By Luis Sandoval
2013 proved to be a great year for boxing as it provided fans with terrific fights and moments and it was all done despite the two biggest promoters in the sport not working together. Boxing's “Cold War” between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions has been ongoing and has been a black eye for the sport as many good fights simply can’t be made due to both companies’ refusal to co-promote.
In late December, Golden Boy’s President Oscar De La Hoya extended an olive branch to Top Rank Founder and CEO Bob Arum as he wished him happy holidays and also expressed that both companies should bury the hatchet and start working together again.
During the Pacquiao-Bradley press conference in Beverly Hills, CA, BoxingScene and other members of the media caught up with Arum and asked if anything would come of his and De La Hoya’s cordial interaction. Arum revealed he and Oscar had a nice conversation and reminisced on past moments but the real problem isn’t De La Hoya; it’s Showtime.
“You [have to] understand that whatever is said, it has nothing to do with ‘they won’t do business with us’ or ‘we don’t’ do business with them’. That’s all bullsh*t. I mean I lived with [Don] King for so many years where we were competitors and we did business together. The problem is Showtime. Showtime won’t deal with any promoter except Golden Boy! So why should I take a fighter and give them to Showtime when they won’t deal with Top Rank or any other promoter other than Golden Boy,” said an animated Bob Arum.
“Showtime is the one that’s at fault and CBS has allowed them to get away with this kind of thing. It’s never happened before in the sport of boxing where one entity only deals with one promoter. When is the last time another promoter – forget Top Rank – any other promoter has put a fight on for Showtime?”
The feud between both promotional entities reached new heights when both Showtime and HBO decided to take sides in the matter. Showtime started a relationship with Golden Boy who took their entire stable over after HBO announced they would no longer be doing business with Golden Boy for the time being. Top Rank in turn had their fighters fighting on HBO.
Arum was asked if there was any way to rectify the situation or if there were happenings in the background we weren’t privy to that would prevent a reconciliation from taking place.
“It’s not going to happen as long as long as Showtime blocks every promoter except Golden Boy from doing fights on their network. And the fights get worse and worse and worse. Now they take a fight a Canelo-Angulo which belongs on Showtime and they put it on pay per view. What is that?” Arum would tell BoxingScene.
“They have a guy [Stephen Espinoza] in charge of Showtime Sports who won’t take calls from anybody. He is bound and determined to be with Golden Boy. Now, he signed Mayweather; if you’re a subscriber for Showtime, what the hell difference does it mean to you? Mayweather isn’t on Showtime, he’s on pay-per-view. If you have a subscription, you can’t see a Mayweather fight on Showtime. It’s ridiculous”.
Fight fans and many in the industry would like nothing more than to see these two promotional giants settle their differences and begin working together for the sake of the sport. Looking at the current situation, it appears we are still a long way away from seeing a resolution.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter & Instagram @Truewest007