First Chavez Jr., now Keith Thurman. Man oh man does Haymon have his fighters under his spell. Roc Nation Sports, since announcing their foray into boxing promotion, has been looking for some marketable talent to sign but they haven't been successful thus far. In their latest attempt, they just offered Keith Thurman a $6 million dollar contract for three fights, with a $2 million advance as a part of the deal. It was said that Thurman was initially interested in the deal and had them tweak the details of the payouts, but still ultimately passed on it.
I suppose the most surprising part of all this is that in an interview with ESPN Thurman said he passed on the deal before he even brought it to Al Haymon. If true, I guess that means Haymon has his fighters well trained in locking out other competitors in the boxing landscape.
"For the most part, it's a move that I'm not willing to make right now," Thurman told ESPN.com on Monday. "It's nice to throw dollar signs in front of a young guy like me and I appreciate it. But I am a man of faith and I believe all that's coming to me in the future. As long as you have a '0' (on your record) it's like holding on to a golden goose egg."
"Jay Z's company is a young company. I haven't seen them make guys money yet in boxing," said Thurman, who turns 26 on Nov. 23. "I'm young. The offer came quick. I already knew I was getting ready for this fight and I'm satisfied with my purse for this fight and with another knockout victory next year my purses will multiply.
"I want to see (Jay Z) do something with another fighter before I follow. I don't want to fly on the first airplane."
This also isn't the first Haymon fighter that Roc Nation has targeted, most of whom aren't under promotional contracts with any company. Roc Nation also made an offer to Deontay Wilder of $2 million for his upcoming mandatory title shot against Bermane Stiverne, which would have been the first of a 5-fight deal with the company. Although Wilder was also said to be very interested in that deal, he indicated he couldn't take it without Haymon's approval, which he didn't get.
All in all, I suppose this isn't much of a surprise. Not only does Haymon have a tremendous business mind and ability to keep as much leverage with promoters and networks as possible, Al Haymon and Roc Nation's owner Jay-Z (along with wife Beyonce) aren't exactly on good terms. In fact the couple actually filed claims against Haymon a few years back for allegedly conspiring with her father and former manager, Mathew Knowles, to defraud Beyonce.
That aside, Thurman's offered his last thoughts on rejecting the deal with Roc Nation:
"I was more than flattered by the offer. It was a dream come true actually. I laugh at the fact that I didn't jump on board. I find it funny. I find it ironic because I was waiting my entire life to be offered a certain deal worth millions. And here I am saying no to a $6 million deal because I believe it's in my future, if not more, going into 2015."