Battle of the Ages: Golden Boy Promotions vs Top Rank
By Robert Jackson, Doghouse Boxing (March 31, 2011) Image created by Doghouse Boxing
Two of the most highly decorated promotional outfits in boxing – Top Rank, headed by 40+ year promoter Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions, headed by former fighter Oscar De La Hoya, are scheduled to face each other ‘in perpetuity’. That is, the on-going haggling and one-upmanship between the 2 groups may never end, and has been alive since Oscar De La Hoya as a fighter, bolted from Top Rank (after suing them), to begin GBP and promote himself.

De La Hoya saw some (but not all) of his most successful years as a fighter under Top Rank’s promotional umbrella, and when he left and went out on his own Top Rank never forgave his perceived disloyalty. Prior to him leaving, Top Rank boss Arum proclaimed De La Hoya the greatest fighter to come out of his stable. That statement would be repeated yet again for another fighter who seeking greener pastures would leave Top Rank after buying out his promotional contract for a mere $750K.

Fast forward to the mid 2000’s, then reported in an attempt to sign Manny Pacquiao to a promotional contract GBP boss De La Hoya while picking up the Filipino pugilist in his limo at the LA airport, presented him with a briefcase containing a substantial signing bonus after which Pacquiao signed on the dotted line. Not so fast, and ‘bullocks’ cried Arum who claimed to still have promotional rights to Pacquiao, rendering GBP’s signing null-and-void! After the smoke cleared, thru arbitration it was determined that TR would promote Pacquiao with GBP receiving a share of the profits from those promotions. Lately the relationship between the 2- giants has sunk to a new low, with Oscar De La Hoya once again suing Top Rank, this time alleging to have been cheated out of monies as related to the several Pacquiao fights where the expenses Top Rank is claiming have been misrepresented, allegedly cutting into Golden Boy’s share of the mandated profits.

Top Rank is also crying ‘sour grapes’ over the perceived favoritism shown to GBP Promotions by HBO regarding on-air fight dates for BAD and Championship boxing on the network. In response to this bias, Top Rank has taken two of its top acts – Pacquiao, Cotto, to the rival Showtime network to air their current fights. Good PPV numbers for either fight card could mean an end to HBO’s dominance in regards to PPV boxing and boxing in-general.

Also at play here are fights between fighters promoted by the 2-stables. Top Rank and GBP have been staging fight cards which exclude fighters from the others stable, cheating fans out of the fights they want to see. If this acrimony continues between these rival promotions a Brandon Rios/Victor Ortiz showdown, or Marquez/Pacquiao III fight, may be impossible to make. To date GBP former partner Shane Mosley has left GBP, receiving a small severance package, so that he could seek out a fight against P4P king Pacquiao on his own terms. That fight is scheduled for May 7, 2011. In return for granting him permission to fight Manny Pacquiao TR holds 2-fight options on Mosley, so his next 2 fights will be promoted by Top Rank.

The latest on the wire regarding the adversarial relationship between GBP and TR has De La Hoya signing Nonito Donaire to a promotional contract, and as was the case when he signed Pacquiao, Arum is crying foul! Also of note is the fact that Floyd Mayweather Jr, who has collaborated with GBP for his last 2 fights is now courting Don King in an attempt make a fight against Pacquiao, seemingly eliminating Golden Boy Promotions from the equation.

Mayweather, the former TR fighter who bought himself out of his promotional contract called the wages that he was receiving earlier in his career while at TR ‘slave wages’ and was chastised by the public for saying it. Recently Mayweather revealed that TR takes 27% of a main event fighters purse. If this is not a fabrication by Mayweather, this along with the other deductions from a fighters purse could make what’s left not representative of what a headlining fighter should receive for his work. Let’s be honest, most if not all promoters get a piece of their fighters purse, just the percentage varies.

In ending fight fans would love to see fights between Alvarez/Chavez Jr or, Kirkland/Jacobs but sadly these fights may never happen. A rift like this is hurting boxing at a time when MMA is seeing a popularity explosion. As a fan I say ENOUGH ALREADY, there is enough money to go around, just find a way to make the fights that we fans want to see!!.

For much more Boxing news on Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, and other stars from the sport of Boxing, visit our newswire on the homepage now

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