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To Extend or not to Extend?

Arum
Arum


Early this week, Top Rank Promotions President Todd duBoef was summoned out of the bullpen to try and salvage the proposed bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Gennady Golovkin, tentatively taking place on July 19th at the Forum in Los Angeles. It was a fight boxing fans were salivating over and everyone involved in the negotiations believed this was a deal that would eventually get done.
 
Alas, it turns out they needed Jack Kevorkian as the plug on this fight was eventually pulled. While Golovkin, who has been yearning for a marquee bout, had long signed on the dotted line, Chavez could never fully come to terms with his promoter, Top Rank. The crux of the matter was a contract extension.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told Maxboxing on Thursday afternoon, “Our contract with him runs out at the end of October 2015. So we said to him first, ‘Look, instead of doing one fight for you within 2015, we’ll do two. So here’s the deal, we offer you a minimum of $7 million for the Golovkin fight plus an upside. And if you lose that fight, we’ll guarantee you a second fight for a minimum of $5 million and if you win, we’ll guarantee that second fight for a minimum of $10 million.”
 
While that didn’t get the fight signed, according to the veteran promoter, “All I did was succeed in upsetting Todd [duBoef] and [Vice President] Carl [Moretti]” - two Top Rank executives - “They thought I was deranged for that deal. So now, all they want is one fight. So we said, ‘OK, in one fight, we’ll pay what Golovkin’s getting,’ and of course, they turned down that option.”
 
Golovkin’s guarantee is right around $2 million.
 
Those numbers were confirmed by Billy Keane, Chavez’s manager, but he asked, “You think that’s reasonable, $5 million for an extension?”
 
Keane added, “$10 million, ask Tim Bradley how his $10 million went when he was contracted for an immediate rematch with Manny Pacquiao.” It’s clear they want to eventually test the free market with Chavez, who had been developed into one of the sport’s bigger attractions. “The reality is this: [Chavez] doesn’t want to do an extension.”
 
Keane points out that $2 million “is substantially less than he made for [Bryan] Vera I and [Arum] offered him the same deal as Golovkin.” Arum stated that with pay-per-view upside, with this deal, Chavez would, in his estimation, end up with around $5 million.
 
So what price for freedom?
 
Chavez is turning down a deal that will bring him no less than 12 million over the next two fights (which he doesn’t even have to win). Perhaps this exorbitant number can be considered a signing bonus for locking up Chavez. It’s clear that the fighter, like athletes in almost every other sport, would like to test the open market for his services. Top Rank has done a brilliant job in cultivating him as a fighter and a draw. At the same time, they abundantly enabled Chavez, perhaps even creating a monster they can no longer control. It has to be noted that while he remains a strong ratings getter on HBO, his numbers at the box-office have declined greatly since its apex in 2012.
 
What’s next for Chavez?
 
“Come the fall, we’ll offer him another fight for whatever the market dictates,” said Arum, who was in an airport in Omaha, Nebraska after conducting a press conference for the June 28th bout between Terence Crawford and Yuriorkis Gamboa earlier in the day. “If HBO is not interested in him, we’ll do a pay-per-view fight and we’ll do an economically feasible fight. We’re not looking to punish him.”
 
But Arum then added, “We’re not looking to take crazy risks.”
 
According to him, “The train has left the station” for Chavez-GGG to take place in the summer. They had hoped to get a jump on the Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara pay-per-view event, going off on July 12th. “Now we’re playing catch-up; right? We can’t get our [marketing] materials in on time or anything. So yeah, it’s off the table for July 19th.”
 
Is Top Rank willing to revisit the Golovkin fight in the fall or winter?
 
“Sure,” said Arum, “but again, look at what you’re up against. You have Manny [Pacquiao] fighting in the fall, maybe [Floyd] Mayweather fighting in the fall. ‘Canelo’s’ fighting in the fall. How do you have another pay-per-view fight?”
 
Keane is steadfast in their position, stating clearly, “[Chavez] will not do an extension with Top Rank and the way they’re treating him and their behavior is further evidence why he will not operate under the contract he’s operating under. He’s operating under a 2005 agreement from where he was an amateur. He’s not an amateur anymore; he’s an elite athlete and he needs a contract that represents that.”
 
GGG
 
So what about Golovkin? Well, look for him to return in July (either the 19th or 26th) on HBO against someone willing to step in there with him. The job of making this happen falls on the mild-mannered Tom Loeffler, the Managing Director of K2 Promotions, who, for weeks, believed the Chavez fight would come to fruition.
 
“I knew the numbers that Chavez was being offered; that’s why I thought we’d get the fight done,” said Loeffler.
 
MACAO PACQUIAO
 
So what’s next for Manny Pacquiao? Well, he could be heading back to Asia.
 
“I’m just waiting for this executive to get back from Macao and he’ll give the date. It’ll probably be in Macao [China] and it’ll probably be sometime in mid-November and we’re looking very closely at the winner of [Juan Manuel] Marquez-[Mike] Alvarado,” said Arum. Last November, the “Pac-Man” soundly defeated Brandon Rios at the Venetian in Macao to rather tepid pay-per-view numbers.
 
Are they returning to the Far East because Arum and the MGM Grand are currently at odds?
 
“No, of course not,” was his answer. “We’re going there because we believe and we know that economically, it’s a much better deal. What the casino gives us is the ability to finally have a title fight with Zou Shiming on the same card as Manny’s title fight. It would give us the opportunity this time what we didn’t do last time because we couldn’t pull it together, hook it up - which is to do the pay-per-view in China.
 
“To me, the whole ballgame is going to revolve around the Chinese pay-per-view, which is not the same as ours. It’s on digital; it’s on phone lines and so forth, tablets and the charge is around five U.S. dollars and we are projecting extraordinarily large numbers.”
 
Marquez and Alvarado face each other next week at the Forum. While Alvarado would go to Mars to face Pacquiao, you have to wonder if Marquez would be so willing to do the same.
 
JUNE 28TH
 
Tickets for the June 28th bout between Terence Crawford and Yuriorkis Gamboa at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha (yes, Omaha) Nebraska go on sale today and I have a feeling a sizable crowd will show up to support Crawford. Here’s the ticket info (from a Top Rank release):
 
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with SMS Promotions, PS4 and Tecate, tickets to Crawford vs. Gamboa will go on sale Tomorrow! Friday, May 9 at 10:00 a.m. CT. Reserved seat tickets start at just $27, with remaining tiers priced at $52 and $102. They will be available for purchase at the CenturyLink Center Omaha box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. To charge-by-phone call 800-745-3000. To order online, visit Ticketmaster.com .
 
FRIDAY FLURRIES
 

The bout between Ray Beltran and Juan Diaz will not be the HBO co-feature on June 28th. For some reason, Beltran has parted ways with manager Steve Feder – who, by all accounts, did a admirable job in resurrecting his career the past few years - and has decided not to fight on this date...The weigh-in for Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola II takes place today at the Radisson Hotel on South Figueroa Street...“Hungry Investors” is a show I like but then, anything with Jon Taffer is something I’d probably enjoy...I really like the young nucleus of the St. Louis Rams and what they are building...Ican be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com 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.
 


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