Merchant was later informed that Affliction was the actual promoter of the event and not just a sponsor courting De La Hoya as he had earlier ascertained from his conversation with Schaefer.
"This is hard for someone with my experience to compute. When somebody says ‘$5 million sponsorship,’ I have a different interpretation," said Merchant. "This never even occurred to me that Affliction was the guys behind this and that Golden Boy was just putting its brand on it and was not taking any risk and would make money on the end. This is a whole new financial model from what I’ve known in boxing."
Bruce Binkow, Golden Boy’s Chief Marketing Officer, took Merchant’s comments in stride.
"It’s ridiculous [to say] that there was a $5 million dollar fee paid [for de La Hoya’s attendance]," said Binkow. "There’s a financial commitment obviously that Affliction made, and Oscar felt an obligation through his partners at Affliction [to attend]. I don’t know how more simple it can be and why it’s any more complicated than that."
And while Merchant might be questioning de La Hoya’s lack of allegiance to the sport that made him a star, Binkow said the former champion’s decision to grace "Day of Reckoning" was strictly business.
"The [Affliction] pay-per-view date was set long before the boxing event, and Oscar didn’t feel right about offending his commitment to our partners in Affliction," said Binkow. "I think it was a great night for both sports. There was packed houses at the Staples Center and the Honda Center, so we were thrilled with both events."
Television is the medium of show and tell. The show, meaning the fighters, are the most important by far. I’m just one of the tellers and I am deeply honored to be a footnote of all the great fighters that are in the Hall of Fame.