May 11, 2012
MMA is not the only sport with a drug issue as it was announced on Wednesday that the LaMont Petersen/Amir Khan rematch has been canceled due to Petersen’s failed drug test.
The test comes just over a week before the anticipated rematch as Petersen upset Khan in a controversial decision in December.
MaxBoxing, ESPN and BoxingScene.com have the details. The short version of this is that Petersen failed a random VADA (Volunteer Anti-Doping Association) drug test at a press conference hyping the fight in March. Ironically, it was Petersen’s camp that requested the random blood and urine testing leading up to the fight. According to BoxingScene.com, the samples were split into “A” and “B” samples and sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency in Los Angeles. The notice of the sample was given April 12th to VADA and Petersen’s camp was given notice on April 13th. The “B” sample was tested and it too came back positive on April 30th. Details of what transpired in the interim can be found in VADA’s statement below.
A hearing on the matter before the NSAC would not have happened until fight week and it was likely Petersen would not be licensed in time.
Another issue here, and probably the bigger one, is that Golden Boy and Team Khan were not notified of Petersen’s positive test until May 7th. NSAC head Keith Kizer let Golden Boy know this past Monday. VADA states that it had no contractual obligations to reveal the results to Golden Boy as the two parties did not come to a consensus on contract language for revealing test results. As such, VADA believes that it was a matter of medical ethics with respect to privacy. On the other hand, Golden Boy Promotions believes there was a contract in place in which it should have reported the test results. Golden Boy head Richard Schaefer states that emails with VADA (via ESPN) reflect that it was to disclose information of a failed drug test. If it had known sooner, it could have taken the steps to request the process to be sped up, or in the alternative, find a replacement for Petersen.
Keith Kizer, in an interview with BoxingScene.com indicated that he did not know why VADA did not alert Golden Boy and/or Team Khan. Kizer references the Alistair Overeem drug test in which the UFC and JDS’ camp were alerted immediately of the results of Overeem’s test.
VADA’s statement on the controversy is below:
VADA’s mission is to help protect the health and safety of athletes who are willing to demonstrate their commitment to clean sport. As a voluntary organization, we depend on those who share our vision to help rid boxing and MMA of PEDs. VADA understands and shares the disappointment that is felt by Golden Boy Promotions, Amir Khan, the undercard fighters, HBO, and the thousands of fans who were looking forward to Khan-Peterson II. This unfortunate situation, however, serves to underscore the need for PED education and the high-caliber testing procedures that VADA offers.
VADA has respect for Richard Schaefer, GBP, and their commitment to clean sport. However, VADA disagrees with Mr. Schaefer’s characterizations of the contractual relationship between GBP and VADA. The facts are as follows.
There was never a final or signed contract between GBP and VADA. When VADA became involved with the Peterson-Khan fight in March, the individual athletes signed up for the VADA program and executed the proper documentation.
VADA was told that GBP also wanted a contract so that GBP would be authorized to receive the testing results, including the preliminary results from an “A” sample analysis. It is important to understand that “A” sample results are only preliminary, do not legally stand up by themselves, and under commonly accepted anti-doping procedures are typically released only to the athlete.
In order for VADA to release the preliminary “A” sample results to a third party such as GBP, VADA requires an executed authorization allowing us to do so. VADA sent GBP a draft contract for its signature which would have authorized the preliminary “A” sample results to be released to GBP. This initial draft (which was never signed) contained a clause pursuant to which GBP would have represented that it had obtained the necessary authorization from the fighters. GBP’s legal team rejected this clause and instead suggested making the fighters signatories to the contract with their signatures being the necessary authorization. VADA’s counsel made it clear to GBP that, if GBP wanted to handle it this way, GBP must take responsibility for obtaining the athlete’s signatures. Unfortunately, and to VADA’s dismay, GBP never obtained the signatures. Various versions of a draft contract were sent back and forth between GBP and VADA. The contract was never finalized. Richard Schaefer may, or may not, have been aware of this situation. The bottom line is that VADA had no contract with GBP. This is not a mere technicality. It involves issues of medical ethics. VADA needed a signed contract in order to deviate from its Results Management Policy (posted on our website) and release the preliminary and personal medical information to a third party. VADA still has never received a signed contract or signed athlete authorization from GBP. VADA would have been happy to inform GBP of the preliminary “A” results. But we needed a signed authorization allowing us to do so, which we never received.
It has also been asked why it took so long to test the “B” sample after the first positive test result. When VADA notified Mr. Peterson of the adverse finding on April 13, Mr. Peterson had one week to challenge the “A” test result and ask for the “B” sample to be tested. During that time, Mr. Peterson also had the opportunity to supplement his earlier written submissions to VADA with regard to drugs and other medications that he had used prior to the testing. Mr. Peterson’s representatives waited eight days (until Saturday, April 21) to respond. At that time, they did not communicate any of the “exculpatory” material later offered to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Instead, they chose to challenge the positive test result, asserted their right to be present when the “B” sample was tested, and asked that the “B” sample be tested on Friday, April 27th. The UCLA laboratory said that Friday was an inappropriate day to begin testing because four consecutive days are needed to complete the test. The sample “B” test began on Monday, April 30th.
VADA has complied in every way with all signed contracts that we had and will continue to do so. VADA welcomes the discussion about the dangers of PEDs to those who use them and to their opponents. We also reiterate our contention that it is imperative for the managers, promoters, and friends of these brave athletes to assist in the education about PEDs. VADA will help in every way we can. Our hope is that there will come a time when every test is negative.
The cancellation is a dent into HBO’s boxing schedule although it should have Khan for his June 30th bout. While the promotion will have to refund tickets, it was unlikely that paid attendance was a huge concern. The most hurt out of this would be the undercard fighters who will now miss out on a payday. This rematch had some appeal considering Petersen’s strong showing in their first bout. Now, the outcome of that fight may be doubted considering Petersen’s positive drug test. For Khan, avenging the loss would have helped as he may be on track to be next for Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
The discrepancy over when VADA should have released the results is a bigger issue than the actual cancellation. This is highlighted by the fact that NSAC’s Keith Kizer questioned why VADA did not release the info as the NSAC did when Alistair Overeem failed his test. Knowing ahead of time, the UFC was able to insert a replacement for Overeem.
The contractual relationship between VADA and Golden Boy poses the interesting question about releasing the medical information of an individual to outside parties. It also underscores the need for a standard set of rules when it comes to drug testing. MMA has had as many issues related to drug testing, but the timing of releasing the information to a promoter and/or opposing fight camp is a unique twist. Just like most medical places, health information cannot be given to third parties without consent. It appears that the issue here was what entity would ask the fighters about releasing the information. It seems like that there should have been something in the fight contract that would allow Golden Boy/HBO notice of a failed drug test to allow for alternatives to be planned. Still, when dealing with third parties, the fighters would have likely had to sign off on this. We shall see if the VADA/Golden Boy situation turns into a legal battle.
May 5, 2012
Floyd Mayweather is set to earn a guaranteed $32 million according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (via Dan Rafael tweet). This amount is a record eclipsing $30 million due to Mike Tyson in his 1997 fight with Evander Holyfield.
Miguel Cotto will earn $8 million and a portion of the PPV share. This will be the most Cotto will have made in his career.
In addition to his $32 million, Mayweather will receive an additional amount from PPV and other revenue generators from the night. You may recall he earned up to $40 million in his last fight against Victor Ortiz.
Dan Rafael also reports the salary figures of the undercard released by the NSAC:
-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez – $1.2 million
-Shane Mosley – $650,000
-Jessie Vargas – $125,000
-Steve Forbes – $40,000
-Deandre Latimore – $55,000
-Carlos Quintana – $23,000
The release of Mayweather’s salary is topical considering we’re debating the privacy of fighter pay in the UFC. We only bring this up but realistically cannot compare Mayweather or Cotto’s salary to that of a UFC fighter. But, it’s interesting to look at the other salaries on the card. Certainly, this is a big card and cannot be compared with a regular boxing card or a regular UFC PPV, but it shows that boxing can payout its fighters.
May 2, 2012
The Sports Business Journal reports on Golden Boy’s haul of blue chip sponsors for this Saturday’s Mayweather-Cotto fight. Corona, not Tecate, will have the center of the ring as the beer sponsor recently signed with Golden Boy.
In addition to the new beer sponsor, “AT&T, DeWalt, O’Reilly Auto Parts, History Channel and the Mexican state of Puebla the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions (Richard Schaefer) estimates the fight will bring in about $2 million in sponsor rights fees and a promotional value of at least $8.5 million,” according to the SBJ.
Among the various promotions, the sponsorship activation includes DeWalt promotions in Home Depots, O’Reilly promotions at its stores as well as $1.5 million in radio ad buys, AT&T advertising its GoPhone and NCM Fathom advertising showing of the fight in theatres.
The sponsor fees and promo values are the most ever for Golden Boy as it overshadows its previous top fight ever of Oscar de la Hoya vs. Mayweather. Coincidentally, that fight occurred the first weekend of May as well. In addition, the fight had the biggest PPV buys ever with 2.4 million. This Saturday will likely not beat that record.
The ring layout for this Saturday’s fight.
If the UFC wanted blue chip sponsors, maybe it should look to Golden Boy to find them. We are kidding of course. If your name is not Mayweather or Pacquiao, boxing would not see this amount of sponsorship money and promotional value. While we have debated whether boxing is dead, big name fights in boxing are still in the marketing budget for blue chip sponsors.
Despite the fact that the Mayweather fight is secondary to the hype surrounding the fight, we still see sponsors willing to spend big money to be a part of it. The activation involved is a sign that projections for buys in this fight should be robust. It also shows that no matter how much people hate Mayweather, he is still the top draw in boxing (dare I say the Brock Lesnar of boxing).
With Corona taking the center of the ring, it means no $25 rebates for the PPV as Tecate has done in the past. While Corona spends a lot on media buys but does not do a lot of activation surrounding events as Tecate has for promoting its fights.
April 26, 2012
The Sports Business Journal reports that Fox Sports and boxing promoter Golden Boy Promotions have entered into a multiyear, six figure agreement. The deal will give Fox Sports live events on Fox Deportes and Fuel TV.
At least one live event each month will be shown on the Fox networks although no plans are in the offing for a boxing event on the major Fox channel. According to the SBJ, the deal is significant as Fox paid a six-figure rights fee to Golden Boy for the events. The rights fee is a sign that boxing is gaining steam once again as rights fees for boxing on basic cable were nonexistent in recent memory.
The deal is for 15 months with options to extend it multiple years.
The move reflects the commitment Fox has to combat sports for its smaller cable channels. It shows its belief in broadcasting live sports content as a way to attract its target demos of mainly younger males.
Is boxing on its way back? Just a while back we talked about the problems with the sport and whether it could make a comeback. So far, we’ve seen NBC Sports Network with a quarterly show, the talk of Spike TV having boxing and now the Fox deal. Certainly, the Fox deal is important due to the type of exposure it can receive over the span of the Fox networks. If it does do well, we could see its return on Fox. Its a nice hedge on the part of Fox to see if audiences will gravitate to boxing again. It is interesting that Fox did pay a rights fee to Golden Boy. One would think that Fox would have the bargaining leverage in the negotiations.
February 15, 2012
Will boxing ever make it back to network TV? Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports reports on the possibility of boxing returning to network TV.
Showtime sports head Stephen Espinoza is optimistic about seeing boxing back in the mainstream and even opined that it may happen this year.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
“There’s a decent chance of it, maybe even a good chance of it happening, in fact,” Espinoza said. “Boxing, for all of its challenges, still has a very loyal fan base, especially in the Latino and African-American demographics. Boxing has shown that, at its highest level, boxing can capture the mainstream sports, and non-sports, population.
We saw the return of boxing, albeit just 30 minute fight promos, to CBS with Showtime’s 360 series which promoted the Mosley-Pacquiao fight. With the new use of partnerships (i.e., Showtime-CBS) and the seeming trend for live sports as key programming, boxing could make it back to over the air television. If you think about it, snowboarding, skateboarding and even poker have been on network television in the past year yet we haven’t seen a big fight in quite some time.
Yesterday, we looked at whether boxing should change its business model. Showing fights on network television to promote the sport and its fighters could build and sustain a following. While promoters remain optimistic, nothing has been set. NBC Sports Network’s quarterly show is a good step in the right direction but promoters realize that the big money remains in PPV and the two premium cable channels.
October 28, 2011
ESPN’s Dan Rafael tweeted that the official PPV buys for September’s Mayweather-Ortiz fight at 1.25 million. The numbers were provided by co-promoters for the event, Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions.
Via Ring TV:
Mayweather-Ortiz generated buys from 1.25 million homes with a value of $78,440,000 in pay-per-view revenue, according to statements released on Friday.
Mayweather has now appeared in the three biggest non-heavyweight pay-per-view events in the sport’s history, including Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya ($136,853,700), Mayweather vs. Ortiz ($78,440,000) and Mayweather vs. Sugar Shane Mosley ($78,330,000).
Bad Left Hook notes that the PPV revenue may be skewed considering the PPV price was $10-$15 higher than the norm: $69.95 (HD) and $64.95 (non-HD).
The strong buy rate and revenue shows that the event’s title, “Star Power,” was directed primarily to Floyd Mayweather. With Mayweather reaping the rewards of the event based on the unique payout from the fight, Mayweather likely cleared the estimated $40 million he would earn from the night.
Based on these numbers, I would argue that this would make a fight with Manny Pacquiao harder to make. Further, Mayweather would be in no rush to broker a fight with Pacquaio as he’s sitting on a $40 million payday. Both sides would want to take more than a 50-50 split and the fact Mayweather can point to his drawing power is evidence that he should claim more than Pacquiao. Then, there’s the fact that he would risk the chance of losing his undefeated record. Pacquiao would counter that his worldwide likeability would claim an international audience. Despite the skepticism, hopefully the sides can agree to a split and the fight will happen sooner than later.
September 17, 2011
The New York Times reports on the payout Floyd Mayweather is set to receive from his fight against Victor Ortiz Saturday. With all said and done, Mayweather could be paid $40 million.
In addition to his reported $25 million payout for fighting Victor Ortiz, Mayweather will receive a portion of the gate, concessions, souvenirs and PPV revenue.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions explained the structure to the NY Times.
Via NY Times:
To explain the business model, Schaeffer starts with a pie. A little more than half goes to the distributors (Time Warner, DirecTV, etc.). The balance goes to the network, HBO or Showtime, which takes its distribution fees and hands the rest to the promoters.
In this case, Golden Boy has one contract with HBO and another with Mayweather Promotions. But the money, less what distributors and networks take, is under Mayweather’s control; normally the promoter would control it.
In addition, there is the PPV revenue which Schaeffer includes other revenue streams from that:
Those streams include foreign sales for a fight broadcast in 168 territories; closed-circuit revenues (in 2,000 or so bars and restaurants nationwide, in theaters and in rooms at Las Vegas casinos); site revenue (ticket sales, merchandise); and sponsorships.
Its an unprecedented payment structure that rationalizes the opulence Mayweather flaunts. But for the spoils, there is the risk as Mayweather, or Mayweather Promotions, must put up $10 million in expenses to market the fight.
This is an intriguing structure for payment. It does involve some risk as the astronomical dollar figures would only come at the back end of the fight. Meaning, Mayweather is not guaranteed the reported fight purse until the final numbers are determined. Still, it shows that despite his bombastic persona, Mayweather is a shrewd business person.
Its amazing to see how much money and control Mayweather has over his own fights. It shows how different boxing and MMA is with respect to business model. Even though certain fighters receive a portion of the PPV revenue and/or gate, its not as much as Mayweather will receive for his fights.
August 12, 2011
The Sports Business Journal reports on Tecate’s promotional plans for September 17th’s fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Victor Ortiz which includes a big event in Southern California.
Tecate will be taking advantage of the fact that the fight is a day removed from Mexican Independence Day, September 16th. The fight takes place on Saturday, September 17th. In addition to the fight in Vegas, Golden Boy Promotions will promote a fight involving young up and comer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the Staples Center the same day as Mayweather-Ortiz. Fans attending the fight at the Staples Center would have a chance to watch the Las Vegas fight and fans attending Mayweather-Ortiz would be able to watch the Alvarez fight. Additionally, a music festival featuring two well-known Mexican acts will perform at Staples Center.
HBO has committed to having a broadcast crew at the Alvarez fight in addition to the crew at the Mayweather-Ortiz fight. The PPV buyers would receive fights from both locations.
In addition to its usual national promotional campaign for big fights, Tecate will launch a huge promotional campaign in Southern California in support of the Staples Center event. For the marketing push, Tecate will spend more than $800,000 in radio, TV and outdoor advertising in Southern California alone. It will also offer rebates for the Staples Center event similar to the rebates it has offered for past big fight PPVs. The rebates will be placed at promotional displays in 10,000 grocery and liquor stores across the Southland.
Tecate is a huge backer of boxing and extending its marketing reach for this fight seemed natural considering the appeal of Victor Ortiz, the return of Floyd Mayweather and the fight coinciding with the Mexican Independence celebration. The demographic in the Los Angeles area made sense for Tecate to collaborate with AEG (the owner of the Staples Center), HBO and Golden Boy in producing an event in the area. The big investment in Southern California is a calculated marketing strategy considering the fact that Tecate generates 35% of its US business in Southern California (according to the SBJ article). With this big marketing push, it will be interesting to see the numbers in attendance at the Staples Center to watch Alvarez and then Ortiz.
June 24, 2011
Bad Left Hook reports on the promised promotional push for the September Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight. This will be Mayweather’s return to the ring after over a year away.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer promises a huge push promoting the return of Mayweather. The fight will be carried on HBO PPV.
Via Bad Left Hook (courtesy of Boxing Scene):
In the coming weeks, there are going to be a lot of these promotional elements in play that are going to be announced. The promotion is going to be running from pretty much now until the night of the fight. …. You’re going to have announcements of different promotional tools being used, many of them new to the sport of boxing. It’s going to be interesting for fight fans, sports fans and the general public to really be part of that experience going into the fight.
Golden Boy hopes that HBO and Time Warner will go all out in promoting the September bout. It is banking on the fans tuning in to see the return of Mayweather. Ortiz is a young, Mexican American fighter that is coming off an exciting fight with contender Andre Berto.
Via Bad Left Hook:
The push begins Tuesday in New York with the first of just two media events on a mini-tour to hype the fight. The second date will be in Los Angeles, but otherwise it looks like the press tour is being scrapped in large part to focus on other forms of promotion.
It will be interesting to see the type of promotional tools used for this fight. Scrapping a media tour seems counter to making a big push to promote the fight. But, Golden Boy definitely hopes to surpass the PPV buys from the Pacquiao-Mosley fight. And it will look for HBO and Time Warner to give it an assist in putting together a huge promotional runup to the fight. The fight has intrigue as Ortiz is a definite threat to defeat Mayweather. That being said, most hope that Mayweather defeats Ortiz which would (hopefully) mean a fight with Pacquiao in 2012.
June 1, 2011
ESPN reports that Manny Pacquiao has settled his defamation lawsuit with Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer and Oscar de la Hoya. The lawsuit filed in 2009 stems from alleged statements claiming Pacquiao took performance enhancing drugs.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions remain as defendants in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada.
The Fight Lawyer has further background of the lawsuit here.
Terms of the settlement with Golden Boy and de la Hoya were kept confidential. However, Golden Boy issued a statement of apology:
Richard Schaefer and Oscar de la Hoya, on behalf of themselves and Golden Boy Promotions, wish to make it crystal clear that we never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance enhancing drugs, and further state that we do not have any evidence whatsoever of such use.
“Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest fighters of all time, and we apologize if anyone construed our prior remarks as in any way claiming or even suggesting that Manny uses or has used performance enhancing drugs.”
(H/t: Bad Left Hook)
Pacquiao’s counsel reaffirmed the fact that it will continue its litigation against the Mayweathers and did not exclude adding others to the lawsuit.
An interesting twist to this legal battle which exemplified the bad blood between Golden Boy and Top Rank when the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps could not come together on terms for a fight. Perhaps de la Hoya’s personal problems contributed to the decision to concede. A statement of concession and praise from the Golden Boy side appears to be extending the olive branch to Top Rank. As a result, Pacquiao’s counsel accepted whatever terms were negotiated and dismissed Golden Boy from the lawsuit. Maybe this is the beginning of a truce between Golden Boy and Top Rank which could lead to a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in 2012. Then again, maybe not.