Haymon is God; he has everything locked down

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You have to admire Al Haymon’s attempt at marketing #FreeBoxingForAll by trying to trend it, literally. But, he actually caught a few of his own fighters off-guard. One of those fighters is 168 lb. contender Andre Dirrell, who wasn’t entirely sure where the movement originated.

I mean, obviously Haymon is combating the bad publicity of Bob Arum’s lawsuit to make this seem like it is all about free TV versus premium cable/PPV, but it is not that simple at all. In fact, I don’t know what free TV has to do with anything other than potential jealousy, maybe?

Still, it is a smart move because any casual fan that gets suckered into the explanation of (hashtag) Free Boxing as a campaign will undoubtedly side with anyone that is willing to “give” something away for free (tickets, network television, etc.). However, what that fan will fail to realize is that Haymon was equally responsible as anyone for the highest priced PPV in boxing history – Mayweather-Pacquiao and its $100 price tag.

Dirrell is, of course, happy with Haymon, and he is proud to be part of free boxing, although he fought on a channel that is mostly part of basic cable packages that must be paid for in some fashion.

When asked about the marketing campaign from the side of the fighter, Dirrell said, “You know, I really don’t know what to say about that. I wanted to call Al and ask him myself what the deal was.”

Dirrell appeared to laugh a bit, although he was dead serious about not knowing the true sentiments behind the campaign. He did offer up an explanation of the same understanding we all have and share.

“It just seems like Al has everything locked down. He has all the fighters, he has all the networks, and he’s doing a great thing for boxing. You really can’t deny that, but being these other promoters, I see why they would. I know they want a piece as well, but for now Al is holding the spotlight, and that’s just what it is.”

It is good that Dirrell can at least empathize with Top Rank and Golden Boy, but that’s not to say he really cares about their situations. He understands why they are upset, and that’s at least more than what you can say for those who see the lawsuits as a forgone guilty verdict, but he is happy to be on the side that is on top.