Golden Boy’s advance booking of MGM questioned by rival promoter


It was listed on the Nevada Athletic Commission’s agenda Tuesday morning as item No. 14.

And given the higher-profile items that were also on the agenda — selecting the officials for the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley as well as narrowing down the list of candidates to interview for the vacant executive director’s job — item 14 was lumped in with the other 13 requests for dates.

Item 14 involved Golden Boy Promotions seeking to lock up Sept. 13 at the MGM Grand Garden. And it was on the verge of being approved in a bundle with the others, which is not an unusual practice by the NAC.

Then Todd duBoef stepped up and cried foul. DuBoef, the president of Top Rank, Golden Boy’s main promotional rival in boxing, wondered how the commission could grant a date to a promoter when the promoter had no fight signed for that date. Golden Boy plans to use that date for Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s next fight. Mayweather fights May 3 at the MGM against Marcos Maidana.

“I think you have an obligation to see who is fighting on that date and who he is fighting,” duBoef told the commissioners. “I don’t think you just green-light an event based on the date.”

DuBoef’s objection caught the commission off guard. Chairman Francisco Aguilar quickly moved to have the item tabled for a future meeting. But from duBoef’s perspective, the issue is still there.

“It used to be you make a fight, you get a signed contract, you secure the venue, then you go to the commission to seek approval for that date and that event,” duBoef said. “But the last few years, we’ve gone away from that, and I don’t think that’s right.”

If Golden Boy had been approved for Sept. 13, Top Rank would have been left with two choices: go head-to-head with Mayweather or find another date.

In 2012, the two companies did go head-to-head on Sept. 15, Mexican independence weekend. Alvarez fought Josesito Lopez at the MGM and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. faced Sergio Martinez at the Thomas &Mack Center.

Fans were forced to choose which fight they wanted to watch, and while the NAC was able to handle both cards, its resources were stretched in terms of officials, inspectors and physicians.

DuBoef said he is merely looking for a level playing field.

“You just don’t throw a dart at the hot dates and say, ‘We’re going to hold this,’ and paralyze everybody by saying, ‘This is our date’ and get it approved,” he said. “You get approved for matches. We need to get back to where the state had a protocol for approving a date. The commission has been in total disregard of the protocol the last few years.”

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said if the NAC wants to risk having tens of millions of dollars go elsewhere by not approving Sept. 13 for Mayweather, that’s up to them.

“Everybody knows that Floyd is going to be fighting on that date,” Schaefer said. “I think the commission has to make a decision whether or not they want Floyd to fight in Las Vegas.”

■ HOF EVENT — The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame will host a fundraising party Friday at the Tropicana, featuring some of the 2014 inductees and other personalities.

The event at the Havana Room begins at 8 p.m. and will include former world champions Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Ishe Smith, Kevin Kelley, Mike McCallum and 2014 inductee Cornelius Boza-Edwards. Also scheduled to attend are 2014 inductees Richard Steele, Kenny Bayless, Miguel Diaz and Col. Bob Sheridan along with 2013 inductee Al Bernstein and HBO commentator Harold Lederman.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at nvbhof.com.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.

 

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