by Rick Reeno
Late Saturday night, Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum took aim at his competition - Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya and powerful boxing manager Al Haymon. A few weeks ago, HBO severed their business ties with Golden Boy - who over the last twelve months have conducted the majority of their business with network rival Showtime.
Arum let loose during the post-fight press conference that followed the junior welterweight rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. The vicious brawl headlined an HBO televised card at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
"Fans want to see action and they want to see exciting fights. Now some people involved in boxing want to sign fighters and have them fight tomato cans and have networks pay to show those fights - and it goes on and on and on. That's not what the fans want," Arum said. "I think that it's not only us at Top Rank, but other promoters who don't have the [favoritism] from a particular network - also have that type of mentality. I think it's great news for boxing fans, because we are going to give them competition."
"Fans love to watch boxing if it's exciting, if it's competitive and not if it's an appearance fight. For years we were fed a steady diet of this kid [Andre] Berto with fights against [opponents] who nobody remembers their names - [fights] that cost millions of dollars to one of the networks and what did they get for it - [nothing]. What did the subscribers get? The finger! And some guy, who used to be in the music business, [Haymon], raped HBO and hoodwinked the public and that hopefully now is over - except maybe at [Showtime]. But they are second so who cares about that. Nobody watches them anyway."
Arum then took aim at De La Hoya - after a reporter advised the veteran promoter that De La Hoya, prior to the Rios-Alvarado rematch, announced on Twitter that he canceled his HBO subscription. Arum referenced De La Hoya's infamous "fishnets scandal" and drew a wild reaction from the many who attended the press conference.
"Oscar is the absolutely one of the brainiest guys that I've known and he probably did [that tweet] when he was putting on some of those leggings. I really mean it. Who the hell is Oscar De La Hoya? He's a moron!," Arum voiced.