Legendary HBO boxing commentator Larry Merchant has caused quite a stir with the comments he made this past Saturday. During HBOS’ pay-per-view telecast of the Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley fight, which was promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, Merchant publicly stated that the popular boxer would not attend the fight as he was receiving a substantial payday from Affliction Entertainment to attend their MMA event just down the street.
“A celebrity who is here in bronze only, Oscar De La Hoya, [while] the live version is in nearby Anaheim, where his company got a $5 million fee from a T-shirt maker so that he would be personally involved the promotion of a mixed martial arts show,” Merchant said.
On Monday Merchant said that it was Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer that told him about De La Hoya’s weekend plans.
“I was curious whether Oscar would make his first public appearance at a fight since Pacquiao, so I asked Richard Schaefer whether he would be there,” Merchant stated about his conversation with Schaefer. “Richard told me that Oscar was going to be at the MMA event because a $5 million sponsorship by the T-shirt company included his personal involvement.”
The total disclosed payroll for Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event was $3.3 million. If Merchant’s claims are true, that would mean that the De La Hoya received $1.7 million more than all of the fighters combined. Highly unlikely considering all he did was sit in the front row an receive boos each time he was presented on the big screen.
Schaefer and Affliction Entertainment vice president Tom Atencio each vehemently denied De La Hoya’s substantial payday.
“Oscar didn’t make a penny off that show,” Schaefer said. “Not a thing.”
Back in September of 2008, Affliction Entertainment and Golden Boy Promotions announced their intentions to partner together and co-promote four future pay-per-view events, featuring both MMA and boxing matches in the same ring.
As part of their agreement, Affliction would create signature shirts for all major Golden Boy-promoted boxing events.