Maybe this Affliction announcement might be something big after all. MMAPayout.com picked up on Atencio’s little tidbit that the announcement would be made at the Marquez/Casamayor fight this Saturday. Well, that fight is being promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and is airing on HBO PPV. And in case you forgot, Affliction was in talks with Golden Boy at one point. Here’s a short video of Oscar talking about Affliction and MMA. (YouTube seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties with their embeddable videos. If the video isn’t working, here’s the direct link.)
A snip from MMAPayout.com.
Speculation within the industry concerning a potential deal between the two companies has been strong in recent weeks. Still open to speculation is the inclusion of HBO in any pairing between Affliction and Golden Boy. Golden Boy and HBO have a very close relationship, but the folks at HBO have been resistant to MMA in general.
Right now, it’s being considered purely as speculation, but it would seem to be about the only news that could even remotely live up to Cohen’s claims that it would “change the dynamics of mixed martials arts. Not just nationally, but globally,” although I would still argue that’s not the case at all.
If this is the big news, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact such a partnership could make. I doubt it would be the magic potion that instantly transforms them into a healthy fight promotion, but with Randy Couture off their radar, they really need to do something to get people talking about them again. An announcement like this just might fit the bill.
[UPDATE 9/11/08 1:02AM ET] – More fuel for the fire from Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole.
It is likely that Affliction is going to announce some sort of partnership with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions at a boxing card that De La Hoya is promoting on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said Wednesday “we are close with those guys” and said he might have news about a deal between the two later.
[UPDATE 9/11/08 12:09PM ET] – MMARated.com puts out the flames.
MMARated.com spoke to Golden Boy Promotions’ COO, David Itskowitch, yesterday afternoon about these rumors but he would not confirm nor deny them.
However, we have spoken to HBO’s Director of Media Relations, Kevin Flaherty, and he had this to say about HBO’s involvement with Affliction or any other mixed martial arts promotions:
“HBO is not in discussions with any MMA organization presently. Our sports programming plate is full.”
Surely, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a Golden Boy/Affliction union but that would seem to end speculation that HBO is also in the mix.
Ariel also mentioned that while Atencio stated they would make the announcement at the boxing event, Cohen said that was not the case, and it would be made within the next two most likely at the Trump Towers. Apparently, the Affliction side and the Trump side aren’t on the same page. It amazes me how that happens.