With a second cold war fully in swing between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, it seems like every day there's some new battle between the U.S. promotional giants. Just a few days ago, Golden Boy sued Top Rank over accounting for Manny Pacquiao fights. Golden Boy has a deal where they receive a portion of the revenue from Pacquiao bouts, and they claim there has been fraud going on with the accounting, amounting to "millions of dollars."
Today, we get some stiff jabs, if not a big uppercut. Elie Seckbach of FanHouse interviewed Oscar de la Hoya (video at the link) and the head of GBP talked about a possible future fight between Saul Alvarez (his fighter) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Arum's fighter), which is nothing new, except Oscar added this:
"I believe that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. made some comments about him being a free agent in Mexico. He has no more contract with Top Rank. He has no more contract with [manager Fernando] Beltran. Obviously, if that's the case, then Julio Cesar Chavez has reached out to us already, saying that we can talk to him."
It'd be news to anyone on earth that Chavez doesn't still have a contract with Top Rank, given that he's fighting Alfonso Gomez on a December 4 pay-per-view promoted and distributed by Top Rank, part of the Latin Fury series that Chavez has anchored for years. Top Rank is also still looking toward a fight between Chavez and Miguel Cotto in 2011.
So what is this? Oscar, to put it nicely, sometimes says things that might make you think he's a tad bit gullible ... or kinda stupid, to be honest. And to put it nicely another way, this would hardly be the first time you could accuse Golden Boy of potentially tampering with a fighter under contract to someone else. Recently, they've been rumored to have already had contact with Timothy Bradley, who is promoted by Gary Shaw. There was, of course, the Pacquiao debacle some years back with the briefcase full of money, and there was also talk that Oscar tried to lure Miguel Cotto last year.
Bob Arum isn't staying quiet. Uh, to say the least:
"We currently have a two to three year contract with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. This is tortious interference, and we're referring it to our lawyers, and we're going to take legal action against this moron."
"This moron" would be Oscar de la Hoya, of course, who was years ago promoted by Bob Arum, making them both a lot of money. Their split as fighter and promoter was not amicable, and lest anyone forget, Golden Boy Promotions was supposed to be a massive failure instead of the money machine it has become over the years. GBP and Top Rank tried to work together amicably for a couple of years, and we got some good stuff out of it. It started with Pacquiao-Barrera II, and over time we got fights like Cotto-Mosley, Pacquiao-Marquez II, Pacquiao-Oscar, Pavlik-Hopkins, Hatton-Pacquiao, etc.
But I don't think this is going to calm down much any time soon. At times, it feels like Oscar and Richard Schaefer are purposely poking the bear, in my view, which gets Arum riled up and fuming. It's a situation that might deteriorate a lot more before anything is really repaired, especially if they keep suing one another.
The worst thing, and the true reality? Boxing in the United States suffers because of the fractured relationship between the power brokers. We've already seen Top Rank stay almost exclusively in-house this year with their major fights (Pacquiao-Clottey, Pacquiao-Margarito, Foreman-Cotto, etc.), and we've seen that affect a depleted and aging Golden Boy more than it has hurt Top Rank. In time, roles will likely shift as Top Rank's stars get older and Golden Boy's building prospects start moving up the ladders, but will they be working together then to get maximum value out of everything? Promoters like Gary Shaw, Lou DiBella, Don King, Main Events, and Goossen Tutor only have so much pull and say, and only get so many real breakout stars. Without Golden Boy and Top Rank working together, boxing in the United States simply cannot be as good as it should be.