After Saturday’s overly mismatched triple header at the Barclays Center, there seems to be a new war brewing in the boxing industry.
Behind the Scenes Talk
According to espn.com’s Dan Rafael, Showtime President Stephen Espinoza was reportedly “ticked off” at Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya because the latter “left town at 4pm on Saturday” and missed the entire fight card at the Barclays Center which was promoted by GBP and televised by Showtime. Espinoza reportedly lamented that ” he( De La Hoya) didn’t do anything for the card, yet Showtime is writing a check to Golden Boy.”
The triple header that was headlined by Danny Garcia was put up under the leadership of De La Hoya and under the watch of the fighters’ adviser Al Haymon. Since HBO’s “feud ” with Golden Boy Promotions in early 2013, all of the fights promoted by De La Hoya’s company have been on Showtime Boxing. But with the divorce at Golden Boy earlier this year which saw CEO Richard Schaeffer moving out, De La Hoya has been calling all the shots for Golden Boy Promotions.
Espinoza’s statements on Golden Boy came after he brushed aside notions that Showtime would be “blacklisting” light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins after the 49 year old Philadelphia native signed a contract to fight Sergey Kovalev in November. That bout is airing on rival HBO as Kovalev has an exclusive contract with Showtime’s chief rival network.
The finalization of that deal came in the middle of the discussions for a bigger money bout that would have pitted Hopkins against WBC title holder Adonis Stevenson. Stevenson had signed with Showtime earlier in the year with the hopes of landing a fight with Hopkins. The move by Stevenson even resulted in a lawsuit filed by Main Events, which promotes Kovalev, but that case has since been dropped after the Hopkins-Kovalev bout was penned.
Ending the Cold War
The Hopkins-Kovalev bout will be the first Golden Boy bout on HBO since the cold war between the network and GBP began in 2013. Hopkins isn’t only a Golden Boy fighter, he is a partner and co-owner of Golden Boy and this makes the November fight with Kovalev a clear sign that HBO and Golden Boy have mended fences.
Oscar De La Hoya has been preaching about ending the cold war in boxing, specifically the one between Golden Boy and Top Rank. De La Hoya’s “reconciliation” with Bob Arum was one of the main reasons why Richard Schaeffer left Golden Boy. But De La Hoya insists that ending his feud with Arum will lead to the better matches for fight fans. De La Hoya and Arum are eyeing Cotto-Canelo next May as their first big joint venture.
But while De La Hoya has ended his cold war with Top Rank, he may have started another one with Showtime last Saturday.