Has a line been drawn in the sand between MMA and boxing?
Golden Boy Promotions doesn’t seem to think so, though comments
made by longtime commentator Larry Merchant during an HBO boxing
broadcast on Saturday have others seeing red.
Prized pugilist Oscar de La Hoya’s promotional leg officially
dipped its toes into the MMA market on Saturday when it co-produced
Affliction M-1 Global “Day of Reckoning” at the Honda Center in
Apparently Merchant took offense to de La Hoya’s absence from
his proceedings between Antonio Margarito and “Sugar” Shane
Mosley at the Staples Center some 30 miles away (Mosley is repped
by Golden Boy).
“Oscar De La Hoya … is in nearby Anaheim where his company got a $5
million fee from a T-shirt maker so that he can be personally
involved in the promotion of a mixed martial art show,” said
Merchant. “It would take that much to get me to go to one of those
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
“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.”