floyd

Quick Jabs: Al Haymon, Andre Dirrell And Showtime; CJR, Ivan Goldman And The Ring; More

Floyd Mayweather, Jr., tech company investor. He’s perfectly suited for the role. We already know how he likes to overhype how much money he’s worth. (via, h/t Bloguin’s Ben Koo)

In this edition of Quick Jabs, besides that and the stuff in the headline, we examine whether Victor Ortiz is banging Vanessa Bryant; the Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux dilemma; and more.

Quick Jabs

Ivan Goldman wrote the first real piece of any significance about the shake-up at Ring Magazine, and while it does open some cracks of light into the situation, it left me wanting. For me the highlight of the Columbia Journalism Review article was a Golden Boy official denying they had anything to do with firing the magazine’s leadership, when SOMEBODY at GBP had to have done it. There was a quote from Nigel Collins, the ex-editor, that was worthwhile, and there was some personal business from Goldman to the same effect as Collins’ quote about how he and everyone at the mag felt that the GBP/Ring marriage couldn’t work. Alas, there were almost no specifics to back this all up. I’ve shared my views in the past about the disturbing aspects of how the purge went down. But outside of one highly questionable decision since then, I’ve seen zero evidence (and even then, that highly questionable decision was not ironclad evidence; more circumstantial) of any GBP slant to The Ring since. I’m not saying that there aren’t legit claims against how the leadership switch was handled; I’m just saying that Goldman’s piece doesn’t do much — just a little — to support it…

I’ve been a big skeptic of whether in the past couple years (as opposed to any years before then), boxing adviser Al Haymon was as powerful as he’s been made out to be based on what he’d been able to wring out of HBO. I do think the trends point to him making a lot of in-roads at Showtime since the network’s leadership switch, though. You can discount the recent appearance on his network of two Haymon clients — junior featherweight Rico Ramos and middleweight Jermain Taylor — because they were leftovers from the previous regime’s scheduling decisions. But with welterweight Andre Berto’s next fight against Ortiz one of Showtime’s priority buys for a lot of cash, and with junior middleweight Paul Williams getting a fight of borderline value against Nobuhiro Ishida, and with featherweight Gary Russell, Jr. getting his latest crap fight against Dat Nguyen, there’s an awful lot of Haymon at Showtime these days. The latest bit of Haymon business involved claims from the promoter of super middleweight Lucian Bute that Showtime didn’t want to buy his fight against Carl Froch, but rather wanted Andre Dirrell. This initially looked like more Haymon in-roads. But after everyone jumped down Showtime’s throat attacking them on Twitter, lo and behold, one of those attackers ACTUALLY SPOKE TO SHOWTIME and found out hey, that’s not their version of the story — Dirrell was just one possible option. It’s amazing what you can learn with a little basic reporting. So you could file Dirrell under a “maybe” as evidence of Haymon’s gains at Showtime. Past tense. Dirrell that same day announced he was splitting with Haymon, and with promoter Gary Shaw — even though they’re about all he’s got going for him. Best of luck on your own, ‘Dre…

Sometimes people are responding to things where nobody can even show you where it came from. Such was the case for Ortiz, who recently dismissed rumors he’d been dating Kobe Bryant’s ex-wife. I’d also like to dispel rumors that I’m dating Vanessa Bryant. But I hear Delonte West is single…

Maybe the survey didn’t take into account his tech company investments because they hadn’t been announced yet, but Mayweather came behind Manny Pacquiao in Bloomberg’s list of most powerful athletes…

There was a little bit of discussion around these parts the other weekend, a discussion that’s happened in various forums since, about whether junior featherweight Guillermo Rigondeaux deserved a fight with Nonito Donaire. Donaire says no, but in saying so, he came off looking a bit scaredy-cattish. You can argue that Rigondeaux created no financial incentive to fight Donaire because his style — even with the KO of Ramos — turns people off, and he clearly has no audience, based on the “less than 400 tickets sold” phenomenon, and you’d be right. (Rigondeaux is with Top Rank. Once again, this shows that Top Rank, as good a promoter as it can be, has some blind spots and gives short shrift to some of its fighters.) But you’d have to take into account that there was no financial incentive for Donaire fighting Omar Narvaez in his last fight, either, and you’d be right. Competitively, you could say Rigondeaux is as deserving as anyone and you’d also be right. What this boils down to is this: Donaire is unlikely to take a fight with someone like Rigondeaux until he builds financial demand for it, because it’s a risky fight — unlike Narvaez — and he has a style that might make Donaire look bad even if he wins. Of course, if Donaire keeps fighting at junior featherweight and Rigondeaux keeps establishing himself as the only viable opponent at the weight, then it’ll build demand for the fight from the kind of fans who are interested in what happens when the best fighting the best. And yes, they exist. Cliff Rold made a powerful case for that here…

All indicators have pointed for a while toward blue chip junior welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez going off the rails, and his recent arrest is yet more smoke pointing to a potential fire. I say that knowing that he’s innocent until proven guilty and all that, but all the indicators is adding up, is all…

The Teddy Atlas-as-trainer-of-Alexander Povetkin experiment hasn’t done much for either man, and now it seems the relationship is just about dead. Probably for the best. These two don’t see eye-to-eye on much, and the heavyweight’s career has mostly languished under Atlas, who obviously knows the sport inside the ring but maybe isn’t so great when he gets involved in matchmaking and the like…

I failed to mention, but just in case you didn’t know, Showtime Extreme is gonna air some undercards for regular Showtime cards going forward. Good for them. That’s some nice thinkin’ from new boss Stephen Espinoza.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

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