|11-27-2011, 11:54 PM||#31|
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Haymon came out of the music business, where he made his mark promoting and marketing national tours for superstars like Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, M.C. Hammer, and Boyz II Men. He also has longtime links to boxing. His brother, Bobby Haymon, was a welterweight, who fought from 1969 through 1978 and amassed a 20-8-1 career record with eight knockouts. In the last fight of his career, Bobby was stopped in three rounds by a young prospect named Sugar Ray Leonard.
Al Haymon is smoothe and smart. He’s a private man and avoids media exposure as if it were the plague. “The best way to deal with Al Haymon,” says someone who has, “is, don’t try to figure him out.”
Haymon represents elite fighters as an advisor-manager, generally in exchange for a percentage of their purses. For example, his initial contract with Lamon Brewster (who left manager Sam Simon in 2005 after becoming a world champion) called for Alan Haymon Development Inc. to get seven percent of the first $2,000,000 of any Brewster purse and five percent thereafter.
Haymon is doing what Lou DiBella hoped to do when DiBella left HBO eight years ago. The primary difference is that, once a deal is made, he’s less involved in the nuts-and-bolts promotional end of things than DiBella’s original business plan called for Lou to be.
In recent years, Haymon’s fighters have benefited from a large number of dates on HBO. Often, they’ve received substantial license fees for going in soft. Other times (as was the case with Brewster in his 2007 fight against Wladimir Klitschko), they’ve been the opponent. There have also been complaints that HBO allows Haymon (a manager) to function as a promoter.
“No one pays to watch Al Haymon on television,” says an attorney active on the boxing scene. “I just don’t get it. Al Haymon is a question, and no one I talk with seems to have an answer.”
“I don’t know how it happens,” adds Don King. “But there’s things going on with Al Haymon and HBO that aren’t right. Someone should do a striptease show and expose that act.”
Bob Arum refers to Haymon as “Mr. Macchiavelli (no laughing, please) and speculates, “Initially, Haymon got his juice from [former Time Warner CEO] Richard Parsons. Now it comes from Ross.”
Greenburg rejects any suggestion of favoritism toward Haymon with the comment, “Sugar Ray Leonard fought Bruce Finch in 1982. It was a crappy fight, and Al Haymon didn’t have either guy.”
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