Let me explain how Al Haymon ruins superstar boxers careers.
We begin with Paul Williams, who became a major name with his electrifying win vs “the most avoided man in boxing” Antonio Margarito in Carson California in 2007. Williams won a thrilling action clash with Margarito and at 33-0 was on the verge of major stardom. At the time, Margarito was a big name for dominating the welterweight division and terrifying Floyd Mayweather in 2005 and 2006, to the point that Mayweather fled Top Rank and paid six figures to Bob Arum to escape Arum’s constant pressure to fight Margarito.
Williams beat Margarito and was in line to fight Mayweather but of course Mayweather was even more terrified of Williams but the public never realized it because Haymon knew it and didn’t try to make the fight because Mayweather was his designated franchise fighter/cash cow.
The manager of Williams, George Peterson, told me in frustration that Williams 6-1 height, long arms, lefty stance and non-stop punching would have “put Mayweather in a cemetery” but he knew the fight would never happen.
Haymon wasted the career of Williams by using him as a pawn. After the Margarito win, Haymon matched Williams against Carlos Quintana, a step down waste of time fight, which Williams lost by close decision, before winning the rematch by KO. It’s conceivable Haymon wanted Williams, not a major draw, to lose to Quintana to alleviate pressure on Mayweather to face Williams.
Haymon continued to waste Williams in meaningless fights against middleweight Andy Kolle, 154 pounder Verno Phillips, a faded Winky Wright at 154. If boxing was real and star fighters were not protected, Williams and Mayweather would have fought and Williams would have won easily. But stars aren’t allowed to lose anymore, especially if Al Haymon controls the star. Williams eventually grew frustrated and lost to Sergio Martinez. His last fight fight was a win over Nobuhiro Ishida. Williams deserved but never got the big money fight he deserved after beating Margarito.
Keith Thurman is another Haymon welterweight who had his prime wasted by Haymon by not being given the big money fight with Mayweather. Thurman was prime at 18-0 after crushing Quintana in 2012. Then he beat Jan Zeveck and Diego Chavez by stoppage and Thurman was the big punching bad ass with the colorful personality, the perfect opponent for Mayweather – if boxing was real. But Mayweather was the franchise with the guaranteed six fight contract with Showtime which meant he had to be protected from the likes of Thurman.
Thurman deserved the big money Mayweather payday but it was not to be. In Haymon’s grand scheme it was imperative to protect Mayweather’s 0 and use Thurman as a pawn. Thurman was given a series of meaningless stay busy fights with the likes of Julio Diaz, Leonard Bundu, Jesus Karass and Robert Guerrero but in each fight Thurman started to look less impressive and more dispirited. He knew he would never get the big money payday vs Mayweather and that reality wrecked his career.
Thurman has fought just three times in the last three years, beating Luis Collazo, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. But all three of these fights were pawn vs pawn fights, with no hope of ever getting the major money fight with Mayweather.
See? Boxing under Al Haymon isn’t real anymore. It’s a business to protect the designated money fighter and screw all the boxers who could destroy the revenue stream. Under Haymon, it’s not the best vs the best anymore, it’s creating a star and then maximizing his earning capacity via choreographed match ups with pre-determined outcomes which fit the long term business plan.
Now Haymon has his new franchise in Deontay Wilder, who will not be losing any time soon, if you catch my drift.
Errol Spence could be a star at welterweight but Haymon won’t risk him with Terence Crawford. Spence’s only hope to be a major money fighter is to beat Crawford, Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, which could be the grand scheme of Haymon.
If only boxing could return to the way it was in the 70s, 80s and 90s, where we knew the best would fight the best and crazy, upset knockout losses like Tarver vs Jones or McCall vs Lewis could happen. Under Al Haymon’s control, we never see a crazy KO upset.
Astute ring observers, based on what I just told you, should quickly realize why.