By Rick Reeno
Promoter Yvon Michel of GYM was very excited when he was informed that one of his star fighters, WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (23-1, 20KOs), signed a contract with powerful boxing adviser Al Haymon.
Haymon has a stable like no other - and among his massive roster of fighters are Floyd Mayweather Jr., Danny Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Leo Santa Cruz, Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, and countless others.
Many in the industry were under the impression that a deal between Stevenson and Haymon would create some friction with HBO on a political level. Stevenson is currently one of the biggest stars on HBO. In 2013, he appeared on the network three times. In early 2013, HBO broke their business ties with Haymon and Golden Boy Promotions, who promote the majority of Haymon's stable.
Michel does not anticipate any issues with HBO as a result of the Haymon deal.
In fact, Michel and HBO are still very much in negotiations to finalize a multi-fight agreement for Stevenson. The first fight of that deal could come on May 24, against top contender Andrzej Fonfara at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Michel is scheduled to meet with Haymon next week to strategically discuss Stevenson's career.
"I have a good relationship with HBO and everybody. We are in the middle of negotiations for a multi-fight deal with HBO. I was happy when Adonis informed me that Al Haymon was on board. How can you not be happy? With all of [Haymon's] experience and all of the fighters that he's leading. I had a very good conversation with Al after that [deal with Stevenson was made]. I am in the middle of negotiations with HBO for Adonis and that hasn't changed at all," Michel told BoxingScene.com.
"It can only be a big asset. Definitely, [having Haymon] can only be a big asset. With his experience, he knows the value [of a fight and fighter] and who and where and what."
Besides Stevenson, Michel has a plenty of other up and comers in his GYM roster, like David Lemieux, Sebastien Bouchard, Artur Beterbiev and Eleider Alvarez. Michel does not rule out the possibility of Haymon working with some of those names in the future.
"I had a very good conversation with Al. He said 'you will see I'm going to bring more to the table and you will be happy with what I'm doing and down the road you will want some more of your fighters to be with me.' Look if its the case, I will definitely not be against that," Michel said.
"I know some promoters have pros and cons about working with Al Haymon. He told me 'please judge me on us working together.' I got a call from a good, good friend Richard Schaefer. And the first thing he did was congratulate me and I said 'don't congratulate me, you have to congratulate Adonis.' Richard said 'you will see that [Haymon] is a very intelligent person with a lot of knowledge and you will be happy working with him.' And that's the feeling that I have also have and that is the perception that I have with Al Haymon."