(Hey, if Oscar is into this kinda shit, is it so hard to think he might actually like MMA?)
It’s four days after Affliction second show, and we’re still talking about Larry Merchant’s 5 million dollar troll job. Basically, Merchant claimed that Affliction paid Oscar de la Hoya 5 million bucks to show up at their show. Everyone scoffed (if people outside the 19th century are truly capable of scoffing), but then started wondering “So how much DID Affliction pay for Golden Boy to be involved in their event?” From there, everything went to hell and no one has been able to agree on what’s what. Steve at MMA Convert has the best summary of the press madness going on:
At this point nothing is clear. Basically, Sherdog, Sam Caplan, and Kevin Iole have all tried to get to the bottom of this, and big surprise, every story is different. The person Sherdog spoke to at Golden Boy says there was a “financial commitment” made by Affliction, but not $5 million. Yesterday, Kevin Iole spoke to Larry Merchant, who said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer gave him the $5 million figure. Of course, Schaefer, speaking to Iole, vehemently denies that Golden Boy made even a cent. And rounding it out is Sam Caplan who is reporting Golden Boy was paid a six-figure fee for helping to produce and promote the event.
Now while we might never know the true details about the deal (ah who am I kidding, I’m sure it’ll come to light sooner or later since MMA is full of gossipy bitches), at least we now know for sure where the rumor got its start:
Merchant, who contacted Sherdog.com late Monday, said he’d been told by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer that De La Hoya was fulfilling his end of an agreement to attend in return for a “$5 million sponsorship fee.”
Schaefer said he’d told Merchant that Affliction had invested $5 million in Saturday’s event, not that Golden Boy had or would receive that amount for De La Hoya and his boxing promotion’s participation.
“Larry had asked me at the weigh-ins why Oscar was not coming [to the boxing event], and I told him, ‘Look our partners at Affliction made an over $5 million commitment to the event and it would be right if Oscar just dumped it.’ I think he took that and put the Merchant twist on it and it came out the way it came out.”
Golden Boy is still claiming there was no straight payout and that they’re in a valid, loving, and enduring partnership with Affliction. Unfortunately, the reason this story isn’t dying is because no one really believes them.