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Top Rank cries collusion on Stevenson-Gvozdyk purse bid

The WBC will rule on the validity of the purse bid by Thursday.

Nadjib Mohammedi v Oleksandr Gvozdyk Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Not much in boxing is straight forward, sometimes not even simple purse bids for ordered fights. That’s the case here as GYM’s winning bid for the rights to Adonis Stevenson vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk has been called into question.

Phil Weiss made a winning bid of $3.102 million on behalf of Tom Brown’s TGB Promotions, while promoter Yvon Michel came in second with a bid of $2.101 million and Top Rank third with $1.675 million. But right after Weiss won the bid, he rescinded the offer making Michel the purse bid winner.

Top Rank wasn’t particularly thrilled with how that all played out and has accused TGB and GYM of colluding with their respective bids due to their affiliation with Al Haymon, Stevenson’s advisor. Top Rank believes that the two promoters knew what each other were going to bid and deliberately concocted a scheme to win the rights to the fight for the least amount of money possible — hence Weiss pulling his bid after winning.

“What happened was outrageous on Haymon’s part,” Arum told ESPN. “When Tom Brown wins and then he pulls his bid so Yvon gets it with the lower bid? That’s dirty pool. You win the purse bid and immediately say I’m passing? You can’t do that.”

The WBC is also said to be unhappy with how this all unfolded and will look into to the matter and issue a ruling by Thursday. It’s possible that they invalidate the purse bid and order a new one, but Michel denies that he colluded and says he’s never even met Weiss before.

“I learned only shortly before the bid Phil Weiss was there representing TGB,” Michel told ESPN. “I had never met him before the purse bid. I also had no idea how much he was going to bid.”

Should the WBC let the purse bid stand, Bob Arum is still willing to go through with the fight that has been targeted for November 3 in Quebec City.

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