More plans have changed regarding Affliction’s next event. As you already know, Affliction and Golden Boy have formed a partnership to hold boxing/MMA hybrid events. Their first event is said to be taking place sometime in the first quarter of 2009, with most signs pointing to late January. Just as recent as two days ago, Affliction VP Tom Atencio stated on ProMMA Radio that they were planning on booking a marquee boxing match for the main event with all MMA fights underneath it. That appears to have changed in the last 36 hours though. According to a report by SI.com’s Josh Gross, Affliction’s next event will be comprised entirely of MMA bouts.
Contrary to expectations of a dual sport event put forward by the MMA and boxing promotional companies, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio told SI.com that the debut effort, set for sometime in January 2009, won’t mingle both combat sports.
This really doesn’t come as that big of a surprise. In order for the hybrid events to be successful, most have agreed that the boxing match they put on the card will have to be comprised of boxers that sell pay-per-view buys. As many have already pointed out, all of Golden Boy’s top names already have fights booked and won’t be available in time for a January event, so it only makes sense not to bother.
That doesn’t mean that Golden Boy won’t be involved though. According to the report, they’ll still be involved in promoting the event and running the production.
Said Atencio, the partnership, which calls for quarterly events next year, is still a work in progress, though Golden Boy will heavily influence television and in-arena production.
Golden Boy “knows production,” Atencio said. “They know the whole back-end. They can run a smoother event.”
I couldn’t agree more Tom.
Now the question becomes, how will Affliction improve upon Banned’s rough estimate of 100,000 pay-per-view buys without a marquee boxing match to help sell the card to the boxing audience?
Assuming Fedor fights on the card, which the report indicates, and they match him up with Arlovski, which they better, the argument could be made that all the exposure they received on CBS during Saturday night’s EliteXC broadcast from Arlovski’s performance and the hundred replays of the Fedor-Sylvia fight should help the cause. However, all the fans who’s interest they may have piqued still have no idea of where, when, and how, simply because they don’t either. The challenge they’re going to face is how to follow up with more promotion once they do have those details set. It will be interesting to see, as the story suggests, how Golden Boy assists in that aspect.
And by the way, in case you were wondering how you were going to pay for three pay-per-views in January, MMA Rated is reporting that Spike TV is considering airing UFC 93 for free. Don’t get your hopes up too high though. The card’s already looking too good for television.
Props to Rear Naked News for the Affliction story find.