Is Affliction Golden Boy Bound?

Written by Tom Ngo
September 11th, 2008

With yesterday’s announcement that Affliction Entertainment was “rescheduling” their October 11th “Day of Reckoning” event to January 17th, rumors started swirling about the state the company is currently in. Just a month away from throwing their second MMA promotion, there are reports coming up that Affliction is in talks with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, and possibly HBO, regarding a potential partnership deal. 

Affliction Entertainment Vice President Tom Atencio stated that he will be making a big announcement this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. That just happens to be the site of this weekend’s HBO’s Pay-Per-View boxing event featuring Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Joel Casamayor, which is promoted by Golden Boy.

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports also quoted Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer on Wednesday as saying, “We are close with those guys (Affliction),” and that he might have news of a partnership between the two shortly.

In addition, Affliction Entertainment COO, Michael Cohen, was quoted as saying that the company is expected to make an announcement that could “change the dynamics of mixed martial arts.”

It is also possible that HBO might have a hand in the announcement as well. Cohen didn’t want to tip his hand and reveal too much, perhaps because nothing has yet to be finalized, however he seemed confident that the announcement would truly be groundbreaking.

“Unlike others who call for a press conference for groundbreaking MMA news, the Affliction announcement will truly change the sport, and not through a toy deal,” Cohen told NBCSports.com’s Michael Chiapetta.

Cohen was clearly taking a shot at UFC President Dana White, as White always claims to have a “big announcement” to make that will shake up the MMA world, but often leaves the fans disappointed.

These two potential partnerships would clearly change the dynamics of the sport, specifically for Affliction. If they are able to close one of these deals, it is certainly worth “rescheduling” their second event for a few months. Another benefit is that it also allows their poster boy, Fedor Emelianenko, time to fully recover from his right thumb injury and participate at “Day of Reckoning.”

Emelianenko was initially slated to compete at their second event, before his medical suspension was released. His withdrawl certainly affected ticket sales for “Day of Reckoning,” which Atencio confirmed were far from stellar.

“We came out strong, and we want to continue with that momentum and continue strong,” Atencio stated. “We don’t want to come out and be weak and have to give tickets away. We want to continue to be a force in this industry.”

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