By Mark Vester
It appears that promoter Murad Muhammad is once again in hot water, over bounced checks, payments owed and more payments owed. The hole in Muhammad's pocket stems from the very risky gamble he took by backing the Evander Holyfield vs. Fres Oquendo pay-per-view in November. Risky for many reasons, including the fact that there were two other major boxing pay-per-views in the same month, and the UFC had a pay-per-view showcase as well.
The San Antonio Express-News reports Oquendo's promoter Lou DiBella, is still owed about $85,000 by Muhammad, and the Radisson Market Square hotel in San Antonio, are waiting on payment of close to $25,000. The paper reports that there are many others who have yet to be paid their money, or had checks bounce once deposited in the bank.
The report indicated that checks written to undercard fighters Oscar Diaz, Golden Johnson and Gabriel Elizondo — all bounced. They were paid at a later date, but you can bet the next time they compete on a M&M card, they will want the money upfront.
Muhammad overestimated the popularity of Holyfield, picked the wrong time to stage the show and is now paying the price. Holyfield was paid $2 million for the Oquendo fight, and taking into account that the Alamodome's paid attendance was about 4,000 with a live gate profit in the range of $400,000, you can see why people are not getting paid. The paper even said there were unconfirmed reports of Holyfield's check bouncing as well.
Promoter Lou DiBella plans to file a lawsuit if he is not paid the remainder of what Muhammad owed him in a timely manner.
"It's a disgrace," DiBella said. "If I did something like this I'd be crucified. Why does he get a free pass? I've given him time. The guy's not trustworthy. He's a con man."
M&M Sports, Muhammad's company, told Texas regulators that they were waiting on its share of pay-per-view revenue in order to pay the rest of the bills stemming from the card. Not sure how much the revenue will help, because the local division of Time Warner in Texas told the paper that they only received a little over 400 buys.