Greg Cohen’s recent days as a convict are almost over, but given the floundering state of the boxing economy, he may find that his hands are still shackled as a free man.
The New Jersey-based promoter is projected to be released from federal prison on August 2, according to a spokesperson with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Cohen, 51, was slapped with a six-month prison term last year for one count of wire fraud unrelated to boxing, a federal offense. The sentence stems from an incident in 2016, in which Cohen had induced a victim to pay him $200,000 for a stock investment that was never made. After months of prevarication, Cohen subsequently pleaded guilty and entered into a plea agreement with the government, while agreeing to repay the $200,000. Per the terms of his sentence, Cohen will have three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service.
Cohen is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution Otisville, in Otisville, New York.
The promoter is in for a rude awakening upon his release. Like everyone else in boxing, Cohen will be tasked with preserving his fragile business from the dramatic fallout of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, which has decimated the sporting industry. According to his website, Cohen currently promotes around 20-25 active fighters, many of whom will be hard-pressed to find work in the ring anytime soon. Unlike the bigger promotional entities, Cohen does not have an output deal with a network.
Cohen’s woes do not end there. The most important fighter in his stable, the mercurial heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller, recently tested positive – once again – for the banned substance GW1516 in a VADA-administered test ahead of a televised fight against Jerry Forrest on July 9 on ESPN. (Forrest wound up losing a decision to late-replacement Carlos Takam). The bout was supposed to ring in Miller’s new multi-fight contract with co-promoter Top Rank.
The result marks the third time in the Brooklynite’s career in which he failed a drug test. Last year, Miller scuttled his shot at a heavyweight title against Britain’s Anthony Joshua when he tested positive for a medley of steroids, one of which included GW1516.
According to Top Rank head Bob Arum, the company will cut ties with Miller. It is presumed that the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the July 9 fight, will hand Miller a suspension at its next meeting.
Since Cohen’s incarceration, former fighters like Tony Luis, Austin Trout, and Samuel Clarkson, as well as television producers like Mark Fratto, have expressed their less than savory experiences with the promoter.
Cohen is still dealing with another legal kerfuffle, in which a former employee, Clifford Mass, is accusing him of fraud over an unfulfilled investment agreement. The parties are currently in the discovery process.