Earlier this week Top Rank head honcho and legendary promoter Bob Arum mentioned he doesn’t even think Al Haymon is a real person anymore, more a fictional character these days.
Perhaps that was a partying shot at his former fighter Manny Pacquiao who has now reportedly done a deal with boxing manager and adviser Haymon, an American businessman and entrepreneur who also runs the Premier Boxing Champions series.
For years, Pacquiao and Arum enjoyed a superb working relationship when ‘Pacman’ first came to the United States and hooked up with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
But like all good things, everything comes to an end in life unfortunately.
But what a run they had, who would have thought the Filipino boxer would have become an eight-weight world champion.
But to Bob’s sentiments earlier this week that he doesn’t think Haymon is a real person as he hasn’t seen him in years, this is just some banter from the still razor-sharp 86 years young New Yorker.
Haymon is clearly alive and well and the quick swoop for Pacquiao who wants a rematch with close Haymon associate Floyd Mayweather – makes the link up a logical one for both parties.
Adrien Broner who’s also managed by Haymon is front-runner to face Pacquiao this coming January with reports of Andre Berto on standby as a back up option if the Broner fight doesn’t come through.
With all the talk about ESPN+ and DAZN in the boxing world at the moment, this bit of business from Haymon and his recent extension to his fighters’ Fox deal is clear evidence he’s still as influential as ever, and certainly not a fictional character like Bob Arum suggested.
All be it behind the scenes. Unlike his competitors.
In a digital world we live in, now full of bull artist YouTube public speakers / motivators, bluffer SEO (search engine optimization) companies / cowboys, distorted and warped opinions based on phony social media personalities without anything tangible behind them and other types of online fraudsters, Haymon’s belief in staying behind the scenes and not engaging in the trash talk that goes hand in hand with boxing these days is admirable to an extent.
He seems mostly concerned with signing the best fighters he can, getting them the maximum exposure and money possible and engaging in practices that facilitate solid fights, on the whole.
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury coming up on December 1st surely an example. A heavyweight title fight pretty much every boxing fan is happy with.
That said, perception can become reality once people believe something for long enough (even if it’s a lie) and Haymon is no fool.
He knows this digital age we live in is vitally important, as is his boxers’ hyping fights up. But that’s the thing, he lets other people deal with that.
All in all, as far as boxing in America goes, 2019 will tell a lot when all these platforms and networks unleash their budgets to full effect in making the biggest and best fights that fans crave.
It’s going to be war in more ways than one on the American boxing battlefield next year. Lets get ready to rumble.