Convicted Artist Magazine

May 25th
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top-rank-goldenboyI am a bit excited that Yuriorkis Gamboa and Daniel Ponce De Leon are fighting.  You may simply be excited that these are two action fighters going head to head at all.  Both men are big punchers who have shown chin vulnerability.  Both have styles which lend themselves to action.  Both men have made seemingly difficult fights look easy, and vice versa.  Sure… be excited about the fight.  The promotional make-up, however, has some people salivating even more.

Golden Boy and Top Rank are co-promoting this card.  That has not happened in quite some time.  These two promotional outfits have become to the democrats and republicans of U.S. boxing.  Not in their treatment of fighters, or destruction of the country.  I mean that in the sense of being polarizing forces.  It’s a shame really, as unlike the political parties, they do not have many differences.  Both hold many cards at the local, regional, national, and international levels.  Both have TV deals to provide marketing to their younger stars.  Both pander to the Latino market unashamedly.  Both also posses more top fighters in the U.S. market that anyone else.

Don King is still out there, but his tide has receded, and while he provides the Midwest and non-Latino fighters a place in boxing… that place is often rare appearances, in front of sparse crowds, for not very much money.  Gary Shaw, Dan Goossen, Lou DiBella, and others have some decent fighters and fight cards, yet they are more site bookers than traditional promoters.  Even for their regional successes, the crowds are not always there.  Sergio Martinez, Paul Williams, Cris Arreola, and Timothy Bradley would all be bigger stars if Golden Boy or Top Rank promoted them… simply from an exposure stand-point.  Arum has said on many occasions, that these promoters need to “get off their asses” and make stars out of their fighters.

Noticing this trend, more and more often two powerhouse promoters have being doing everything as in-house as possible.  I can understand the logic.  Why share the profit, when you will do all the work?  Fans end up cheated out of the best match-ups… but from their end, this is a business, not a charity.  Why give away what they can sell?  This logic, however, does not apply to the two promoters working with each other.  Mediation should be successful in separating duties… but other than that, each party may rest assured that no one will be coasting.  The work will be done, to make sure the fans will be out there.

Hopefully nothing goes wrong here… with the officials, the venues, scoring, anything.  Boxing cannot afford for these two groups to be “UFC”-ing itself out of the best matchups.  Fedor is finished, and think of the money Dana White, and guys like Lesnar and Velasquez have lost by White’s insistence on 100% ownership.  No disrespect to Gamboa or de Leon, but there are far bigger matchups out there, should this Golden-Rank marriage work.  I would have called it Top-Boy, but the jokes there write themselves.

Chris Strait

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