By Mark Vester
This past Saturday, Golden Boy Promotions was promoting a HBO televised event at Staples Center in California with Victor Ortiz-Marcos Maidana on top. Also on the same night, their promotional rival, Top Rank, was promoting the Latin Fury 9 pay-per-view in Atlantic City. When the news hit Atlantic City, that Ortiz had been stopped by Maidana in six rounds, there was a lot of talk among media members in Atlantic City, regarding the business relationship between Golden Boy and HBO - and the consistent hits to Golden Boy‘s stable of fighters.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum spoke very openly with BoxingScene.com’s Bill Emes, and other media members, regarding HBO’s decision to enter into a business deal with Golden Boy, where HBO would set aside a certain number of televised dates for Golden Boy. As part of the deal, Golden Boy would have to create programming for these dates with their stable of fighters.
Arum feels that Golden Boy is no longer capable of meeting the responsibility of creating programming for all of these televised dates that HBO has committed to them. He doesn’t blame Golden Boy for accepting the dates from HBO. He says the network made a very bad business decision and now it’s costing them.
“They gave their dates to one promoter, who's stable has now been wiped out. And all the good fighters are fighting, fortunately at this point in time, for us at Top Rank. And they would love to give us dates but they can't this year and that's wrong. They made a bad mistake. They are not evil people, and I can't blame Golden Boy for grabbing those dates, but it shows that it wasn’t the wisest thing for them [HBO] to do,” Arum told BoxingScene.
“To give dates to one company, without being fight specific, with the hope that [Golden Boy] will get the top fighters to give them programming, instead of holding back and awarding the fight programs to the promoter who has the best fighters and the best fights. They can't do that for this year because they’ve committed dates to Golden Boy, who now has no fighters except retreads to put in.”
As far as being the company to hold the best young talent, Arum believes that his stable of young boxers in Top Rank is the best crop of fighters in the world, and there is quite a few of them.
“Look at the fighters we have. We have [Edwin] Valero. We have [Yuriorkis] Gamboa. We have [Juan Manuel] Lopez. We have Vanes. Just named one after another who could be in great fights. Instead they are doing a retread like Juan Diaz fighting Paul Malignaggi, two guys who lost their last fights fighting each other. If they want to do losers, which is what I call that fight, the losers, let them do it, but that's sort of silly,” Arum said.
“They are not doing anything evil. They made a decision to do this with Golden Boy and it was the wrong decision and people like Tom Hauser said it was the wrong decision when they made it and now it's coming home to roost.”
As far as Victor Ortiz, who many saw as the best young talent in Golden Boy’s stable, Arum was less than kind with the way Ortiz performed during the fight, and he was shocked with Ortiz’s comments during the post-fight interview with HBO broadcaster Max Kellerman. It wasn’t that long ago that Ortiz was a Top Rank fighter. He had a nasty break from Top Rank and ex-manager Cameron Dunkin. He jumped ship to Golden Boy and signed with current manager Shelly Finkel, but not before Top Rank won a lawsuit that gave their company some future monetary gain from Ortiz‘s fights under Golden Boy. According to sources, Dunkin was given $50,000 for his trouble.
Ortiz’s post fight comments were shocking to many.
“I was hurt,” Ortiz said . “I’m not going to go out on my back. I’m not going to lay down for nobody. I’m going to stop while I’m ahead. That way I can speak well when I’m older. May the best man win, and tonight, he was the best man. I’m young, but I don’t think I deserve to be getting beat up like this. I have a lot of thinking to do.”
According to Arum, Top Rank’s master matchmaker, Bruce Trampler, told him that Ortiz was not capable of dealing with adversity and gave up when the going got tough.
“We had a continuing profit participation with Ortiz but the truth is, and it’s not after the fact, Bruce Trampler always said that Ortiz had a lot of tools but he thought, based on what he had seen, that Ortiz lacked courage. That when the going got tough, Ortiz would quit and that's what he did there. Can you imagine a fighter saying, 'well I got knocked down and I wasn't going to go out on my shield,' Arum said.
He also says the matchmaking for Ortiz was a big mistake because it left all of the parties involved with a big hole.
“Ortiz is a good fighter but you don't put Ortiz is in with an Argentine guy that nobody heard of, who is a good puncher, etc. You put him in with a Lamont Peterson. If Peterson wins, then you got somebody going. Now they got a frigging Argentine guy, who lost to [Andreas] Kotelnik, who is fighting Amir Khan and if he wins he is going to end up fighting Dmitriy Salita. So that's the level, you are not building anything,” Arum said.
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