Al Haymon’s fighters always thank him when they’re interviewed after fights, sometimes before mentioning God.
Errol Spence Jr.’s trainer thinks even boxers who aren’t affiliated with the polarizing, reclusive adviser should show Haymon some gratitude. Derrick James discussed during the most recent episode of “The PBC Podcast” how Haymon’s history of helping fighters make more money than they’ve ever earned dramatically altered boxing’s economic model.
According to James, the way Haymon does business forced his rivals to pay boxers more than they otherwise would have compensated fighters in order to compete for their services.
“Put it like this – the game as a whole has not changed,” James told co-hosts Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal. “But I think that the game-changer was Al Haymon. … If you think about in the history of boxing, there’s only a couple guys making money, making a million dollars, making a couple hundred thousand dollars. Even though Bernard Hopkins say he was the champ for all those years, he was only making like $75,000 a fight or something like that, I heard. So, if you think about it, now with Al paying the guys what they were worth, everybody else had to do it to compete.
“So, he made Bob Arum start paying, made Matchroom [Boxing’s Eddie Hearn], made all these guys start paying the fighters. So, all these fighters that may talk bad about Al or whatever they say, they have to pay homage because it would not be like that had it not been for Al Haymon paying his fighters the way he pays them. Because that made everyone else have to contend, have to pay more money. Now, Matchroom overpays people just to try to compete, you know? Certain guys who’s making millions of dollars now are not million-dollar fighters. So, they have to thank Al Haymon.”
Haymon worked with Floyd Mayweather Jr. throughout the height of a 21-year career in which Mayweather made more money than any boxer in the history of the sport – in excess of $800 million, according to some estimates.
In 2015, Haymon launched Premier Boxing Champions, an organization that has television deals with FOX and Showtime. Spence, Manny Pacquiao, Deontay Wilder, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Gervonta Davis, Gary Russell Jr., Leo Santa Cruz and Adrien Broner are among the prominent fighters affiliated with Haymon’s PBC.
“How many fighters make millions of dollars?,” James asked. “A lot of them, all around the world. So, that’s due to Al Haymon pushing the envelope, really making guys pay kids what they’re worth, fighters what they’re worth.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.