This seemingly exorbitant figure was met with raised eyebrows throughout the industry. Yeah, Donaire-Mares is an anticipated fight but the reality is these are still junior featherweights and neither is a bona fide draw yet.
Till Golden Boy actually put this offer in writing, in a legal and binding agreement, this was nothing but rhetoric and talk from Schaefer. The bottom line is both companies, for the past few years, have been running smear campaigns on each other and trying to come off as the more reasonable outfit, doing its best for the interest of the sport. Think of two presidential candidates trying to continually “swiftboat” each other.
However, on late Friday afternoon, Schaefer and Golden Boy sent over a provisions of services agreement to Top Rank’s attorneys that will guarantee their side $3 million. Now, what’s that saying; “The devil’s in the details”? Without reading the contract that was sent over, none of us knows what clauses are contained in this proposal. But when Schaefer was asked if they asked for any options on Donaire, he responded, “No options.” And if all the financial risk on this promotion is on Golden Boy, he stated, “Exactly.”
Schaefer made it clear to Maxboxing on Friday that this agreement won’t have any petty clauses that might hold up this process. “They can hang their banner and it’s going to be ‘Golden Boy in association with Top Rank,’” he stated.
Well, the ball is firmly in Top Rank’s court now.
Now Arum, who just got back from China this weekend, has some things to think about. Yeah, he loathes Golden Boy but if this offer is what it looks like on the surface, then doesn’t he have an obligation to his client to at least think long and hard about it? And if you’re Donaire, who by definition as a prizefighter, wants to fight for the biggest purses possible, this has to appeal to you, right? Donaire just broke the million-dollar threshold for his fight against Jorge Arce back in December. Even if Top Rank takes a million off the top of Golden Boy’s offer, he will make twice that amount for facing Mares - in a fight most pundits believe he will win.
As for the financial risk? Well, that’s not their problem. This is all on Golden Boy’s dime. Let them come up with the best TV deal, the best site fee and sponsorship packages. Just bring Donaire to the dance and give the fans what they want.
That’s what’s good for boxing, right? Hey, nobody says these two factions have to like each other (or even pretend to respect each other); just do what’s right for your clients then go your separate ways.
Can we at least get this done?
But let’s be realistic here; you know this isn’t just a black-and-white issue. There are some variables existing in this situation that go beyond the financials. First, Arum has a firm relationship with HBO (and is basically embargoed from Showtime) and for the past year or so, HBO has invested heavily into the “Filipino Flash” against a series of foes who aren’t exactly reminiscent of Jeff Chandler, Carlos Zarate and Ruben Olivares. Last year alone, they showcased him four times. It’s clear; while there may not be an official multi-fight agreement between the network and Top Rank/Donaire, he is certainly an integral part of its boxing franchise. Does Arum risk alienating his relationship with the suits at Time-Warner by having Donaire’s most anticipated fight take place “across the street”?
Then there is also the fact that Nonito and his wife, Rachel, are expecting their first child in a few months. Donaire made it clear a couple of weeks ago that he would be taking a sabbatical from the sport from June to August to be with his newborn. Schaefer says the date he has reserved at the MGM Grand is June 15th. Uh-oh, here we go...
But Golden Boy has seemingly done its part. Now, will Top Rank do theirs?
That’s the $3 million-dollar question.
MATTHYSSE DOES DALLAS
It was an Amino 4500-fueled “Machine” that took out Mike Dallas Jr. in the first round with a blistering counter right hand that had Dallas knocked out cold and face-first on the canvas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday night. No, Lucas Matthysse shouldn’t get too much credit for this victory; after all, he was a heavy favorite against the fragile Dallas for a reason. But Matthysse is proving to be one of the sport’s most consistently entertaining fighters with a solid résumé.
To many observers, he is undefeated. Regardless, what Gennady Golovkin is at middleweight, “The Machine” is at 140. There’s nobody in a much of a rush to face this guy. He represents a lot of risk for not that much reward. Like “GGG,” he will just have to keep building his case slowly but surely. It’ll be interesting to see how long the WBC and Al Haymon can keep Danny Garcia away from him.
It says here that Matthysse is the best 140-pounder on the planet.
Even the Wu-Tang Clan says he ain’t nothing to f**k with.
It looks like boxing will return to NBC on April 20th at the Theater at MSG with a fight between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Steve Cunningham being discussed. Now, will CBS get back into the “squared circle” in 2013?
Stephen Espinoza of Showtime (which is under the CBS corporate umbrella) told Maxboxing, “We will be discussing it again in the near future. I think given the performance, it wouldn’t surprise me if we were able to get some opportunities there but there’s nothing committed yet. Not due to any reticence on CBS’ part, we just haven’t gotten together after the New Year to look at the plans going forward.”
And yes, the strong ratings on both CBS and NBC bode very well for the future of boxing on those networks.
“It was huge,” said Espinoza. “I think both of those shows well surpassed the expectations and neither of those shows, particularly ours, was with a household name by any means. There’s also a challenge in sustaining it, going forward, so it cuts both ways. But I think if we are able to generate that level of visibility for a one-time event, then with a series, we should be able to keep the momentum going.”
Mikey Garcia, the newly-minted WBO featherweight king who suffered a broken nose on January 19th while facing Orlando Salido, told Maxboxing, “We’re going to schedule a surgery for next week or the following. They tried to see if they could jiggle it back into place and push it in but it’s not moving anywhere. So we need to do the whole procedure.”
As for how he feels now, Garcia says, “It feels a little clogged up. Not too much, kinda like when you have a cold. A little clogged up on one side.”
His contest with Salido was halted after eight rounds. It was a fight in which he was dominant from the very onset and scored four knockdowns. Garcia looked like one of the very best young pugilists in the world at the Theater - and he’s still just 25 years old.
“As far as the way we were working the entire night, I was happy with the way we were executing the plan,” said Garcia, who improved to 31-0 (26). “We had a game plan and we stuck to that and every round, I was clearly dominating.”
Mike Coppinger of RingTV.com first tweeted out on Saturday night that he was told Danny Garcia would be pulling out of his February 9th title defense against Zab Judah. Well, word is Garcia is claiming a rib injury and is indeed a no-go for that date...Speaking of that show on January 19th, according to the NYSAC, there was a paid attendance of 4,131 with a total gate of $238,230...Looking at the HBO numbers for that show, it peaked at just over 800,000 viewers during Golovkin’s fight...So I guess there is life and a future for Jesus Soto Karass after all. He convincingly defeated Selcuk Aydin on Saturday night...It was a “Texas Two-Step” on “ ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights” with Jose “El Loco” Hernandez and Brian Vera scoring big wins...So, have the Lakers finally found themselves?...LeSean McCoy really needs to keep his business off Twitter...Rajon Rondo’s injury ends the Celtic’s hopes, right?...I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.