Boxing Promoters have too much control; It’s time to address the balance!

Boxing Promoters have too much control; It’s time to address the balance!
Commentary by Robert Brown, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 10, 2013) Doghouse Boxing (Poster Art © Chee)

Golden Boy vs Top Rank
At the moment Top Rank and Golden Boy are controlling the entire direction of the sport which played a huge hand in costing us Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquaio and it appears may cost us Abner Mares vs. Nonito Donaire.

Once again boxing fans boxing insiders and some members of the boxing press are making noises and complaining about this issue but very few are offering any real solutions. Other sports such as baseball, basketball and football have attempted to solve the problem of managers and clubs having undue influence over their players by introducing free agency and creating a players association which are designed to protect the player’s interest.

Boxing however has none of these safe guards.

If a fighter is at an impasse with a promoter, a fighter can either hope the promoter releases them from their contract obligations or they have to sit out the length of the contract as Carlos Molina had to do and other fighters have had to do in the past.

For some fighters, sitting out the length of their contracts can mean losing the prime of their careers and in the case of someone like Donaire, what seems like the apparent refusal of Top Rank to work with Golden Boy is costing him the biggest fight of his career both financial and prestige wise and costing boxing fans another marquee event.

I suggested a long time ago in one of my previous articles that Don King could perhaps get back into the mix as a major player to act as the circuit breaker between Golden Boy and Top Rank, but Don to a certain extent has been freezed out by Top Rank and Golden Boy and seems happy doing his minor shows these days. So let’s be realistic I don’t think that’s going to happen.

The best solution is either introduce some form of free agency which within the structural workings of boxing would be extremely difficult but however it could be structured something like this. If a fighter has been with a promoter or manager for 3 years he is a restricted free agent, and either party does not take the necessary steps to get them the best fight available or the fight they want and a rival promoter and or manager offers them the deal they want the promoter there with has to offer them a comparable fight with the same or better money and conditions otherwise they can leave.

After 6 years you become an unrestricted free agent which means if a deal comes up a fighter wants and the promoter you’ve been with for 6 years refuses to negotiate you can just leave, I understand that this occurring is a most unlikely scenario.

However I think the fighters should have their own association to establish a basic set of conditions and term that promoters managers and fighters are obligated to provide for each other this would help promoters and managers become more transparent and direct with each other and if a basic set of uniform conditions was established it would also stop fighters like Kelly Pavlik and Yuriorkis Gamboa pulling out of fights at the last minute.

Whether it is free agency or a fighters association or a mixture of both something has to be done so we get the fights, the fighters want and the public demands.

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