Boxing

Chavez Jr. manager delivers withering attack on Top Rank's negotiating tactics

Kevin Iole
Boxing

Several hours after Top Rank CEO Bob Arum released financial details of his company's contract offer to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Chavez manager Billy Keane reached out to Yahoo Sports and delivered a blistering attack on Arum and Top Rank president Todd duBoef.

Keane said duBoef misrepsented several important facts during an interview with Yahoo and that Chavez was clearly not being treated fairly.

Keane had been talking with Top Rank about a deal for a July 19 pay-per-view bout against WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Chavez, Keane said, was willing to accept a below-market offer, but wasn't interested in discussing a contract extension with Top Rank at this point.

DuBoef told Yahoo Sports that Top Rank needed the contract extension to cover its risk. Promoters rarely make boxers big-money offers as they are headed into the last fight of their contacts.

Keane reiterated his oft-repeated stance that Chavez simply wants to be treated fairly. He said the impasse doesn't help Chavez's relationship with the only promoter of his professional career.

"Julio just wants to be treated fairly and like I've always told them, we will sit down immediately after the fight and see if we can come to a deal," Keane said. "But what he will not do is negotiate with a gun to his head under duress. You know what? When you offer a guy $7 million and then you call back five minutes later, screaming, and say the offer is now $2 million, that's a gun to his head."

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Top Rank CEO Bob Arum (AFP Photo/Elsa)

Arum handled most of the negotiations with Keane, but asked duBoef to get involved after he felt it was clear he could not reach terms with Keane. DuBoef said he was frustrated that Keane continues to speak publicly about his issues.

DuBoef said he told Keane the sides ought to take a break "and hopefully have a positively, forward-thinking conversation," after emotions had settled.

"Enough is enough," duBoef said. "We had an offer on the table and Julio chose to turn down a very rich offer. That was their choice and that's fine. Let's move forward in some kind of positive manner."

An angry Keane, though, read a statement to Yahoo Sports that took Top Rank to task over several key issues. He said in the final Top Rank offer, Chavez and Golovkin would have each earned $2 milllion. He said neither fighter would earn a portion of the pay-per-view proceeds until after 375,000 sales in that scenario. At 375,000 buys, Keane said, Top Rank would already have made $6 million.

Keane's entire statement Thursday to Yahoo Sports:

As you know from my interview with you yesterday, my preference and Julio's preference was not to get into an exposé about how Top Rank has mistreated Julio during this negotiation.

Unfortunately, based upon Todd's interview with you today, I am once again forced to set the record straight on his misrepresentations.

Let's clarify the offer that Todd defends passionately as fair. Julio was offered a $6.6 million guarantee to fight Golovkin in July, which included a two-fight extension. Although we considered the offer below market value for a pay-per-view of that stature, Julio nonetheless immediately agreed to it because it was not only a fight he wanted, but it was a fight the people wanted and he wanted to give that to them. What he did not agree to was the two-fight extension.

There were multiple other offers by Top Rank, which always included extensions. The richest one was a $7 million guarantee with a one-fight extension for $10 million if he won and $5 million if he lost. Again, we accepted the fight but not the extension.

Bob then came back and offered us the standalone fight with no extensions for a $2 million guarantee. That was $5 million less from his last offer, which is more than a 70 percent decrease from the original guaranteed purse. There was an upside that didn't kick in until after 375,000 pay-per-view buys.

This guarantee was less than what he received for Bryan Vera I and is the same guarantee that is being offered to Golovkin to fight Chavez.

The mistake Todd and Bob continue to make is that they feel they're the only ones who can do simple arithmetic. Let's compare this fight to the Chavez-Martinez pay-per-view fight that did a reported by Top Rank 475,000 pay-per-view buys. Although many experts feel the fight will do better, if not at least the same, if not more, but let's observe Todd's risk profile concerns calculated from a considerably less 375,000 buys than the 475,000 buys that Top Rank reported [for Chavez-Martinez] at the normal pay-per-view price.

That leaves $10 million in the pot. Now, we add foreign, live gate, delays, sponsors. Let's assume that is $4-5 million. I have no idea for sure on these numbers because it's been a long-time since Top Rank has provided me with an Ali disclosure (form).

Top Rank has agreed to cap expenses at $3 million. That leaves a net of $11-12 million. But again, in observance of Todd's risk-profile concerns, let's reduce that number even more to $10 million, which is a ridiculously safe and conservative number. Of that $10 million, it comes out to $2 million for Chavez Jr., $2 million for Golovkin and $6 million for Top Rank. Again, this is an ultra-conservative calculation of the pot which is based upon 375,000 pay-per-view To satisfy Todd's risk-profile concerns, I guess Top Rank needs to make three times as much as Julio before his upside kicks in.

Lastly, there is one statement I'd like to clarify, which is where he said they are paying Julio more than his minimum. I would certainly hope so, because the minimum they refer to sums from his 2005 contract when he was an amateur just turning pro. So I hope the minimum sum in his first pro contract is not the minimum of someone who has grown into an undeniable pay-per-view attraction.

By now, it's fairly obvious that not only is the July 19 bout between Chavez and Golovkin not going to happen, but that the long-term relationship between the sides is in serious jeopardy.

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