Al Haymon: Possibly the Most Influential Man in Boxing (part2)

Al Haymon, perplexed

Haymon launched Haymon Boxing and Premier Boxing Champions this year.

The most influential figures in boxer are the ones most seen in the public eye. That is except one. Al Haymon rarely appears and never interviews. The former Harvard economics student was recently credited by Mayweather as being the reason why he’s where he is today. Also, Mayweather said if he had taken the advice of Haymon earlier in his career, he’d be a billionaire by now in accordance to US gambling laws.

Al Haymon manages over 100 fighters including Mayweather, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner, Adonis Stevenson and Pauli Malignaggi. Haymon started Haymon Boxing and Premier Boxing Champions. The $20 million in airtime spent to run his shows on NBC and NBC Sports Network was the first boxing programs broadcasted on television in 30 years. Let’s take a closer look at this mystery man in boxing.

Al Haymon’s airtime broadcasts show an “air” of something else

The first show brought by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) featured two bouts. The first two opponents were Robert Guerrero and Keith Thurman and the second two were Adrien Broner and John Molina. The show ended up being the most watched boxing event on television since the Oscar De La Hoya bout in 1998. The 4.2 million in viewers proved popular enough to schedule 12 events a year for ESPN.

• Premier Boxing Champions first show had a viewership of 4.2 million.
• Montreal Journal in Canada claiming that PBC was producing their own belts.
• Golden Boy Productions is filing a lawsuit against Haymon and Haymon Boxing.

The show did reveal some peculiarities which could be seen as different from normal bouts. Fighters approached the ring alone without any entourages. The more often personal selection of music by the fighters was replaced with a classical composition by film soundtrack legend Hans Zimmer. The absence of a ring announcer and ring girls seemed equally bizarre. online sportsbooks in the US should’ve been skeptical.

The lack of these familiarities in these televised bouts could be credited to Haymon’s experience with concert production. The lack of people was obviously more cost effective, but it reveals a more grim possibility. These bouts, featuring fighters contracted under Haymon’s “advisory”, almost appear staged for a television audience. The music gave a more “Hollywood” treatment to the bouts than reality.

Another questionable aspect of these broadcasts was the announcement of the fighters without credit given to the sanctioning bodies their titles were from. Upon achieving the title of WBC Super-middleweight champion, Badou Jack was simply announced as the new world champion. In addition, the website for PBC failed to mention IBF when it featured a preview of James DeGale and Andre Dirrell’s bout.

Al Haymon’s efforts to possibly monopolize the sport

There were even reports from Montreal Journal in Canada claiming that PBC was producing their own belts and that fighters would sign contracts with the promotion to compete for these titles. This would result in fighters and promoters being able to bypass the traditional belts by more established sanctioning bodies such as WBC, WBA and IBF. This move by Haymon could result in a potential monopoly of boxing world.

Former world champion Malignaggi mentioned to Fight Hype about Haymon’s abilitiy to set up victories. “We know with Al Hoymon, you can rob somebody in their hometown, just like Adrien (Broner) did when he fought Ponce De Leon in Front of 12,000 Mexicans in Anaheim. The arena was full of Mexicans and somehow Adrien got the decision. This guy Haymon can manipulate anything.”

Soon after Malignaggi signed with Haymon and changed his view stating he’s “never seen a businessman in boxing that has the backs of his fighters like Al.” Max Kellerman, boxing commentator for HBO, said that “there is a backlash in boxing against Al Haymon fighters because he wields influence out of proportion with others in boxing. He is able to get one of his fighters an eight-round fight on HBO against an over-matched opponent, a fight that wouldn’t normally be on HBO.”

Main Event filed a lawsuit against Haymon accusing him of acting as a manager and promoter, which violates the Muhammad Ali Act. The manager’s job is to get money for the fighter while the promoter’s is get money for himself. Main Event dropped their lawsuit. In recent US gambling laws, Golden Boy Productions is filing a suit against Haymon for violation of California’s Unfair Competition laws.

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