By Scoop Malinowski
In the early days of promoter Al Haymon’s days involved in pro boxing, you could often see the low-key business suit and tie attired figure sitting at ringside, absorbed and in awe of the big fights. I remember seeing his image many times at ringside, he was at Lennox Lewis vs Tommy Morrison in Atlantic City, he was at Sergio Martinez vs Paul Williams II in Atlantic City, and most memorably he was practically jumping out of his chair sitting and standing in awe watching Antonio Tarver vs Roy Jones III with promoter Joe DeGaurdia on his immediate left. For most of the fight you could see Haymon chattering excitedly into the ear of DeGaurdia, like any other hyper-thrilled boxing fan.
But in recent years Haymon stopped attending live shows, not even his own PBC promotions. But why? Clearly Haymon is – or perhaps – WAS a major boxing fan and his deep involvement as a businessman in the sport must have changed his perspective.
Or it’s perfectly plausible that as a heavily invested boxing businessman he no can longer allow the sport to evolve naturally under his control. It’s entirely plausible that all his PBC events are controlled events and he already knows what the outcomes will be of all the important fights and the boyish excitement and joy he felt watching Lewis vs Morrison, Jones vs Tarver III and Martinez vs Williams II is no longer existant. He simply has too much at stake to let boxing just happen, the way it used to happen, with so many magical fights and surprise results.
With PBC, you rarely see any shocking surprises like Martinez knocking out Williams with one punch or Roy Jones getting knocked out with one shot from Antonio Tarver.
It’s a curious question which nobody else is asking – why does Al Haymon no longer attend and physically support his own PBC events?
Don King, Bob Arum, Eddie Hearn, Lou Dibella, Tex Richard, all the major promoters of boxing history, would always support and attend and enjoy the drama of their own events. But strangely, curiously, even suspiciously, Al Haymon chooses to buck the pattern to, presumably, watch his own events, including this weekends Romero vs Davis, from the comfort of his living room sofa instead of a ringside seat at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.