Payouts, net gate information from Top Rank Boxing event August 17th

August 30, 2019

MMA Payout has obtained the payout sheet from the August 17th event at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  The $501,500 total reported purse has Jessie Magdaleno and Emmanuel Navarrete as the top earners making $125K a piece.

Per a CSAC records request, MMA Payout was provided with the payouts as follows:

Elvis Rodriguez  $6,000 def.

Jesus Gonzales  $3,000

Brian Mendoza $10,000 def.

Rosemberg Gomez  $5,000

Dmitry Yun  $5,000 def.

Javier Martinez $3,500

Javier Molina $20,000  def.

Manuel Mendez  $8,500

Chris Van Heerden  $20,000 def.

Aslanbek Kozaev  $10,000

Janibek Alimkhanuly $12,500 def.

Stuart McLellan $5,000

Arnold Barboza, Jr.  $50,000 def

Ricky Sismundo  $8,000

Jessie Magdaleno  $125,000 def.

Rafael Rivera $10,000

Emmanuel Navarrete $125,000 def.

Francisco De Vaca  $75,000

The Commission records show that the Top Rank event drew 5,529 fans in which 1,469 were sold for total receipts of $87,090.00.  There were $1,173.48 worth of comp tickets paid for by Top Rank. After adjustments, the net house for the event drew $79,800.85.  Also, Top Rank paid fees to the state of $40,892.63.

Payout Perspective:

If you do the quick math, the roster payout was slightly over half a million dollars and Top Rank netted slightly less than $39,000 from the gate.  This was geared to telecast but one can see the great expenditures the promotion is taking in these events with the anticipation that the bigger events will compensate for these where it looks like they are losing money.

Winners and Losers through 2 days of the UFC Antitrust Lawsuit Expert Hearings

August 28, 2019

After the first two days of the evidentiary hearings in Las Vegas, MMA Payout has assessed some of the winners and losers of one of the more anticipated hearings that may shape the industry of mixed martial arts.

Here were my observations through the second day.  I would also recommend Paul Gift and John Nash’s articles on this as well.  Also, the Show Money exclusives.

Winners:  Judge Richard Boulware

It’s clear that Judge Boulware is in control of how he wants to run the week and what he wants to hear.  Judge Boulware’s credentials are impeccable.  He went to Harvard College then to Columbia Law and clerked for Judge Denise L. Cote in the Southern District of New York.  For those not knowing, the Southern District of New York is a very well-known sect where some of the most salacious, sexy and well-known cases are filed.  Judge Cote dealt with the federal securities and ERISA class-action lawsuits brought by former employees or investors in WorldCom and Arthur Anderson and investment banks back in the mid-2000s.  Although not confirmed independently, this would have been about the same time that Judge Boulware would have been clerking.

Rather than joining a law firm after his clerkship, he dedicated his legal practice to Federal Criminal defense.  While his background might be criminal law, Judge Boulware indicated that he had some familiarity with regression theory which would be displayed in the first two days of the testimony as it was clear he was following Dr. Singer’s model better than Zuffa.  While his understanding should not be seen as an admission that Dr. Singer’s model is valid, he seemed well-versed with the mechanics of it.

With a criminal defense background, he is well-versed in cross-examination and how to illicit testimony.  This came into play early on in the first two days.

It’s notable that he is a very even keel Judge and doesn’t lose his patience even when he is talked over or challenged.  The one warning given to the parties about talking over him was a very stern, yet polite warning.  He is very engaged in the testimony to the point that he had to be reminded of taking a lunch break on the first day.

Winners:  Hal Singer

Although challenged on cross-examination, Dr. Singer came across as a calm expert defending his report while attempting to aid the Court in why he did what he did and the outcome.  Clearly, it’s his purpose to be an advocate for his position and was unwilling to concede certain items suggested by Zuffa’s attorneys on the cross-examination.  At times, he did appear too willing to provide Judge Boulware with explanations, but overall his testimony provided the Plaintiffs with a good shot at clearing the hurdle of Class Certification.

Winners:  Kyle Kingsbury, Jon Fitch and Cung Le

Kingsbury, Fitch and Le attended the hearings.  Kingsbury and Fitch sat through the first day while Le joined them on Tuesday.  With the high-level economic theory added to the legal aspects of the hearing, even lawyers (ahem) would have got bored by this testimony.

Winners:  Kingsbury’s Vans

The former UFC fighter wore a sweet pair of vans with his suit on Tuesday.  Not to be outdone with his superfanny pack on Monday.  But I am a sneaker guy.

Not really a Loser, but it wasn’t winning either:  Zuffa

The cross-examination of Dr. Singer did not flow well and you might infer that Zuffa was not getting its points across that it had hoped.  More so, Judge Boulware seem unimpacted by the questions asked by Zuffa to Dr. Singer.

Obviously, Zuffa could turn this around with Dr. Topel’s testimony, its other experts and maybe Judge Boulware may just not buy Dr. Singer’s model in the end. But, from the first two days it was not going the way Zuffa would have liked.

Loser:  Joe Silva testimony

The news that Silva would not be testifying on Thursday as originally scheduled put a damper on the week as it would have pitted him in Court with the likelihood of Kingsbury, Le and Fitch gazing at him during questioning.

Losers: Zuffa, Top Rank and Bellator

Judge Boulware stated at the outset that since this would be a dispositive motion  (Class Cert will decide whether the case will continue or end) the expert reports would be unredacted for all to see.  Zuffa’s counsel Stacy Grigsby was tasked by her client to argue that the information contained vital business information which she contended must remain under seal, unavailable to the public and mainly for the competitors.  Judge Boulware asked for an example, which Grisby obliged but was put down swiftly by the judge.

Similarly, Bellator appeared to argue about its financial information was confidential.  But it was a losing argument although Judge Boulware gave an assurance that the granular financial information should not be probed based on the context of the hearings and what testimony he wanted.  He would not grant a seal on the financials because of the overarching explanation that since he would render an opinion, he would not grant an order sealing any information in the expert reports.  So, although Bellator lost, the Judge didn’t want them to feel like they were really exposed.

More of a Loser:  Top Rank

The belief that your company’s private information may be compromised seemed like a big enough deal to object as a non-party but to not show up in Vegas when it’s less than an hour plane ride away tells the Court it really doesn’t matter.  Appearing telephonically for a hearing of this magnitude is a bad look.  It tells the Court that this issue is not of great importance.  Nevertheless, Top Rank took issue with ONE footnote in Andrew Zimbalist’s economic expert report.  Top Rank was not heard until after Grigsby’s and Bellator’s arguments to the Court were made.  At that point, it was clear that Judge Boulware would not seal anything.

Yet, Top Rank continued with its argument to which Judge Boulware was quick to respond with a resounding denial of the request.

Loser: Slide presentations

The Court did not see Plaintiffs or Defendants full presentations although they were brought up out of order.  While we gleaned a lot of the financial information throughout the day, it would have been nice to see the presentations as they were to be shown.

Loser:  Paper

Despite Judge Boulware having a paperless Courtroom, there were tons of boxes and trial binders brought by both sides.  One of the funnier moments at the beginning occurred when Plaintiffs’ counsel Eric Cramer attempted to provide Judge Boulware with a hard copy but the judge did not want to do anything with it.

The show will go on without me in Vegas, but keep following John Nash and Paul Gift on ongoing updates throughout the week.

Top Rank Boxing draws 471,000 on Saturday night

August 21, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 471,000 viewers Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Emmanuel Navarette as he defeated Francisco De Vaca via TKO in the feature bout of the telecast.

The event drew 162,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.32 share overall.

The UFC Prelims was the de facto lead-in once again for the event prior to the UFC 241 PPV.  The prelims drew 817,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

There was a substantial drop off in viewers from the UFC viewership to the Top Rank telecast.  This may be attributed to viewers tuning into the PPV instead of the telecast.  Its notable that this past weekend in 2018, Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 686,000 viewers for a heavyweight fight between Bryant Jennings and Alexander Dimitrenko.

More boxing coming to UFC Fight Pass in revamp of digital platform?

July 31, 2019

Is a Fight Pass revamp coming?  If so, it will happen this fall.

According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand his sources tell him that the digital streaming service is set to relaunch by October.  Without saying, Ourand notes that there will be “addition of boxing programming” on FightPass.

UFC Fight Pass has Roy Jones, Jr.’s boxing promotion on its platform but one might assume that there is more boxing coming.  If we are to piece this together with the recent news that someone has been hired to Zuffa Boxing, it sounds as though that Fight Pass is diversifying to include more boxing.

Fight Pass commercials have hyped more combat sports in addition to MMA.  Ourand inquires as to how this will play with ESPN which has used UFC programming to bolster ratings.  Also, what does it due with DAZN’s streaming business.  Another query would be how Top Rank feels about one of ESPN’s properties becoming a competitor in the field of boxing.

The news is interesting considering that Zuffa Boxing is imminent and appears to have a home on Fight Pass.

Zuffa Boxing makes a hire

July 24, 2019

Zuffa Boxing may be taking another step to becoming a reality and likely a major player in the industry.

Mike Coppinger of The Athletic reports that Zuffa has hired an individual to run Zuffa Boxing.

White has intimated the promotion’s foray into boxing and one might expect Zuffa Boxing to become a disrupter in an industry that is ‘antiquated’ as described by Coppinger.

White was in the middle of the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight in August 2017 which landed the largest PPV buy rate in the history of combat sports.  During that promotion, White collaborated with Al Haymon and Showtime for that fight but will be competing with the likes of PBC, Top Rank, Matchroom, Showtime and DAZN.

Payout Perspective:

Certainly, White is a polarizing figure in the sport of MMA and has received a fair amount of criticism balanced with praise for making the UFC the power it is today.  With boxing on an ascension due in part to content-hungry digital platforms such as ESPN+ and DAZN, the prospects of another promotion entering are good.  Yet, one has to wonder if there is enough talent for White to sign enough boxers to his brand.

The good news for Zuffa Boxing is that it has a built-in infrastructure in place.  The construction of the Vegas-based UFC Apex gym and Performance Institute are enticements for boxers.  One would think that the gym and training facility would benefit boxers and the gym could be a place to broadcast shows either through a television/digital partner or through Fight Pass.  No word on a launch date, but with the announcement of a hire, one would suggest that the move to boxing is happening sooner than later.

The Interview – Rafe Bartholomew

July 17, 2019

I had a great time catching up with Rafe Bartholmew of The Athletic. I first interviewed Rafe back in 2010 about his first published book about the love affair that the Philippines has with basketball.

We talk a little about Filipino basketball, the upcoming Pacquiao fight, Canelo, his latest piece about PBC fans/trolls and his pick to win the 2020 NBA Championship (which is a surprise to me).

4:00 – Filipino Hoops talk

14:15 – Preview of Pacquiao-Thurman

24:10 – Rafe’s Prediction on the fight

28:35 – I ask Rafe if we can appreciate this version of Pacquiao

35:04 – We talk about Pacquiao’s philanthropy

43:30 – Canelo announces he’s not fighting in September

54:45- We talk about Rafe’s latest piece on PBC fans

1:10 – Rafe gives us his 2020 NBA Champion Prediction

Rafe’s books can be found wherever you buy books and you can find him on twitter @rafeboogs.  You can also find his latest on boxing at The Athletic.

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Saturday draws 530K viewers

July 16, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Saturday night drew 530,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured Shakur Stevenson as he defeated Alberto Guevara in the third round via KO.

The KO improves the record of the 22-year old to 12-0 in his professional career.  Stevenson retained the WBO NABO Featherweight title.

Last 5 Top Rank Boxing Events on ESPN Network

7/13 Top Rank Boxing 530,000

6/28 Top Rank Boxing (Fri) 490,000

6/8 Top Rank Boxing (Sat – Fury Prelims on ESPN2) 493,000

5/11 Top Rank Boxing 740,000

5/4 Top Rank Boxing 480,000

Payout Perspective:

The 5/11 edition of Top Rank Boxing may have been helped by the UFC which preceded the event.  The 530,000 viewers is very good as the last two telecasts have been sub-500K.

Plaintiffs in UFC Antitrust Lawsuit file brief opposing Top Rank, Bellator and Golden Boy’s objections to use of documents

July 3, 2019

Plaintiffs in the UFC Antitrust Lawsuit filed an Opposition this past Friday to the objections of Bellator, Golden Boy and Top Rank from producing the use of “potential” confidential information at August’s evidentiary hearing.

The Plaintiffs hope to utilize deposition testimony from Scott Coker related to Coker’s prior employment at Strikeforce, a copy of a standard Golden Boy promotional agreement template with boxers and a single paragraph from the Expert Rebuttal Report of Plaintiffs’’ expert Dr. Andrew Zimbalist which displays Top Rank’s wage share for the years 2013 to 2016.  There is also additional financial information from each of the three parties which Plaintiffs contend is “granular information.”

Plaintiffs’ Oppo to Non… by on Scribd

A set of evidentiary hearings will take place the last week of August and mid-September to determine the evidence provided by experts in the Antitrust lawsuit.  Pursuant to a scheduling order, the parties have produced exhibit lists they intend to use for the hearing.  Objections and responses have now been filed with reply briefs coming soon.

In addition, Bellator and Top Rank have filed objections to the use of information that includes information.  As third-parties to this lawsuit (they are not a plaintiff or defendant in the Antitrust lawsuit), they have filed objections to preserve the confidentiality of the documents.

Plaintiffs point out the standard that Bellator and Top Rank must convince the Court is that there must be “compelling reason” to exclude the documents from use.  Described as a high burden by Plaintiffs they cite to the overarching public policy that there is an “assumption that the press and public have a presumed right of access to court proceeding and documents.”  The only instance in which a party could overcome the policy is if “closure is essential to preserve higher values and is narrowly tailored to serve that interest.”

In arguing that Top Rank’s financial information which include the total annual revenues from 2010-2016 and average wage share are not commercially sensitive, they state that neither of the figures sought to use convey “granular, athlete-or event-specific information that could convey competitive advantage.”  Similarly, they suggest that the gross revenues from Bellator and Golden Boy would not provide a competitor advantage.

“Bellator and Golden Boy’s annualized gross revenues do not contain granular information that a competitor could potentially use to harm the Objectors because the figures convey no information that would enable a competitor to, for example, sign one of Objectors’ athletes, counterprogram Objectors’ events, or lure away Objectors’ sponsors.  If Objectors assert another type of harm, they have not articulated it and it is therefore waived.  Similarly, Objectors’ wage shares do not include information that could provide their competitors with an unfair advantage or put Objectors in a disadvantaged position in athlete negotiations or otherwise.”

Plaintiffs argue that Bellator’s annualized top-line revenues provide important context for assessing Zuffa’s dominant position in the market and wage share provides comparison regarding the class wide effects of Zuffa’s anticompetive Scheme.

With respect to the request to seal references to annual revenues and average wage share from 2010 to 2016, Plaintiffs argue that the information is “too old” to contain any competitive value.  Plaintiffs highlight the years in which each wants to seal their financial information from disclosure in arguing that the information is far removed from the litigation of today.

Bellator financial information:  2010-2016

Golden Boy financial information:  2015-2016

Top Rank financial information:  2013-2016

With Bellator and Golden Boy signing deals with streaming platform DAZN, Plaintiffs argue that the financial information is now obsolete.

Also, Bellator is asking to seal two passages from the deposition of Scott Coker.  Plaintiffs contend that there is not a compelling reason to do so.  Specifically, Coker reads from an email Zuffa produced that he wrote while he was Strikeforce president which is supposedly exemplifies Zuffa’s market share and its approach to competition.  The second passage asks the Court to seal identities of three principals in Strikforce’s parent company.

Finally, Plaintiffs claim that the Golden Boy standard contractual template is not a trade secret as it contains nothing specific or identifies an individual fighter.

Payout Perspective:

Top Rank, Bellator and Golden Boy will have a chance to respond to the Opposition Brief and argue the compelling reasons why the documents should remain confidential.  Alternatively, they might argue that the standard for exclusion is less than that proposed by Plaintiffs.  More likely, Bellator and Golden Boy will argue that the release and/or use of the financial information may provide a future template for competitors.  Regardless of how old the financial information is and despite any new partnerships, the information would be trade secrets that should not be disclosed to the public or utilized by Plaintiffs.  There is a lot riding on this ruling as Plaintiffs hope to use the information in late August for the expert hearings.  If not, it would present a big obstacle as they would have to find another way to present their evidence.  For Bellator and Golden Boy, the possible release of information might present more scrutiny on their company from its fighters and public as to the state of their finances as compared to prior statements of the company’s health.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Top Rank Boxing on Friday night draws 490,000 on ESPN

July 1, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 490,000 viewers Friday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event, which took place in Temecula, California, was a unique Friday event as opposed to its usual Saturday fight cards.

The main event Richard Comney as he stopped Ray Beltran.  The event drew a 0.15 share in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The event was held Friday likely due to the ESPN event on the network Saturday night.  A couple weeks prior Top Rank Boxing on Saturday night drew 799,000 viewers as it had the UFC as a lead-in to its telecast.  The decrease in ratings might have been simply to a change in nights.

Payouts for Top Rank Boxing’s Comney-Beltran event

June 28, 2019

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports the purses for Top Rank Boxing’s event in Temcula, California on Friday night.  The information was disclosed by the California State Athletic Commission.

Per Rafael’s post:

Richard Comney:  $350K plus $20K from Ray Beltran’s purse for failing to make weight.

Rey Beltran:  $160K minus $40K per the CSAC

 

Carlos Adames: $30K

Patrick Day:  $50K

 

SauL Rodriguez:  $30K

Miguel Angel Gonzalez:  $5K

 

Junior Fa:  $15K

Dominic Guinn:  $15K

 

Vincente Morales:  $3K

Ruben Rodriguez:  $4K

 

Augustine Mauras:  $3K

Raymond Muratalla:  $4K

 

Joaquin Chavez:  $5K

Elvis Rodriguez:  $6K

 

Jose Antonio Meza:  $4K

Dmitry Yun:  $5K

 

Prisco Marquez:  $3K

Christopher Zavala:  $5K

 

Osbaldo Gonzalez:  $3K

David Kaminsky:  $3K

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