It would be easier to list those who are still out in the rain than to list those who are currently high and dry under the managerial umbrella of Mr. Al Haymon. The former music mogul and current Kaiser Soze of boxing is signing fighters like it’a going out of style, and has recently caused a lot of ears within the sport to prick up as some of his high-profile charges have turned down some very generous contractual offers from promotional upstarts (who are a heavily bankrolled sub-group of Jay-Z’s Roc-a-Fella organisation) RocNation.
Mike Jolly interviewed Austin Trout recently and asked the Haymon fighter what he thought of stablemates Deontay Wilder and Keith ‘One-Time’ Thurman both turning down multiple-fight deals from RocNation reportedly worth millions, and what would Trout do if he received a similar offer.
“I’d have to go and talk to my manager and advisor. Obviously there must be a good reason why Al made them turn that down. What it is I couldn’t tell you because, you know, they’re big money deals, but I’m confident Al will make it up to them.”
You have to figure that answer was coming. Al Haymon, regardless of whatever fans perceive him to be, has been able to elicit unbelievable loyalty from his fighters to the point where there are turning down huge amounts of cash presumably on his say-so. Undoubtedly he has dangled a more succulent looking carrot in front of the fighters who have received such offers, but they still must have faith in his ability to deliver on whatever promises he has made.
Haymon has recently procured a deal with television network NBC worth tens of millions that will get boxing back in to the mainstream consciousness, offering much more exposure than the subscription based channels that have monopolized the sport in the past few decades. Perhaps this is what keeps his men in line. Austin Trout for one is certainly looking to get his name out there on the NBC platform, with shows slated to begin early next year.
“That’s such a broad audience, that’s whats gonna bring boxing back so it would be an honor to get on.”
He also said his career remained unsullied despite the dramas going on behind the scenes involving Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon, where it was uncertain which fighters were signed to which company, but made it clear where his loyalty lies.
“I have nothing to do with that. I was never signed with Golden Boy, you know, I’m Team Haymon all day.”