Despite a partnership between Golden Boy Promotions and Affliction Entertainment that was heralded at one point by Affliction COO Michael Cohen as an event that would “change the world of mixed martial arts,” Oscar De La Hoya’s fight outfit could be poised to go head-to-head with Affliction’s second-ever pay-per-view on Jan. 24.
Published reports indicate that Golden Boy could be close to finalizing a Jan. 24 date on HBO between welterweight champion Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley.
“I love that idea and am very happy about that fight. I have agreed to it,” Mosley is quoted as saying in a recent ESPN.com report by Dan Rafael. “[Golden Boy CEO] Richard [Schaefer] and me spoke about the fight and I said yes and agreed to the terms, so the ball is in Margarito’s and Top Rank’s court. I am ready for that fight. I can’t wait. Now it’s up to Margarito to work his deal out with his promoter.”
This latest development calls into further question the strength of the Affliction and Golden Boy partnership.
At the time of the announced partnership between Affliction and Golden Boy on Sept. 13, three bullet points were listed in a press release to highlight what the pact between the two companies would entail. The deal points included Affliction creating a signature Affliction shirt sold on-site and at retail outlets nationwide for major boxing events; Affliction becoming the official apparel licensee for the Golden Boy-owned Ring Magazine; the two companies promoting events featuring both boxing matches as well as MMA bouts on the same cards.
However, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has said in recent weeks that in response to public criticism of the concept, the company will not promote boxing fights on the same card as MMA.
“Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that they’ve had a change of heart and will keep the sports separate,” Rafael wrote on Oct. 24. “…The idea of both sports on the same card was heavily criticized, which Schaefer acknowledged was part of the decision.”
If you subtract boxing from the equation, there doesn’t appear to be anything more to the Affliction/Golden Boy deal outside of an agreement to sell t-shirts.
While boxing and MMA aren’t believed to share a large crossover audience, the fact that Golden Boy is eyeing Jan. 24 as the date to promote what would be the first major boxing fight of 2009 opposite another event that it allegedly has business ties to speaks volumes. The UFC is promoting events in January on the 17th and 31st yet Golden Boy is still choosing to go head-to-head with Affliction’s pay-per-view with a free event of its own on HBO.
With business partners like that, who needs adversaries?