One of the biggest questions surrounding the recently announced Affliction-Golden Boy partnership is how’s it going to work? How will the cards be structured? How many boxing matches? How many MMA fights?
Well, we may have some answers. Tom Atencio appeared on The Jordan Breen Show on Thursday, and while he emphasized that nothing was finalized, he gave a few details of their preliminary plans.
As of right now, I can tell you the basic concept of what we’re thinking, but once again, please understand we have not finalized anything…
It’s my understanding right now that what we’re gonna do is have a main event of boxing with a big MMA card [Ed. note – assuming he means MMA co-main event] and everything else is going to be MMA under that. But, that could change.
Right now the relationship is this. Golden Boy does the back end, they do the production, they do what they do best, what they do well. They’ve been doing it for a long time. We handle the MMA side, we handle the marketing because that’s what we’re good at. So that’s how it’s a great relationship. They’re doing what they do well, and we’re doing what we do well. We come together, meet in the middle, and put on the best show possible.
Of all the ways they could structure the card and split up the different aspects of running an event, what Atencio is describing seems like the best direction they could take this. This way, the MMA fans will still get a full uninterrupted night of mixed martial arts fights, and if they hate boxing, they don’t have to watch the end of the show. The majority of boxing fans only buy the pay-per-view for the main event, so what does it really matter to them if the undercard is full of boxing matches or MMA fights? If they don’t want to watch, they don’t have to, but perhaps a significant number will out of curiosity. Who knows, maybe they’ll like what they see.
Golden Boy handling the production is also a really good idea. I haven’t seen a non-HBO Golden Boy production in recent memory, but I would have to imagine it’s a huge improvement over Affliction’s. “Banned” wasn’t pretty and it was obviously something they needed to get right on their second effort. With Golden Boy behind the wheel, that should no longer be an issue. I’m not sure about Affliction handling all of the marketing though. While I’m sure they do the best with what they have, the NASCAR sponsorship was a terrible idea in my opinion, and unfortunately, they just don’t have the television outlet they need to market properly. Hopefully, Golden Boy will at least assist in that aspect.
The more I hear about this, the more hopeful I am. This seems like the ideal game plan, and if Golden Boy puts together the right boxing match for the main event, I’m starting to think this might actually work.
On a quick side note, Atencio also stated that the date for event was not finalized, just that it would take place in the first quarter of 2009. That conflicts numerous reports that stated the event would take place on Jan. 17.