Much has been made of HBO announcer Larry Merchant’s jab at MMA and Affliction during the Margarito-Mosley fight. He claimed that Oscar de la Hoya was only at Saturday’s Affliction show because they paid him 5 million bucks to be there. Sure, it’s an amusing little story, but what’s with everyone making such a big deal about it? It’s pretty obvious that no one is making 5 million bucks just to show up nowadays, even if this is Affliction we’re talking about and they’re still burning giant piles of money like it’s going out of style.
I suppose Affliction has brought this kind of speculation upon itself. Rumors still run rampant that Affliction basically pays the Trumps to be figureheads for the company, and many people see the Affliction / Golden Boy relationship as a similar arrangement. I mean, it is kinda hard to take that partnership seriously after the Golden Boy promoted Margarito-Mosley fight stole what little mainstream heat Affliction might have garnered.
It’s a testament to how weak Affliction’s partnership with Golden Boy is that Larry Merchant (a longstanding MMA shit-talker) can make up such a retarded statement and have people actually speculate on it. Because after all, I doubt Oscar got paid 5 million bucks, but can anyone say for sure that Affliction didn’t essentially pay Golden Boy big bucks to have him showing at all those press conferences and more last week? Has there been any indication that their relationship extends past that point? Because I haven’t seen any.