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Mar 22nd
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boxing-promotionsThe world of big time boxing promoters has always been changing.  In the world I came into, Bob Arum and Don King were just making their names as big time promoters.  I am nearly 40, and they are both still there.. albeit at different levels.  However, the recent victory of Bermane Stiverne gives a long-ineffective Don King a bit of a rebirth.  He now has a piece of the heavyweight division more than a decade after he last did.  There are promoters on the rise, and promoters on the downslide.  I have always been a prediction man, so here is my prediction for the next decade of big time boxing, as to who will increase, and decrease, their presence.
K2 - Started by Klitschkos, and run my Tom Loeffler, this is the European version of Golden Boy.  The one weakness in Golden Boy's game has always been the foreign markets, and K2 seems to be attempting to avoid this by bringing some of their young stars like GGG over to the USA.  It remains to be seen how many more will follow, but with the fading of the other big German promoters, K2 is poised to do quite well.
TMT - The money team is still in it's infancy, and needs desperately to attract more fighters who are not trying to be Floyd.  They also need to do some business outside of the 168lb division, where many of their young charges are rated.  However, as Floyd recedes into the background as a fighter, one can only assume their recruitment will increase.
Iron Mike - Probably never going to rival Top Rank or Golden Boy, but a strong Goossen-like long term presence should be expected.  Iron Mike is in a good place now, has world ranked fighters, a national presence, and TV deals.  He seems to be only a couple years away from getting fighters on the bigger networks as well.
Top Rank - They are making a good international presence with so many foreign Olympic medalists, but none of them seem special enough to carry the outfit.  They also do not have any regular presence on an English-speaking US network.  The cold war hurts them far more than Golden Boy, and they are even losing their names at the featherweight region, with the intentions of Garcia and Rigondeaux to leave soon.  It will be a slow slide, but it is happening.
Gary Shaw - Not many new names are staying with him.  Unlike similar sized promoter Goossen, he has been unable to keep any star fighters with him for the long haul... unless you count Chad Dawson, who always had drawing power issues.  More than a few writers have told me that only Bob Arum, and Oscar (Don King in the old days, too) actually go out and promote... the rest just book venues, and hope the fans find it.  That seems to be the problem.
Stay level:
Golden Boy - They will never be able to enjoy the monopoly they crave, because of splits within the company.  Also Al Haymon is reaching the height of power at the same time that his practices are finally being questioned.  They have a good crop of talent, and are making in-roads into Heavyweight, finally... this will keep them where they are now, which is a pretty good place.
What would have remained a local/regional promotional outfit has been on the world stage due to experience, good recruiting, TV deals, being bankrolled by a zillionaire, and having the luck of their local market being one of the biggest for talent (SoCal).  They may lose Ward eventually, but they have done very well by him, and as long as you don't mind plying your trade almost exclusively in California and Atlantic City, you will have a hands-on promoter who will keep your name in the mix.

Chris Strait

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