace.

There’s already griping among the boxing media, even among us greenies, because we know that on fight night in Las Vegas the MGM Grand Arena holds only 16,000, and some of those seats are so bad you could call them joke seats. In terms of capacity, there will be a monstrous shortage for media and fans. Those in the joke seats will barely see the ring. Some won’t even be in sight of the big screens.

And with tickets selling for a minimum price of $1,500 before the scalpers bid them higher, that means if the promoters give someone in the media even a crummy seat, they’re giving up $1,500 from a paying customer.

Of those media people who do obtain decent seats, many won’t be boxing writers. They’ll represent big outlets that rarely cover prizefighting, if ever. Most boxing writers on fight night will get screwed, relegated to hotel ballrooms to watch on closed circuit in Siberia.

The catch is, they don’t inform you of your seat location until you get there. By holding out the promise of seating in the arena, the promoters obtain more coverage from more outlets.

Many of the excluded ones watching off-site will write their stories as though they were on the scene, without informing readers of their shamed circumstances. And today, many of the 600 excluded ones to be allowed inside later won’t inform their readers that they weren’t present for the good parts. They’ll write around it somehow.

Our color-coded credentials and the system of insiders and outsiders today and on fight night reminds me of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a novel that describes a nightmare future in which everyone’s station in life is designated at birth, ranging from alpha to epsilon. But they get plenty of drugs to ease the pain.

Why will a fight that could easily sell 50,000 tickets be held in a venue that holds less than a fourth of that? For the answer you’d have to understand the rock-solid business relationships the MGM Grand has formed with the principals.

Mayweather Promotions won its place as lead promoter during pre-fight negotiations. Many fighters are superstitious. Floyd’s never lost at the MGM Grand, so why take a chance? Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, wanted the bout in the much bigger Dallas Cowboys stadium, but he’s not complaining, at least publicly.

Golden Boy Promotions, which normally handles the details of Floyd’s fights, was shut out. Former CEO Richard Schaefer is gone, and Floyd and Oscar, the Golden Boy president, dislike each other.

Many of us wonder whether Floyd’s company, which isn’t used to handling all these details, has enough experience to present FloydPac to the world. But it turns out this event is well organized. We’re fed breakfasts with hot, scrambled eggs and buffet lines are short. There are plenty of people to direct us. Nothing is exactly on time, but these things are never punctual.

I’m prepared with laptop, water bottle, and Dodgers baseball cap to shield my eyes from the glare of TV lighting.

Ah, what’s that? Why it’s the champ, Floyd Mayweather, who entered rather quietly. He takes a seat up front, and the questions begin. You can find the interview elsewhere on this site.

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