Promoter Lou DiBella is close to finalizing a March 28 bout on Showtime pitting two of his 168-pound fighters, former middleweight champ Jermain Taylor and Allan Green.
DiBella is very outspoken on why Taylor will not be facing WBC titlist Carl Froch, and why he'll instead be facing Green. One obvious reason is that with both under contract to him, DiBella can basically snap his fingers and make Taylor-Green, plus Showtime is heavily interested in picking up Taylor now that the former champ's HBO deal has run its course.
But it's more than that, and Lou isn't sugarcoating it.
"It's not happening because Carl's not a good fighter," said DiBella. "It's because he is not a big name in the US.
"If the fight doesn't happen it's because of money. Jermain's in his 30s and we want to maximise his earning power. How do you make a deal when you can make a lot more money for a non-title fight?
"Whoever believes this is about winning belts is an idiot. It's about making money.
"I know what it is like in the UK economically. There is a limited amount of money from ITV and from the venue, because the only place Carl generates big bucks is Nottingham."
Lou is saying what we know, but promoters or fighters or anyone directly in the sport rarely just come out and put it this bluntly. Of course it's about making money and not the alphabet trinkets, which at the end of the day may very slightly raise your stock, but ultimately cost you money with sanctioning fees and all that jive. The belts are important to a lot of fighters because they've been conditioned to see them that way, and if they're going to fight for one, of course they talk it up. If they win one, absolutely they want that to be a big deal.
But Taylor is saying, through his promoter, that he doesn't really care. It's about money, and a fight with Allan Green means more than a fight with WBC titleholder Froch. Simple as that.
And you know, I'd do the Boxing Fan Being Offended by the Crassness routine, but these belts are meaningless. Ricky Hatton holds zero of them besides the Ring title, which is slowly being recognized by a few more people as the only one worth caring about. Is he not The Man at 140 pounds?
Juan Manuel Marquez similarly only holds the Ring title at 135 pounds. Past Pacquiao, who doesn't seem to be going back to lightweight, is he not The Man in that division?
Not that fighting Allan Green, no matter the result, makes Jermain the man. And I'd rather see him fight Froch, too. But if they can't do better than $1.6 million for a Froch fight, and Green can make more than that? You can't blame them. I'm sure Taylor and DiBella both respect Froch as a fighter, but I don't think he's in their top eight of opponents to fight. There's money to be made elsewhere.
Also of note: DiBella wanted to match Taylor with Jean Pascal, the man Froch beat in December, but Pascal pulled out.
As for what Froch might do, he's been offered a fight with Dane Mads Larsen, who won't be fighting IBF titlist Lucian Bute. Showtime will air Bute's defense against Fulgencio Zuniga on March 13. Froch-Larsen would be a cakewalk for Froch, no different than something like Kessler-Haussler. Kessler-Froch is being looked at for the future.