Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Boxing Esq. Podcast #61 John Nash (with rough transcript)

I'm back and very excited to get the pod rolling again. My guest is John Nash, from the Hey Not The Face podcast. John writes primarily about MMA and Boxing and does another excellent podcast called Show Money which covers the business side of MMA. We spoke about the Saudi plan for a boxing league detailed in the New York Times article from June 12. We discussed the likelihood of each of the big 5 major players in the sport, Top Rank, PBC, Matchroom, Queensberry, and Golden Boy selling all or a percentage of their business to the Saudis. We also got into what it would mean if the Saudis ran it like the UFC and if Turki Alalshikh played the Dana White role. It was an excellent discussion - enjoy! Rough transcript of the show below: Welcome back to the boxing Esquire podcast. . It's been a minute. I've been on the fence, uh, for the last few years as to whether to get back into podcasting, but, uh, with the news dropping of Saudis potentially trying to organize top level boxing into a league, I just couldn't resist, uh, getting back into giving my two sets. So, of course, I, uh, who better to talk about that with than my good friend and fellow podcaster, John Nash, whose views and observations on both MMA and boxing can be heard on his substack. Hey, not the face. Uh, John and I analyzed the Saudi plan as it was presented in the New York Times article from June 12th. Uh, we talked about the likelihood of each of the big five major players in the sport, Top Rank, PBC, Matchroom, Frank Warren, uh, Queensberry, uh, and Golden Boy selling all or, or a percentage of their business to the Saudis. Um, also talked about what it would mean if the Saudis ran it like the UFC and if Turki Alalshikh played the Dana White role in that. Um, also got into what legal issues such as antitrust and AK considerations, this type of entity, uh, would have to face. You know, it was a really, uh, fun freewheeling conversation, and I hope you enjoy. So, uh, for, uh, my, uh, my comeback, like, like all, you know, bad boxers, uh, who can't stay away. I'm, I'm bringing back the podcast. And of course, uh, with all that's going on, you know, and, and, and talking about governance and, and, uh, with the Saudis making this big play, I had to have my man, uh, John Nash, uh, back for the comeback here. So, John, thanks for coming on the podcast. Sure. Don't call it a comeback. . I've definitely been here for years and years and years, so Yeah, I've, I've got that covered. Um, so yeah, man, you know, I, uh, I had reached out to you to, to do this, I think earlier in the week. And then, and then I come to find, you know, there was this, these guys, uh, brunch boxing, uh, who did a conversation with you kind of on the same subject. Um, and it, it was interesting, you know, I, I listened with interest. Uh, I don't really know, is it, is his name MV don't know. I mean, there's people with Twitter handles and I don't know their names. Yeah. Matt, M-M-B-O-M-O. Is that, is that, I don't, his Twitter handle. I'm sorry, Matt, I'm screwing up your MBO is, is that he is got a handle, and I'm sure it's, is that your face? CI think is how you say his Twitter handle at, I know it's Mvo, right? MVO. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's like Matt Brown is, is what he writes on Twitter. Yeah. Easy, raw and easy. Raw is the other Twitter handle. Gotcha. As, as I think is, you know, pun on Ezra. I guess so. Got it. Got it. No, I mean, I, I enjoyed the conversation, uh, but, uh, you know, I wanted to go a little more in depth on this stuff. Mm-Hmm. . So, uh, so let's get to it. Um, the Saudis taking over boxing, John, according to the New York Times, just, uh, kind of some of the highlights of the article. They're, they, they have an initial investment of potentially, uh, $2 billion. Uh, didn't really say where that investment's going, who it's going to, what it's for. Um, they're saying there's gonna be about 200 top men's boxers would be signed and divided into 12 weight classes, and what would amount to a global league, and I know we're gonna get into, you know, what it means to be a league and what it means to be something else. Um, each class would include about 15 fighters each, um, allowing the best to regularly face off the move would create a single boxing entity. Hmm. That would replace the sometimes chaotic and frustrating system of dueling promoters and warring sanctioning bodies, which of course, um, invites the question, uh, you know, are they doing away with the sanctioning bodies, considering they've also announced partnerships with some of the sanction sanctioning bodies. But, uh, but anyway, more, more, you know, summarizing the article, the new series would operate under one brand name similar to the UFC. Um, you know, the boxers would be able to move up the rankings tables, but also be eliminated from the series and relate and replaced by, uh, by new talent. So, uh, they had multiple consulting firms working on this, uh, you know, similar to, uh, LIV golf, which of course has been a smashing success. Um, the series could start as early as the first half of next year. They're saying the biggest sticking point is, uh, the long-term contracts that boxers have with promoters and their contracts with the networks. Um, and they've discussed this with a couple promoters. It's a really bizarre thing in here about partnerships are also under consideration. And this is from the, with some of boxing's traditional organizations, which control the rights not only to key boxers, but also to highly valuable intellectual property like archival video, historic results, and the title belts once held by boxing royalty like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. I have no idea what the they're talking about there, but, um, in the new series, there would be a requirement for boxers to perform in a minimum number of fights a year. I mean, that's, that's good. Um, the plan, uh, the pa, the PIF entity called SELA has been earmarked to promote the events, which would be held all, all around the world. And Turki Alalshikh is also changing the way the sport is broadcast. Um, apparently, uh, you know, the, the fur fight was, um, given to broadcast partners to air for free on the condition. They share some of the pay-per-view revenue. So that really wasn't free. Um, but they also made no effort to take down illegal streams. So that's a lot. So I guess my first question, um, to you, John, or for us to discuss is, you know, just how likely is this to happen? , you know, from the article they're saying the biggest sticking point is the long-term contracts to the boxers and the promoters being in, in tied to d to different network deals. Um, you know, they've, they've discussed this with a few promoters, but I mean, you know, I mean, we could go one by one, but I mean, you know, like, just, just off the top of, you know, what's the likelihood you think of, of them actually con like, let's say the, to me, the top five guys are like PBC, Top Rank, Matchroom, um, you know, Queensberry and Golden Boy. Like, what do you think is the likelihood that they actually strike deals with like all five of these? I mean, right now it seems low. Uh, I, I mean, I, I guess a couple. One is the, you would assume it's, it's very unlikely to happen because it's just by the nature of boxing, it's difficult, right? Um, boxing is split up in multiple entities, multiple sanction organizations. There's a federal legislation that's supposed to keep that in place in some ways to prevent concentration. Uh, little known the, uh, Muhammad Ali Reform Boxing Act or, uh, boxing Reform Act, sorry, reform Boxing Act, boxing Reform Act. God, I always screw that up, , that, that originally, that's an antitrust bill. It's kind of ignored it, people missed that it was originally started. The, the idea was planted back in the sixties in Monopoly and antitrust committee hearings. So the whole point of that is prevent concentration. So you'd say, oh, it's, it's gonna be basically impossible for them to, to succeed. And if, if the real goal is to take over boxing and make a one single entity at the same time, you look at what's going on in the PGA and the amount of resources they are willing to burn through to get what they want, that says, that's what makes me convinced that, you know, there is a chance they could succeed. Because boxing is not the, you know, boxing is not, the scale is not as expensive as other sports Boxing promotions are relatively cheap because they don't make a lot of money. Right. In some ways, the, the, the positive about boxing that they pay the athletes a lot means that the promotions don't make a lot of money, which means the promotions value their valuation's low enough that an entity can come in and buy 'em all up, and it wouldn't be an outrageous sum of money. So that says, that gives me some chance that it could happen. I mean, I'll, I'll put my, my cards on the table. The idea of monopolizing boxing to me is terrible , because we've seen it before with the IBC, the, the IBC of New York. It's happened before. We've, boxing's always had a history monopoly, and it's always been looked down upon. And yet it's strange to see how many people seem to be excited cheerleading, the fact that someone, especially a foreign entity, could be taking over the entire sport . So, uh, I, I mean, what's your, I mean, are you excited for this the, the idea of it? Or do you think it's, is it somewhat horrifying? I mean, there's just so much to unpack with this, right? Because I mean, you know, obviously I'm someone who's, who's, uh, you know, been calling for a league, you know, I mean, I, I did the article back in 2018 about, you know, at least taking the quantum leap of the promoters getting together and having some sort of world boxing super series type tournaments. You know, you know, if, if just to have one champion per division and kind of have a regular schedule of almost like grand Slam events like golf and tennis do, like something that's on a regular schedule that boxing fans can look forward to on a consistent basis. I mean, we had, I believe, two of your old episodes, at least one for sure, maybe two, where we talked exclusively or long portions of it about the idea of how to fix boxing. So, right, Right. But keep going. Yes. Your your, your views on this this News. Well, I was, I was really gonna kind of get a little granular on this. So like, with the likelihood of the top promoters, like, like you said, you and I have talked about this in a podcast like years ago, we were talking about the PBC. If you talk about the PBC, um, you know, at one time, you know, there were rumors about them being up for sale. You know, it was, you know, possibly talking to, uh, endeavor about, uh, about doing that. Um, there's definitely been rumors in the, you know, Matt was alluding to this on the podcast with you. Um, there are definitely rumors that Al Haymon has not in good health, or that someone in his family is not in good health, and that's, he's kind of been a little distant. Um, I don't know a thing about that. I'm not that I'm not close to Al, I, I don't know anything about it, but I know that there, you know, I don't know if Glaser's been alluding to it online. I don't know. But there have been those rumors. Um, but even so, like, you know, if, if Al is at all able, I would be very surprised if he would give, uh, his business up without, you know, still being able to have some sort of say in what's going on. 'cause I think that was, that was kind of the big criteria. If, if, if he was even, you know, like most of these guys are, are looking to sell like a percentage possibly we can get to, to all that. But I mean, and you know, in terms of just like, but even him giving up a percentage and like cooperating with the, with a league type things. I mean, he didn't do it with the World Boxing Super Series. Um, you know, I doubt he'd do it here. But again, like you said, I mean, you know, if, if, if he was allowing people to kick the tires before, you know, everybody has a price, right? , I mean, you know, and, and in terms of their TV deal, you know, I mean, you know, the article says, you know, the, uh, the long-term contracts of fighters and the, and the networks, like, you know, there's, there's not a lot of details on the Amazon deal. Only that it's multi-year. Right. And that it was, it was signed in December of 2023. So to me, with PBC, it's kind of, you know, I mean, knowing Al, I mean, as, as Luella has called him, he's, you know, an unbelievable control freak. I mean, for, for him to just kind of get in bed with the Saudis and let them run things, it just seems that's unlikely. He'd either have to get bought out completely, or, or he's not selling . And also listen, I mean, everybody involved in boxing is trash. You, uh, you know, you present company excluded the only person who exclude. But everybody else, I mean, that's the, the nature of the sport is you're making money on other people inflicting harm on each other, right. You've, you have to have a certain mentality. But one thing about Haymon, you gotta say, and even as critics that say he has always been, his business model's always been based on not really taking from his, making them as much as possible and then getting a piece to the action from 'em. So he's always been known as the guy that he gets his, his clients as much money as possible. Right. And, and the idea then that you're gonna hand over the sport to another entity who the, what their future plans might not be in the best interest of the boxers, just 'cause his, wasn't his brother a boxer, right? So yes, he has a personal, yeah, so he has a personal stake, supposedly that's the story. It's hard to tell 'cause you never meet the man, you never see him. He's a serious figures, the great eminence, but Right. But the story is that he has a personal interest in how boxers are treated, and that makes you wonder if he would be willing to go along with this. 'cause the idea of like, do I want to hand over the sport to a group of people that might not have the interest of the athletes in mind at all, even though, you know, I, I might everybody off how I, I do stuff. The one thing I do is I make sure my guys get paid. Uh, the, the, the, according to the story, the, the, the, uh, boxing brunch story with Matt did is, which was really interesting, caught me on one thing that caught me off guard is the idea that Top Rank would, is against it. Their was, he had a direct quote from someone at Top Rank about it being a pipe dream. Right? And that caught me off God, because Sounds like Moretti, But yeah, it's common knowledge that , that Top Rank has had a for sale sign for years, basically. Right. And I guess they were looking for a piece, but it sounded like they were just, and also the, their actions with ES PN is a company that is not set on like producing the best product as much as trying to, the, the word has been basically they're extracting as much money as they can outta the industry. 'cause they've been putting on kind of cheaper fights than you normally would for boxing. 'cause no one, there's no quality control apparently on the ESPN side. But, you know, at the same time, who, I mean, again, that maybe I was wrong about the Top Rank's motivations, you know, they're, that they're not interested in handing it over to this foreign entity. They, they're willing to do business. If you pay us for site fees, we'll do it. We are not willing to give boxing industry over to you. Uh, but I think, I think I'd look at, I mean, one thing we don't know for sure what the, just we have reports, but what I'd be looking for, I think it's a given that Queensberry, Matchroom and Golden Boy seem all in or whatever, this is the, the, the way they talk, they seem all in, what I would like to see is what the plan is. 'cause my, my guess is this is purely a guess is they go to 'em and say, we are gonna give you a large sum of money not to buy your company out, but to buy a stake in your company. And what we're gonna do is we are gonna give you, but you're gonna fold your shares into our entity at a much larger valuation than you currently are. So we're gonna put all the companies together in one company in Saudi Arabia, and we will buy a third of each of your companies. And then together we'll pull the resources, we'll give you shares back so you keep, you know, whatever the shares, if it's, if there's five entities, let's say in the each get, uh, 10, 10 shares, we're just make a simple number. So 50, we are gonna, we're gonna buy up, Saudis will get 15 shares, and each of the promotions will keep seven shares, right. Of this entity that we're gonna value at, we'll spend 2 billion to buy your shares, but we are gonna, we're gonna value the company at, uh, five to 6 billion. So for boxing, your valuation of these, these promotions that are only worth a couple hundred million are now worth close to a billion each. Right. That's a huge gain for the promoters. And reason I, I talk specifically about this. 'cause what that would do, instead of having a bunch of different promotions competing with each other, they'd be a single entity, a single entity monopoly, and they can even engage in conduct that's no longer collusion and in violation of the Sherman Act. That, and so that would be the first step I'd be looking for. If they do that, then I'm going, the Saudis are definitely trying to take the sport over . So that's, that's their big, uh, antitrust, uh, workaround, kind of something similar. I mean, I guess when I think of single entity leagues like MLS, but MLS like owns all of the franchises outright. This is more like, but Specifically did that, they said that they did that specifically because they wanted to keep the cost down, right. That it was in many ways, uh, an antit. Right. They didn't want like bidding wars and all that between, between different, and, And, and they want franchises wanna prevent that. And so, you know, that's exact prime example. Instead of us competing, I mean, UFC's, UFC claims to be a league. They're not Fight promotions are not leagues. Right. Right. Agreed. It does. They're not. But, but the UFC, like if, if we're in a world where two profe, if the NFL teams got together and said, uh, let's not, you know, let's not this player, I'm not gonna sign this player, even though he is a free agent, that'd be collusion. If the UFC says, or, or let's not let this team get join the playoffs. Well that's collusion. But at the end of, if the UFC says, let's not give this guy a title shot, even though he deserves it, that's not collusion. 'cause it's one entity. There's no, you know, there's, it's an internal decision. Right. One entity can't collude with itself, right. . Yeah. Yeah. So it protects them from a lot of, it only lets leaves them immune to, uh, section one violations of the Sherman Act, not section two, but section two would be a different problem. But they'd give 'em a lot of freedom. And so that'd be my first thing I'd be looking for. So if they do that, then I start getting nervous because I'm like, these Saudis are serious. Uh, and the problem if op rank and PBC doesn't wanna join them, is what you're seeing with the PGA. Um, they're, they're talking about merging right now, but if it doesn't merge, their fear is that yes, we can compete with the LIV for a while, but if LIV doesn't care about making profit, they can constantly go after us year after year after our players until we finally, you know, get beat down and have to give up. It's just, it's all dependent on how much pain. And apparently the, if the Saudis have as much money, as they said, set aside for this, they have a lot of pain threshold , how much pain are they willing to bear? No, no. Normal company would spend the amount of money. They'd be, they seem willing to spend on golf to compete, uh, for year after year and lose hundreds of millions every year. No normal company would ever do that. But again, if their plan is far reaching, uh, uh, and based not fully on financial aspects, then I would be nervous. Yeah, I mean, it's, it's, you know, I I, I definitely wanna get to golf and, and tennis, uh, just, uh, in just a little bit. But yeah, like, just getting back to Top Rank. Yeah. I mean, you know, 20 20 20, Arum went public saying that, you know, as much as 40% of Top Rank was up for sale and that everyone has their price. Um, just personally, I remember people talking to me behind the scenes about rumors. Some heavy hitters actually kicked the tires. Um, you know, I think Top Rank was looking for like 350 million or something, and whatever investor this was, had no interest. You know, even if that was for 40%, which I mean the valuation then would be what, 8 75? That's what Top Rank held themselves out as. And whatever investor it was, was didn't think they were worth anywhere near that. Um, but again, all rumors, not, not saying those are real numbers, but this just happened years ago. So, And there was tons of rumors that Endeavor was looking at 'em back then. Endeavor. Well, well not even back then. I mean, back then too, but like Glazer Was PBC was the other one too. Yeah. Glaser was saying, you know, just at the end of last year that, you know, endeavor was just about to buy Top Rank. And, You know, I know that was false. You know, I know Glaser was, um, couldn't be accurate at all. Bob Arum and Top Rank was announced as witness in the antitrust case. There would've been some report about him being a ho potentially hostile witness, if that was the case. Right. There was nothing about that. So that, that told me, 'cause I had, I double checked with people about that. I said, when I heard that rumor, and I go, he's a witness, and I called a bunch of people and no one, everybody swore they heard nothing about that. So that gives me confidence that, that, that there was nothing to the fact of Endeavor buying Top Rank. Right, Right, right. And, and plus the, the, uh, the biggest snag from what I've heard from just about everybody too, is that Todd, DuBoef has no interest at all in selling his interest in Top Rank. Like, he wants to inherit the kingdom, you know, and Bob eventually, like Bob wants to cash out, right? I mean, yeah, yeah. How Bob hasn't cashed out already. The guy's already, I mean, he's in his nineties, like at what point dude is enough, enough, like you're get a cat just like, you know, take the money and run. But He still, he still, he still functions. I'm still amazed at how well he can hold a conversation. Oh yeah, yeah. He, he's still Really sharp A week ago, and it was amazing. It was absolutely. It just, the guy is, he is, I, I, you know, listen, I like Don King, they're horrible people. Those promoters him and Don did horrible things, but it's a sad day when they're gone because those are two of the most entertaining people. And you know, I mean, and I don't care, I don't care how saintly Haymon treats his fighters. Man, it'd be great if he was as funny as those two . So that's, uh, that's all I'm saying, Right, man. Yeah, Bob is definitely sharp, but I mean, similarly to Matchroom and, and yeah, obviously Matchroom and Queensberry have been playing ball with the Saudis a lot, so I'm sure they, they, they have had these discussions in depth, but I mean, in, in 2022 Matchroom put it out there that they were looking to, you know, sell up to, to 25, uh, 25% stake in their company. And, uh, they were anticipating that they could get, you know, over $200 million US for that. And they, which would put a valuation of their company. Now, when I say their company, I mean, I don't think the, the article really specified that I read, uh, whether it was the entire Matchroom, let just Includes whatever, darts, snooker and All that in an interview he talked about, that was the entire Matchroom, not Matchroom boxing. Yes, there you go. They, the valuation of Matchroom, they put about a billion dollars US at the time. So it makes sense that that's right. So the entire, so match and boxing, I guess was a third of the industry or more 300 million. So, um, that's about, that sounds about right for a boxing promo. I mean, again, promotions, this is not the UFC making hundreds of millions of profit per year promotions in boxing. It's 10 million profits is a pretty good year for a lot of guys. Right, right, right. So it's, they're Not like, I'm not gonna enter the Forbes, uh, billionaire, uh, Index. Oh, Okay. Well, to get, to get back the, the Saudi plan, they're, they're, they wanna buy up promotions. We know three promotions seem into the idea. Right. Golden Boy's desperate. I mean, he was a, he did some tweet thing, a social media thing where you seem to begging the Saudis, uh, was it a tweet or didn't, Oscar almost like, Hey, why aren't we having this sort of stuff? Uh, that, that's one. And then the, the two British guys are are are there every week basically freezing. Correct. So that, that seems you got those three that gives you a sizable roster, but it would still, you would have a very, I mean, I think the two best rosters overall are probably still the PBC and Top Rank not, I mean, it's, it's, it's PBC Top Rank and Matchroom. Yeah. And then like, you know, maybe gold, I mean, just, just, I mean, off the back of the envelope, looking at the transnational boxing ratings, like how many fighters each has in it. I think I, I haven't done it since like January, but it was like PBC had like 30 some Top Rank and Matchroom were in the twenties, I think. And then Golden Boy and Queensberry had like six or seven. So there's a big drop off. And then, and then there's a ton with like onesies and Twosies. Does that include associate promotions or Top Rank? Yes. In other words, like in a way Who's top. Yeah, like, yeah. Yeah. Like I, I included guys, they co-promote and with PBC too, like, you know, they're not, they're not promoters, but you know, they like fighters who appear on, uh, you know, who used to appear on PBC's, you know, Showtime broadcast and so on. I mean, obviously, uh, you know, there's, there's been a few defections from PC, uh, And it's interesting, a lot of those guys too still say they're Haymon clients, but they're no longer in PBC. Right. They're, and they're, they're boxing now on the Saudi. So that's, I mean, I, you, as you listen to, uh, boxing, bro, I mean, one thing I pointed about Haymon is even though he is might wanna preserve PBC if he doesn't have the spots and the money, he's not, I don't think he's the type of guy to deny certain of his clients the chance to make life altering money to go over to the Saudi. Right. Right. So it's, it's kind of hard when you're technically a manager to say, yeah, let's not do my fiduciary duty here and let's deny you five x what you'd normally make to go fight in Saudi Arabia. Yeah. I mean, he let Wilder, I mean, you know, obviously there was, you know, a few years ago there was a huge, uh, you know, to-do about Lou DiBella taking, uh, Wilder over to DAZN and, and for this massive offer that they had. But, and now, you know, there's Wilder fighting, you know, on, in two non PBC events, uh, in Saudi. So, Um, yeah, I think, but back then, I think the plan was at least he can make the pitch. We're gonna fight Fury over here, and then we'll still, we can promote co-promote the deals with, like Joshua and future mega fights, but after his losses, it's like we, we, the big money's not gonna be coming to the US no matter what. We gotta let, we'll let you go over there. That, that's just my guess. It's Oh, yeah, Yeah. Obviously. Yeah. After the Fury fights, I mean, he was not in the position he was in at the time that, uh, DiBella took him over to DAZN, I mean, he was a heavyweight champion then, and the, the, the big fight was Joshua and, you know, the, it was, you know, then that, that, you know, obviously there was a rift between Al and Lou after that. And then, you know, I mean, they, they, they never did make the, the Wilder Joshua fight, which, which is a shame. But, um, So now we got, those are the three promotions. It's not, I don't know if it's enough to monopolize, but it's enough to make a dent and long term, if they keep pouring money in, I guess they could wear down the other side if they, if Top Rank and PBC. Now, the other part of the equation that gets me nervous is when they mentioned they're gonna have 200 boxers, right. And 12 divisions. And, and what people I think missed is that's, that's a champion and 15 top contenders per division. Right. And it just sounds to me like they're, what they're doing is we are making a champion and a ranking title. Right. And if we can, you know, and if we can basically get a, a sizable enough of the ranked fighters and maintain it, eventually kinda get a UFC situation where everybody ignores what's happening outside that division. At least that, I think that would be the game plan to do That. That, I mean, you know, again, this is all just kind of being thrown out there and, and, uh, Yeah, pure guesswork conjecture on our part. Well, well, and, and you know, they, they've had all these consultants come in. I mean, I wonder how many people will actually work in the boxing industry or in these consulting things, but, um, you know, just, just as a business model, how would this work? Um, I mean, I, I honestly don't have too much of an objection to it, um, in, in terms of that. But, um, I mean, the one thing I'd say, I mean, if the Saudis really wanted to, to, to do this and also kind of take care of the sport, and this is kind of getting ahead a little bit on my outline, but, you know, I'm okay with, with that, with the 200 boxers and I mean 12 weight divisions, I assume, I'm assuming they don't care about anything Bantam weight and below, which most boxing fans in the West are probably like, yeah, it's about right. I mean, there, there are some good fighters at ban weight and junior ban weight, some that fly, but it's not, you know, people don't really follow those divisions as, as Closely it's a pretty big market in Japan, though, but still. Right, right. Which is, which is a big boxing people. I don't think Americans realize how big a boxing country that Is, and South America, Mexico, Asia, like, you know, most of the big fighters in those weight divisions come from those countries. I mean, there's a few US guys sprinkled in there over the years, but it's not something the US has dominated in, in a while. Um, so I'm kind of okay with that. Um, I mean, the, the, the thing that I, that I would really think that, you know, I mean, if you really wanna do this, right, other sports kind of have like a, you pyramid up right from the bottom to the top. I don't mind having a major leagues of boxing. In fact, this is an interesting part of the paradigm. You know, people haven't really talked about it. Like when you talk about like a, uh, you know, a UFC style league. What I think the UFC gets, right, is that, you know, you, when you put on a card, like as much as I'm a boxing fan and I'm used to the way boxing works where you have, you have to sit through a four rounder and a six rounder and an eight rounder of prospects fighting journeymen in 30 to one fights. Like if you're paying all this money, I, I, I kind of like the way the last couple card, like the, the card in LA is laid out how the last card was. I'd rather just watch really good fights, kind of like you have in the UFC, right? I mean, not every fight is great in the UFC, but for the most part, I mean, listen, this UFC has what, like 600 fighters under contract. I mean, they have a ton of fighters. Not all those guys can be world class fighters, I would assume. But they're all more or less, because MMA is only three rounds. You know, you don't do the four rounds, six round, eight round thing. Everybody fights three rounds, unless it's like a title fight or something, or some special event where they do five rounds. But for the most part, you have veteran fighters fighting each other trying to climb the ladder, you know, I mean, the UFC obviously doesn't have a, a real, you know, trackable pyramid system. I mean, they have ratings, they don't really follow 'em. You know, there's the, I don't know, it's just, it's almost as random as boxing as to who gets title shots and what have you. But, um, the whole pyramiding thing, if they really wanted to do this right, I'm okay with the major league boxing, and I would really love to see stacked cards where I don't have to sit through fours and sixes and eights. And I know as a hardcore fan, that's sacrilegious. that, man, if, if I'm paying all this money for pay-per-view and all that, I wanna see good fights in every fight. You know? So you wanna go back to the Don King pay-per-view, the early nineties where it's those were stacked ab Absolutely. But I, I would say I, I don't wanna see a UFC thing because boxing, because the longer rounds that would be, I, I thought some of the Saudi cards with like nine, they're Incurable. Yeah, yeah. That's just, You get to a point where you're like, this is unbearable. I can't, but four to five good. Solid. Yeah. Four to Five, That's a perfect, you know, that's a perfect amount of a night, three hour block then of watching solid competitive fights. Right. Right. You know, I mean, it was pretty good. Yesterday's card was pretty strong, uh, you know, with the, uh, tank Davis and Jovan, uh, tank and, uh, and Benavides and uh, Adamis and um, and uh, oh, and, uh, Russell, I mean, there was a surprise upset. Okay, you, not all the fights are winners. We're kind of tall. Right? They're only ones, right, Right, right, right. But A four yard for a four block pay-per-view, that was a pretty solid card. Right. And I would like to see that kind the standard add one more for the prelims, you know? Right, right. The end of the prelims is a good fight, but five good fights, I'm all there. That would be something I'd like to, and, and, but I think that would also come from competition because of another, if are competing on pay-per-view and trying to get you like, well, we can't just offer one fight, the fans get annoyed. They wanna pay for the one that has multiple fights. Right, right. And, you know, and what I was gonna say is with, with the Pyramiding thing, if you've all, if you've got the, the top 15, that's great. But it would be, I mean, for, for the price of like, you know, I mean, what'd they say? Supposedly Tyson Fury's purse for, for the Usik fight was a hundred million. I, I'm not sure that that's what it was, but like, if, if they can pay Tyson Fury that amount of money, like for half of that $50 million, you could probably fund a fight card a week of the fighters who are rated 16 to like 50. Right. And have, you know, like 50 cards a year of like your AAA guys. Um, and this way, you know, you feed the top league, you know, um, right now boxing doesn't really have that. They have promoters who have their own stuff and, you know, put, you know, various quality of programming on, um, it used to be HBO was kind of the major leagues, and then you had ESPN Friday Night Fights and maybe USA Tuesday night fights, which were kind of the aaa, if you succeeded there, maybe you could get yourself onto HBO. Um, you know, you need that, you know, you don't have that right now. You just, you have maybe Pro Box and, uh, you know, some of the stuff on D Zone, um, that's not, uh, you know, I mean the, the stuff they don't really pay for , like overtime boxing, they try to do, you know, really competitive fights. Pro Box is doing a really good job of putting on competitive fights with, you know, not so big of names. Um, but you need that. You need, you know, and, and, and it doesn't, you know, they're doing it on absolutely shoestring budgets. Like if you had, you know, a, a million dollar budget a week, you could put on some, I mean, see, I ring City, we had like 200 grand PR basically, and we were putting on like awesome fights, you know, like I think you can't explain them because the, the purpose of this is to bring the huge fights to Saudi Arabia. There's no, there's no a pre, there's no advantage for media coverage and, and prestige for Saudi Arabia to put on the, uh, the second tier, the aaas. Right. Right. And that's the problem, right? I mean, that's why they think they're focused on the top guys. Now, I think the problem, and I, we go back to this, back to our old discussions, the problem is all boils down to basically the sanctioning organizations. That's the people tell, worry about the promotions and what they're doing. The whole purpose of the sanctioning organization is to, to make it a sport. They're the, they're the supposed to objectively, objectively, that's the key line. Rank the fighters, you know, follow, have rules and guidelines about defending your belt. If they did that, if they had, uh, objective rules of when you have to defend your belt against who you have to defend your belt, what happens if you don't? And followed it a hundred percent to the letter and objectively rated opponents, right? The, the, the con the challengers, I think you'd clear up a lot of it because there'd be much more, you know, you'd see it, you could follow it much more easily on the rankings. Oh yeah, this guy beat, this guy is moving up and we know who's next in line. And go back in the old days, there's a box off every year, every the other year where the top four contenders have to fight. And other words, it eliminate, like IBF was the IBF is supposed to have an elimination for mandatories, right? Do the old rules where it used to be a box off the top four have to fight off. And that way you kind of have like a, a, a constant churning and also a legitimacy is given to the guy wins. The bo that guy you have to face now, he's beating all the other contenders. You, you, you have to go back to the fifties. Um, for when boxing had like, um, there was something called the, uh, world Championship Committee. And this was like pre W-B-A-W-B-C-I-B-F. This was when you actually had the, uh, commissions kind of trying to, um, basically, uh, be the, the rulers of the sport. You had the NBA, but then you had the holdout, the New York State Athletic Commission. Then you had, you know, the, the British Boxing Board of Control, and you had the EBU. Um, those were kind of the four main organizations. 'cause boxing hadn't quite developed around the world and, and wasn't as, uh, prolific as it is now. Um, or at least they didn't have the say that they they didn't have any say in things back then. But, um, uh, you know, at one point in time for about five years in the, in the late fifties, mid to late fifties, um, all of those organizations finally came to an agreement and they formed the World Championship Committee, and they did exactly what you're talking about, what the, you know, they made sure there was one champion per division. You didn't have an NBA champ, and then New York State out, you know, and then an EBU champ. I mean, EBU kind of at a certain point stepped down from naming world champs and just had like a European title anyway. But, um, there was, you know, you, you had like an organized sport, you know, unfortunately, he also had James Norris and the mob going on at that time. But, and, And, and that's when the International Boxing Club of New York took it over to Ized. Yeah. And, and honestly, honestly, no one would've given a about the monopoly in boxing if it weren't for the mob. Yeah. Because it, it, it, it wouldn't have gone to the Senate. It wouldn't, you know, no one would, or it wouldn't have gone to the da, no one would've given a. But for the fact that the mob was like, you know, taking led led But pipes. But when the brought their attention, but then they realized, holy, they're doing all this other stuff. That's very, Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you figure, you know, to that point, sports weren't considered interstate commerce 'cause of that holy, that baseball decision. So, you know, that was the big defense for boxing. Like, listen, sports are not interstate commerce. Look at the, the baseball decision. And then, and then they're just like, well, you know, uh, you know, it's kind of an ex, you know, they had to do mental gymnastics to, to, uh, to find it, you know, to to over, to basically ignore that precedent and, and find a monopoly. But, but If you could prevent people from taking advantage of monopolizing it, and then have the commissions or the sanction organizations operate that way, the other thing, it does it now, you don't have to, you don't have to force people to take fights. The incentive is there, the system is built to incentivize boxers and promoters to put on big fights, right. Because the big fights are the fights that're gonna produce the most revenue and gonna put 'em in position to become bigger stars. So that's my big rant about the, but really it's the, it all boils down the sanctioning organizations that failed miserably in what they're, yeah. And they're the only entities, I guess them, the athletic commission, they're the only entities who have like, uh, they're, they're, they're bylines. Their, you know, their, their per, their mission statements are basically about how they're there to preserve the sport and make it better. Everybody else is there to make money. It's prize fighting. They're the only people that are supposed to be treating it like a sport. And yet they don't, they, they, well, they fail miserably. They, they're in it to make money. I mean, that, that's just like anyone else. I mean, they're, they're no longer, you know, the, the athletic commissioners, the people who have, you know, state power, who are entrusted with making sure that boxing is run in a safe manner, um, or no longer have any real connection to the sanctioning bodies. I mean, it was all started with the NBA, right? I mean, no. Okay. I mean, British Board, you know, boxing, you know, British, I mean, in the States, police, police Got tear police, police ga a tear. The first is the . I mean, no, you can go away back to the bare knuckle days, even even before the police Gazette. But yeah. But, uh, but, uh, yeah, no, but the, well, the other thing, the athletic commissions have also, I mean, we've talked in the past privately and on the show about all the powers the athletic commissions really have if they wanted to, if they really wanted to enforce stuff, what they could do. And they've ab they've completely abandoned any idea that, that they're gonna enforce anything on like the outside of a few, on, on the promoters of the sanctioning organizations and the titles and stuff. They've, they've abandoned any pretense that they have. Any say. That's, Yeah. I mean, the Congress really stopped short of giving them the ABC for sure. Any power. Like, I mean, the language they put in there, you know, it is the, anytime you see, "it is the sense of Congress", it's like non-binding stuff. So they, they, they gave, you know, it's precatory. It's just wishful, you know, uh, thinking. Um, But I mean, like, uh, all, they All, they got, all they got the, the powers to do was make some criteria for ratings that no one follows anyway, . Well, no, but it's interesting 'cause Lawrence Epstein of the UFC, is it Epstein or Hendrix, one of the one UFC official talked about the power. This was back before he joined the UFC when he was in, I think it's Epstein. 'cause he used to, you know, with Top Rank as an attorney, and he talked about the power, the athletic commissions as one way they could fix these bad matchups. The sanctioning orgs do is not sanction those bouts, um, permit those bouts in the athletic commissions. And that's a power they have technically. And yet, you know, they would never use it. They would never even attempt to use that power, that ability to, to sanction of a fight in their state. Yeah. I mean, you know, uh, was it Mizzuli, the guy who's the, the president of the ABC, uh, you know, he sent that, he sent that very aggressive letter to the WBA few years ago. And that horrible decision happened in that, that fight in, uh, in Minnesota, uh, where, you know, they had like a, a, a judge who was like, I don't know. I don't know. It was a really racist judge. And I think she's married to somebody who's kind of affiliated with the WBA and she had these like, racist tweets and she, she handed her a bad scorecard. Yeah. And, and Mizzuli, you know, was like, okay, that's horrible. But like, not only all that, like, listen, you know, you guys are not, you know, you said you were, you know, we have this statute here and, and you're supposed to be clearing up these titles and you're ignoring that. Like if you continue to do that, you know, we, we may not, you know, sanction your organization suddenly that, you know, that that, that got, that got the WBA into action. But it's, that's like such an anomaly for, for the A, B, C. I mean, I remember, uh, Luekenhoff, like, you know, in, in, in a letter to, to Congress, you know, just saying that Actually the attorney general or The attorney general, right, right, right. He was just like, you know, we're, we're a toothless tiger. You know, you, you, you've basically given us no power to, to really grab a hold of the sport and uh, and uh, and really make things happen. So, um, yeah. It's, it's, you know. Yeah. Well, I mean, the sexy bodies, there's too, you know what I mean? I mean, it's obvious. Everybody knows there's too many of them. They don't follow their own rules. It's, it's, you know, they basically, whoever writes the check and and speaks to them last gets, gets what they want. Um, if anything, you know, like, you know, and are the Saudis, the people do it? I don't know. I mean, it's, they wouldn't be my first choice, that's for sure. Uh, or second or third. But, um, uh, you know, listen, if, if one consequence out of this, if they managed to pull this off, uh, uh, you know, would be to kind of just, you know, bypass the sanctioning bodies. I mean, that, that was what was so encouraging to me about the World Boxing Super Series, even though they tried to appease the, the sanctioning bodies, you know, as best they could was that they were making the sanctioning bodies irrelevant. Like you, you knew who the champion was. 'cause they're the ones who won the tournament. You know, you didn't really care if, you know, whatever. They got their belt stripped, what have you. Um, but yeah, I mean, listen, the Saudis have money and they have, you know, uh, potentially a chance to, to to, to, uh, you know, get it back to one champion per division, you know, bring some order back to the sport where you have, and hopefully independent ratings, um, that, that are, you know, somewhat I see If rational, if That was their, their plan was to like, we just want to have unified champions and we're gonna spend a lot to get the champions to fight and, and basically compel, uh, um, instigate the sanction organizations promoters to work together to make better rankings, better title. You know, that would be one thing I would be all cheering. But my fear is, is that the Saudis are looking at this like, we can own boxing. Like DFC owns MMA, right? And, and if they do that, I mean, right now the first wave of boxers are gonna make a fortune, and the fans are gonna be happy that the, the top guys are fighting. But what happens five, 10 years down the line, if the Saudis basically have the title, they own it, like the UFC, you have to go to Saudi, you have to negotiate, sign with them under their terms. So the boxers have much less leverage money. They make less control over where they're gonna fight, who they're gonna fight. And on top of that, they kinda dictate who's fighting for the title. In other words, if you have a problem fighting in Saudi Arabia with that government, let's, who knows what they do in the future? It's like, well, guess what? You're kind of cut out of the sport. Or they, they're like, we could, because it's one thing for like UFC generally has an intent to like, let's just kind of, let's just let it the way it unfold. As long as we have contractual rights to you, we don't really care who wins. But for if the Saudis, if it's, if it's a political arm of the country, which it kind of is, there's nothing stopping in the future saying, we want these guys to win. We want this guy to be the top contender . We want this guy. 'cause this is for our political motivations. It's in, it's in our interest. Yeah. I mean, listen, that's The part that makes me nervous. It's like, it's not . Yeah, no, no. And, and that's, it's, yeah, it's a extremely legitimate concern because you've already seen that happen, right? Yeah. You've seen, like Turki Alalshikh was, you know, talking about, I mean, when, when Wilder was fighting Zhang, I think he was just like, yeah, you know, I wanna, I wanna see, you know, I wanna see Wilder versus Joshua. Like, how are you gonna feel if you're Zhang's people sitting in the, in the locker room hearing this, you know, like, wow, may, maybe we don't want to go to decision in this fight , you know, like, you know, I mean, yeah. I mean, I have no confidence at all in Turki Alalshikh, like being a, a Dana White or whoever's running, uh, who's, who's the, uh, Hunter Campbell? Who, whoever, Hunter Campbell? No, yeah. Whoever The person is who, who kind of is in charge and, and you know, make, makes the matches and all that. I mean, you know, I understand maybe they're throwing a bunch of crap on the wall and seeing what works with the whole, you know, um, having Ngannou fight a couple times, you know, see if that sells having like a team concept with Matchroom versus, you know. Yeah. It's the team Queensberry. That didn't bug me because Ngannou wasn't over a title that didn't hold anything up. Well, that's the part, it held up Fury from fighting Usik for, well, That, that's the first Fury fight. The first Fury fight did bother me. 'cause Fury didn't, didn't, uh, he hadn't fought a, a contender in over a year right. At that point. Right. He fought, yeah. So that was the part, it's one thing if you're Muhammad Ali fighting in Noki back in the seventies after you beat Norton and, and Frazier second time, and then back to back in five months, and then take, you know, that's one thing. You've, you've, you've met your obligations and you take an extra fight. It's another thing that I, I did think it was silly. It didn't bug me that Fury was fighting Ngannou. What bugged me is Fury was not meeting his obligations as champion strip him, then he's not meeting his obligations. Right. And that's my problem with the, uh, but Joshua Ngannou didn't bug me at all because it's like, it's a freak fight, but it doesn't stop the other pieces from moving . The, the, the, the sport is not halted because of that. Yeah. I mean, it was, it was a little weird for me. Like I, you know, like when I heard the fight was happening, like I, I was hoping Joshua would fight, you know, like Hrgovic or like another one of the top heavyweights. Like, it was just kind of like, oh man, we're getting another freak show fight. Like, but I, you know, listen, if anyone earned it, earned it, it was Ngannou with the performance with Fury, you know, so I get it. Like you did wanna see him against another top heavyweight if he wasn't gonna fight Fury again, like, you know, is this guy really that much of a freak that he can just jump from MMA and beat the top boxers? Um, you know, so I guess I'll forgive that, those two fights. I mean, there's, you know, Well, I still don't give, I don't forget the Fury one. It's, yeah, it's, you're the champion. You have an obligation. Right. And that's the thing. It's the, the, the sanction organization should be enforcing that you're defending in a proper fashion. If you're not, we're gonna strip you. Right. And, and they, no one, the sanction didn't bat an eye. They've made a special belt for this ridiculous fight, you know? Right. But it does, it does seem like the fights that get made are the ones that Turki Alalshikh wants to see. Right. Like, like supposedly. I mean, I read that, that article on brunch boxing, uh, shout out to those guys, um, about, uh, him approaching David Benavidez and asking him if he can make one 60 to fight, um, Crawford. And I'm just like, first of all, that's really dumb. I mean, you know, Benavidez has a hell of a time making 168 to, for him to crunch to one 60 is just, you gotta come on. It's a, He's the ultimate casual fan. Yeah. He really is with unlimited money. Yeah, Exactly. He, he just, he has a lot of Money's. It's like my friends, it's, you know, it's my friends talking about why can't, uh, back in the day, why can't, uh, oh, I wanna see Mayweather versus, uh, you know, Kovalev or something. I'm like, well, there's a little bit of a weight gap there, you know, people, this is not, it's not gonna happen. Right, right, right, right. Yeah. I know like a, a friend of mine who was a big, MMA fan was just like, oh, you know, when, when they made Trinidad versus Roy Jones, he's like, oh, this must be your dream fight. I'm like, this is not my dream fight Trinidad's way too small for Jones. This is this's not gonna be a competitive fight, man. I mean, you know, I don't know. But, uh, yeah, it's just, it's just, I don't know. Yeah. And the people are, are, And he does not inspire any confidence, you know, like, yeah. And people are gonna say like, oh, you guys are being critical 'cause you're Americans and you're, you know, criticizing the foreign, one thing, American government doesn't run boxing. They're private entities. Right. This the reason we can criticize Saudi Arabia. It's the Saudi government taking part . And two, it's an individual who's got everybody calling 'em as excellency, which is a little weird to me, that . Right, Right. They built up this cult of personality around them. Right. Already. So, uh, that's, that's where my critique, I just don't, like, again, if you've known me long enough, I hate the idea of anybody monopolizing the sport because think it's bad for the athletes might be good for the fans, but it's bad for the athletes in the long run. Yeah. I mean, in, in terms of monopoly, like, you know, I'm, I'm not, you know, you know, listen, the NFL, MLB, NBA, those are all monopolies too. And, and I don't have a problem with them. I don't, I don't in theory, have problem with the monopoly just on its face. You know. Um, the reason the UFC sucks is because they're, they're greedy and they don't pay their fighters if they paid their fighters a fair wage. If, if the wage share was somewhere near what, what, what, um, you know, what, what other major sports were, would you have as much of a problem with the UFC? Well, I mean, to me it's always the labor side. The reason the other sports aren't as bad as monopoly is because they get, the antitrust exemption becomes from a collective bargaining agreement. Right. If they didn't have a collective bargaining agreement, I would sit there and say, this is the worst thing ever. What's going on with the leagues? Right. I mean, what baseball in the early seventies sounds horrendous. And when I look at it, you know, how badly they paid, they treated the Athletes, right. The reserve clause that did No say so. Uh, and, and also I do have to do a problem with some of the monopoly power of the NFL. The, the way they abuse cities is a little disturbing at times. The how much they can take advantage for like, uh, stadiums and stuff. But besides that, I generally don't have a problem with it. As long as the athletes have nego can le leverage. The problem with the UFC is, like you said, they're a single entity and they, they've somehow had the trick where unlike boxing, they get to have their own sanctioning organization. They get to be a sanctioning organization, gives 'em all the power. I think it's, uh, an imbalance. And they, in Bo and I, I think boxing be bo like the, the current fighters. If the, if the Saudis are really trying to monopolize the sport, they're really gonna go on the line of merging the promotions under their on one roof that they control, uh, getting rid of maybe the sanction organizations and introducing their own titles. So they control those, uh, just to, you know, very, getting all the top guys in our contracts. The first wave of fighters are gonna make a fortune. They're gonna pay 'em way above scale. The second generation a little aren't gonna do as good. They're gonna, and then the third and fourth down, the further you're get along, the more they can take advantage of future fighters. 'cause there's gonna be no leverage outside the promotion. Yeah. I mean, the, the fighters would be very well advised to organize for sure. But, but I mean, and, and you're right. I think, you know, obviously these guys are entering the market. They're overpaying. That's how you, that's how you come into a market. You come guns blazing, you know, you, if you want to make any dents, um, you know, boxing's, uh, landscape is strewn with, you know, people who came in with a lot of money, never made it back and left the sport. Um, but at a certain point, you know, I mean, they're spending so much in getting, you know, I don't know what their rate of return is, but you know, they're, they're, they're, they're just losing their shirts on these cards. Um, you know, at a certain point it's gotta make financial sense. So, you know, will they be paying, you know, I mean, okay, let, let's, let's take the internet at its word and, and, you know, fury made a hundred million dollars for the Usyk fight. I, I just don't, I mean, I, I, I can't possibly see that happening. I mean, if, if, if they, I mean, what would be interesting, I mean, you know, you PBC had their experiment with, you know, time buys and, and trying to put, um, you know, boxing on, you know, network TV again to see, you know, knowing that, um, you know, they could do good ratings if they had really good fights. I mean, I, I've always kind of craved boxing being like the other leagues, getting its shit together and actually having the best, fighting the best on a regular basis on a regular schedule, and see what it would look like against the other sports and see how much, you know, they, they could actually get from the networks. I guess the problem is now, like, you know, what networks, you know, like, you know, like broadcast is just so like a, such, such a shitshow right now. Like, you know, streaming hasn't really been figured out yet. No one knows what the they're doing. You know, um, you've got boxing right now, you've got, you know, one major promoter on ESPN, one on Amazon, you know, a couple on D Zone, you know, um, you know, one that's here in the US on ESPN plus. So it's kind of like half in, half out. Um, you know, it's, it's just such a hodgepodge. So it's like if the Saudis streamline this and we're willing to like, you know, endure the pain, I just wonder where they would end up and, and just how much they could actually get and, and how they would go about approaching that. Like, you know, would you go to, because I mean, all, every major sport is fueled by broadcast revenue. That, that, that is the major source of income for every single major sport, at least in the us. Um, and I'm sure in, in Europe as well with, with football and so on. Um, so, you know, how are you, you have to come to the us you have to, you have to, you know, somehow come up with a plan, um, to get some sort of deal here. Um, you know, how are you gonna approach it, you know? And, and, and you know, that, I mean, all of the TV deals that are currently out there, you know, Top Rank's is up in 2025, Matchroom''s is up in 2026. Golden Boy's is up in 2025. Um, Queensberry I think is up in 2025. So, you know, all of these TV deals are coming up soon. So like, you know, what's the game plan for, for actually, you know, marketing this thing and getting some sort of rate of return, you know, return on investment. This, This is where I, I agree with your monopoly idea, and this is where I think promoters should work together. This is where promoters should work together to schedule events to drive up the rate of television, and that they're not competing, and then they can put on bigger events. And the problem is they're always terrified that my guy will lose. And then if all my guys lose, I am out of the business. And the other guys, you know, takes over. So you have to have some sort of concrete settlement. But I, Well actually, like the the single entity thing that you were proposing, I mean, if, if they have a share in the company, if they all have an equal share in the company, it's kind of like the leagues, right? Where they have an equal share of the television revenue, like the revenue share. Well, I still would, but I, I mean, I'd want to craft in a way that they're still competing over the athletes. That's the thing. You'd want some Sort, well, that's, and also for antitrust purposes, I would think you wouldn't want any barrier to entry. Like, who's to say, you know, that, you know, I mean, you've got like Zanfer, right? This, you know, a Mexican promoter, Fernando Beltran who no one really talks about, you know, he's got a lot of really good fighters. Let's suddenly, like the next Olympic crop of fighters, there's a, you know, 10 great fighters come outta Mexico, suddenly he's got all the hot fighters and all these other guys have shares in the league. You know, , it's like, Yeah, You Know, you, yeah, you'd wanna, you'd wanna , you Can't have barriers entry, I'd say it'd be more like a promotional, I mean, they have a promoters association, but have a stronger promotions association that negotiates with TV deals. I think this, this, the networks you wanna work with are, um, Amazon and Netflix global reach. And that way you can cut deals. And, you know, if you get in a way and, and Canelo you're selling to Mexico, and you know, in other words, you can get huge sums of money all across the globe because certain stars are big in certain countries. Right. But if that's the, that's easier said than done. But the truth is, is like, I think boxing, everybody talks about how boxing over performs on good fights, right? That's why people keep dipping their toes into getting boxing. Right? The problem is then you have mul, too many networks are competing, so it dilutes the audience. It's not like the UFC where everybody's an MMA fan subscribes, ESPN plus and watches UFC there no one can subscribe to. All the networks boxing's on, so you dilute, there's just too many networks. The product's too diluted. So it kind of, it kind of loses the power it would have if you concentrated it. So I, I would like to see the promoters to work together, right. Um, to get a better deal. Uh, the, again, the secret would be that structured in a way where we, we can, we can pull our resources with the network. Uh, it'd be great if actually had kind of a return to HBO where they have a massive amount of money and they have no house promotions, right? That they're, they have a boxing guy and they're putting out bids and what fight can you get me? That's the fight. I wanna see if you had something like that. So, but we don't have that. The, the, the, the secret now is these, the streamings these services now is, they don't seem to have an interest in having boxing people. They're like, we're gonna hire you to, to give us 40 shows. You curate it. Right? Right. Right. There's no, there's no ombudsman, . And Then you end up with, uh, but arum, you know, keeping their guys occupied against second rate fighters that no want to See, Right? Right. And you're like, you're getting 90 million a year arum, and you're probably spending a, you know, much less than anybody else would in that, that position to make a much higher profit. But we're not getting the fights that drive the audience. So, um, right. Or, or you've got PPC where everything, you know, is on pay-per-view, you know, and it's kind of been that way with their last year on Showtime, you know, the big fights were on pay-per-view and fights that, you know, I mean, listen, Emmy, I, I give PPC credit that last year on Showtime, even though they didn't have their superstars fighting on it. Um, you know, the, the odds on the fights were like five to one or less for the most part. You know, I mean, they, they put on competitive fights. Like you look at Top Rank and Golden Boy and, and Matchroom last year, it's all like 10 to one 15 to one type fights. Yeah. On average. Well, that's on Average. Well, that's, that's also prom boxing has is, and where UFC doesn't is one is MMA is just more competitive than boxing because there's so many different ways to win an MMA, the matchups. It's, it makes the fights even where boxing, if you're, you just, you pretty much tell pretty quickly that guy's more talented, he is got it figured out. He's gonna beat the guy. So you run into that pro. So it's harder to make close matchups in boxing. On top of that, UFC doesn't care who wins or loses. So they throw guys together. And, and that's important because gambling has be gotten so important in combat sports. Gambling is such a driver of ratings for the second tier shows. Gambling is such a big driver of sponsorship. And for boxing, the problem again is you, it's harder to make competitive. You make competitive matchups, but it's hard to make the basically 50 50 splits that you can in MMA. And on top of that, the promotions you get beyond some fights, they wanna protect their guys. They don't have, they don't have everybody like UFC does, and they don't care who wins or loses UFC's. Like, you got, we don't need to curate or, or help promote or build anybody. We're just here, you're coming to us boxing promotions, like, I'm putting effort in this guy. I gotta protect him a little bit until I get my return. And that makes terrible odds, which is terrible for bet for betting. Right? Well, I think, I mean, it's, it's not so mu I mean, you have to know what you're doing to make the, the, the fights, you know, five to one or less odds. I mean, you know, pro box does it on a, on a, on a smaller level. And you know, we did it at Ring City, that was our credo. We, we, we, That was your credo. But again, you're not trying to protect guys, like, Right. Well, I think with the South, the Saudis don't have a, you know, they don't have, I mean, that's the thing. Okay. So, so then they like, you know, buy into these promotional companies, does that change? But right now it seems like, you know, they, they are putting on pretty even fights, you know, like with top guys, you're seeing upsets and, you know, Lord, the, the, I mean, I, I had, I, I forget, I I, I did some research on like, you know, how often upsets happen in boxing on t in TV fights and how often they happen in other sports. And it's just unbelievable. Like how, how few of, uh, of of tv, you know, the fights on television for with boxing, you know, upsets happen compared to UFC or the NFL or the NBA. Um, and it's all matchmaking. It's all matchmaking. It really is all matchmaking. Um, because you can make very competitive fights, you know, it's, you just have to know the sport and, you know, the, the styles of the fighters. I mean, it's, it's very doable. Um, but it, you know, like you said, it's not that there's no incentive for the promoters who have exclusive deals to get their fighters beat. You know? So, so you don't see most of these promoters putting on fights that are, that are 50 50. But, um, but yeah. Let's, um, so I guess John, you know, they, they love the work you've been doing on these podcasts, and the Saudis come to you and they say, all right, you know, we've got all this money. Like, you know, in, in your perfect world, how do we structure this thing? How do, how do we make it right? You know, we have some good ideas. Um, you know, how would you tweak what they're doing? Or, or, or, uh, you know, if, if you were handed the job, you know, how, how would you structure it? Well, I mean, there's two ways. One, how would I like to see the sport structured? And if the Saudis came to me, what would I tell 'em to do to take over the sport? two different things. If I, I'm gonna go with the, the, the Saudis want take over the sport. Yes. I'm here to listen. I'm Saudis, you come call me and I will, I will guide you to taking over The sport the right amount of money. I might feel guilty about it. And I don't think I'll ever go to Saudi Arabia. 'cause if you read my tweet, my, my tweets, I might never leave . I might be in prison. But, you know, I mean, the first step, like I said, I would contact 'em and create one entity company in Saudi Arabia. Right? That's, so it's protected from US law. You don't have to worry about the, uh, the, the, the concern you have is maybe the FTC looking at the mergers and blocking it. Like they're kind of doing with LIV and, uh, and PGA , the Department of Justice. That's the one concern you'd have. Uh, but you do it in Saudi Arabia, so you're protected from most antitrust law. There. You could be a single entity monopoly. Take advantage of that. That's step one. Step two is sign all the top fighters and start a prog eventually. I mean, you have, there's a whole way you'd have to do this. 'cause fighters aren't gonna sign long-term agreements originally. But eventually you can through the process of elimination and moving new fighters. And you can get those contracts longer and longer to make 'em exclusive contracts. And finally, the sanctioning organizations, I pay, those guys are greedy as hell pay 'em a ton of money to merge their belts and, you know, go to hiatus and retire. We have control of a separate, oh, it wouldn't be part of, uh, Riyadh season. It's an independent sanctioning organization in Saudi Arabia that merges all the belts, independent air quotes there for people listening , because it's still, the Saudi government would influence. But that would give you some level of, uh, separation. If you ever go to the US to promote and someone wants to challenge you on the ALI Act, it's like, no, we're not giving compensation. It's a second step independent organization doing this. But then you have, basically, you have control of the titles. You have, uh, control of the top fighters. So you have the promotion. So if someone wants to be a, a, a, a top fighter, get recognized in the sport, they have to come talk to you, sign to you. Otherwise they will never get access to the top fighters or a championship. And if you have proms in America, 'cause the Ali Act, you just hold most of your events that you have to in that weight class in Saudi Arabia with non-Americans until you starve out the troublemakers. And then eventually you can come back to America . Well, and, and, and you pay your fighters a lot of money. 'cause really, you know, who's gonna sue you? Uh, you know, it's either gonna be the fighters or the da, you know, some sort of DA and gener, none of the das would suit anybody. first generations, you pay multiples what they'd get. The second generation, you pay the same that they'd normally get. The third generation, we are paying them USC wages and they can't do anything about it. Yeah. It's, it's, it's, it's interesting. Um, you know, I mean, you know, you know, Saudis are fueling, I, I, I mean, listen, I, you know, I, I've been in the sport a long time, uh, looked at these things for a long time. Um, but I'm, I'm not particularly interested in working for the Saudis, but, um, I, I'm kind of excited that the fact that Top Rank and, uh, and PBC work together a lot, that that is true, that possibility. 'cause that opens up, if competition creates two an A-F-L-N-F-L going at it and putting on the best pro A-B-A-N-B-A, that's, that's great for everybody. . So you're saying if, if Queensberry, Golden Boy, um, and Matchroom and a lot of the smaller guys who have the onesies and twosies of fighters that they have, um, buy in, you know, like take the money and, and, and go to Saudi Arabia and you know, Al and Bob fight it, you know, we're not, we're not, you know, giving in, we're gonna do our own thing. Um, yeah. That, that, that's a possibility that that might happen. I mean, you look at what's going on in, in, uh, you know, in tennis and in and in golf and, you know, the, the Saudis, you know, came out swinging in golf. They, they formed their own league with, with Greg Norman, um, you know, poached a ton of, uh, top players and are still poaching players. Um, you know, they, they had that lawsuit, you know, they had the, the players sued the PGA and then, you know, they didn't get the TRO. Um, and basically the players pretty much all backed out of the suit because then the PGA Countersued and they countersued LIV and, uh, the PIF and you know, that's, it's really interesting. Uh, things seem to be going the PGA's way, um, in the litigation. And also LIV just got off to a horrible start. No one was watching it. They were hardly getting any crowds. It just seemed like a disaster. And then suddenly the commissioner says, Hey, we're merging, you know, this after, you know, he, he used all this like anti Saudi rhetoric and it, you know, it, you know, brought in the families of people who died in nine 11, and to tell the golfers how, how horrible the Saudis were, and you can't take their money. And then just folded like a house of cards. And then, hey, we're, they're you new bosses guys. And, uh, it's just amazing that, uh, you know, the, the, the players just had such a viscerally negative reaction to that. I'm amazed that the PGA commissioner still has his job. Um, and you that Was great. Yeah. I mean, obviously his money, the, the, a pledge of 1.5 billion into a special fund, uh, I, right. It's, I think we got him as to compete with LIV. They started increasing drastically player salaries, or not player, but winning the, the winnings. Oh, yeah. Well, They paid Them and they looked at it and they said they Paid them bonuses to come and sign too, that were just unbelievable Mat. Yeah, well, that's just that the PGA increased the, the the Oh yeah, no, the, no, the PGA drastically, the PGA took on investors. The PGA is now squeezing a lot of these like, local tournaments to up the, up the money and, you know, the, this whole, you know, nonprofit thing where, you know, they're basically asking them, you know, whatever money they give to charity, kind of siphon a little more of that into the tournaments, and they're off the, the, the tournament organizers. It's an absolute freaking mess right now. And they still, I mean, this, this case was settled what in, uh, you know, like May of 2023, and they were supposed to have a, a merger done by December of 2023, and they still don't have it. Well, the, the big question is the DOJ is still under investigation on it, on the, and so the, that might completely get blocked. Antitrust. I just, I'm just laughing about that because it's like, you know, the DOJ, the DOJ had no problem with the PGA when it was on its own, right? Like, there, there was no monopoly questions. Oh, it Personally, they did go after the PGA for being antitrust when the players brought the acquisition to 'em recently. That's why they got, that's why they, they flipped it again, remember the original of the PGA went after LIV and the, and the DOJ started investigating the PGA because their practices broke antitrust. No, no, no. I'm saying, I'm saying before LIV existed. Oh, Yeah, yeah. But because that was a different, They had no problem with the PGA. We are in a different world of antitrust, and I'm all for it. We are in the, the Cantor and on era when, when the, the new appointees that run the, the Department of Justice and the FTC, they're doing what we, we should have been doing for decades. They're under. And so yes, everybody ignored, everybody ignored every antitrust law . But we didn't even go after Live Nation in 2012. And it's so obvious they were breaking monopoly rules, antitrust law. And, but that's the difference. Now, if Biden wins and there's no guarantee wins, but if he wins, then I'm like, I do not know if the PGA LIV merger happens. I think it gets blocked. Hmm. And I also don't know, I would be a little nervous about this potential Saudi move, because I don't know if the FTC would allow a merger between American companies, American promotions, and a Saudi foreign entity as a, as a monopoly. They could possibly block that. I mean, and and do you think it's because it's a Saudi entity? Like if it was, it was two US entities, do you think? I mean, listen, no, I think it, I, I worked on the, the, uh, XM serious merger, and I mean, they were the only two players in the market, , and, and that got approved. But like you said, it, it's, well, it's a Different, but look who, who, who approved that one? Again, it's a different, they, they, they have an order, an executive order for Biden that they're supposed to concentration is not desirable. We want competition in the markets and specifically for workers. I think it gets pretty obvious when you look at, uh, uh, if all the boxing promotions merge, what happens to boxers? Who would be viewed as the workers? I, I don't think they, I don't, again, we are in a, we are in a much more proactive antitrust era, or, or at least currently this administration than we've seen since, you know, the sixties and seventies. Hmm. So this is, I I think people are, in fact, there's Larry k uh, uh, uh, Kudler or whatever. Kudler, yeah. Larry from Fox News, remember he held the, uh, the Trump meeting with the cos. Yeah. Uh, he was talking about one of the big things that the cos were asking for is that they are too much regulation and they want the FTC and the DOJ reigned in . 'cause They're just, they're, it's, uh, it's a, it's something that they, I think that's a major concern for a lot of companies. And, uh, and I'm, I'm all for those guys doing it. I hope they keep doing it because, Uh, , I think it's, I mean, I, I honestly, I mean, I, I don't know. I mean, I, I think with this, 'cause boxing is so broken, you know, like, I don't know. I mean, I think there's, there's kind of a pro competitive story to tell, right? I mean, you, you've got, I mean the, you know, the, the, the fans around that, they wanna see the top boxers compete. They, they aren't competing now. And, and, you know, it's, it's kind of incumbent, you know, if, if it ever came to all this, you know, you gotta kind of tell a pro competitive story. Like, Well, I mean, but You gotta, you're expanding output. I wanna push and you're improving quality for the fans by, by having some of these innovations. But the pushback a little bit, we, we kinda haven't seen the top fighters the last two years have been one of the best runs we've seen for the, the top guys fighting each other Because of the Saudis, Not just the Saudi. So look, what's, you know, we got Crawford versus Spence right After what, five years of waiting for it. Yeah. But we, I mean, I'm saying that the, what might be Saudis, We wouldn't, we wouldn't have had Bval and better BV without the Saudis probably wouldn't have had Fury versus, well, we Haven't had it yet versus Haven't had. But it's, you know, it's signed and, and scheduled. Um, so I, I mean, I don't know. I I, I think there's definitely, uh, you know, some, some pro-competitive story to, to tell. There Is, but I'm, but we've seen that there for whatever reason. We've seen a lot of young guys like Ryan Garcia pushing for big fights, Devin Haney pushing for big, uh, taint Davis now pushing for big fights. And so we're seeing them in the, in a way, moving up and, and winning, you know, uh, unifying division after division. And Canelo did that before and, and Crawford and Spence. So I, I, I think boxing is the, the, I mean, it's been surprising in, in the, in the, you know, siloed promoter, you know, different network era that we have had so many, um, unifications Mm-Hmm, . Yeah. I, I, I'll agree with that. I'll agree with that. Now does it, does it hold up? Does it continue? That's a, uh, I I just don't, I mean, you could say pro-competitive, the Saudis, but at the same time, if the Saudis get complete control, what happens to fighter purses? Well, And that would be, that'd be the interest of the FTC right there, is that they, that's they have a, an order to make sure they take into consideration the workers. Yeah. I mean, uh, at this point, they point, well, we've got, we're paying the guys an LIVA ton more than the PGA is. We're, you know, we're, we're looking to, you know, expand the persons in tennis, you know, the, the guys in boxing have made a lot more money. So, you know, I mean, listen, I've, you know, I wish it was someone else other than the Saudis. Uh, but if, if all, all I'm hoping for is, is structure, you know, I mean, I, I'd like to see more structure in the sport, you know, if there's any positive to the Saudis coming in, you know, it's that, you know, if they could pull this thing off, um, obviously, you know, in, in my perfect scenario, you'd have the pyramid structure. You'd have them funding the second tier, um, because it makes sense. Um, you know, how, how are you going to have guys get relegated, um, and guys come up if you don't have that second tier active and, and guys competing, you know, to, to rightfully move up. Um, you know, I I I, I, I would like to see them do that. There's no mention of that here. Maybe something, you know, they're just like, it's like you said, it's beyond the scope. I mean, really what the, the end game here is, is is driving tourism to Saudi. Um, you know, that's, that's really the only reason they're spending all this money on sports is to bring more events to Saudi. And, you know, second tier events is not, not something they're really Interested in. Yeah. I mean, it might not, it might not be tourism too is also the idea of just branding the Saudis as the home of this stuff, that they're the entity that has it. Right. Well, I Think get in your head that you think about Saudi Arabia for something other than fundamental. I think, I Think, I Think the, the Prince said that, you know, if if this sports washing quotes, uh, improves my GDP by even 1%, then more sports washing, it is . So, um, Yeah, I just, I, again, I go back to the structure I want, I would like is something where we, uh, it's not someone controlling all the boxers. It's someone saying that the titles, the championship, the rankings we have structure in, and then everybody knows this is what I have to do to rise in the ranks, and I am gonna make deals. I'm gonna cut, I'm gonna, we're gonna negotiate, we're gonna co-promote whatever we have to do to make these fights. Because I wanna be a champion as, uh, uh, as as, uh, uh, Carlos Newton, the MMA fighter said when he was talking about how the sport of MMA should be structured, 'cause he wanna, based on, based partly on boxing. I guess the, what boxing used to be is fighters compete for championships, and promoters compete for fighters that can be champions. And that's, if, if that's it, fighters are only worried about rising in the ranks, and the promoters are worried about getting the guys that can rise in the ranks, then I think it's a win for everybody. And salaries, the money and the goes to the fighters then, Right? I mean, you know, this was stuff we talked about, you know, in, in, in the previous podcast. Yeah. I mean, I, I, I, I wanted to see the promoters working together, you know, forming a league, having one, um, championship, you know, one set of independent rankings, whether they be box rec or media ratings or something like the BCS does, where they kind of combine these things, um, and, and, and have a committee. You know, like obviously I'm, I'm big fan of, uh, tournaments, and that's kind of one thing I liked about the Saudi structure. If you cut it down to 12 divisions and you did these tournaments and you did like three or four divisions a year, um, you'd create so much excitement in the sport and, you know, keeping, you know, all of those fighters at, or at least, you know, a top eight. Or if, if you had one champ in 15 contenders, that's a nice 16 man tournament. , well, I don't Four fights Don think they're planning on tournaments. I don't think they're, they're planning ons. They, they didn't mention, uh, they didn't mention anything. I think it's just purely that they're gonna, the, the, the ladder system of going through the rankings moving up, and then if you lose a couple fights, you get thrown out of the, the league and they bring someone new one. But I mean, it, I mean, if you're gonna have just 15 fighters per division, though it makes sense to have some sort of organization, , you know, and, and, and the guys fighting each other. And I don't know why you wouldn't do tournaments, or at least eliminators, you know, um, four man eliminators, something, you know, where, uh, where you have, uh, you know, seedings and, and, and, you know, the ratings mean something. Um, and you know, I, I like the idea. I mean, every other sport does tournaments. I think boxing could do it too. I love the World Boxing Super series. It created stars. Um, you know, and, and you're seeing too, with, with, with the Saudis, I mean, there are guy, you know, there's upsets in these fights at the, at heavyweights and new, new stars are emerging, um, when these guys actually fight the fights. So I think the more of that you had, um, I think, uh, the more stars you're gonna create, the more excitement you're gonna create. Um, you know, obviously, you know, when, when you and I have talked about structure of a league too, we've also talked about, you know, the tennis or, or, or golf model where, um, you know, you have a board where the, the, the fighters have, or the, you know, the, the players or the fighters have, uh, a seat on the board and, and, um, you know, there's some structure like that. You have a commissioner who can enforce the rules. Um, there's not really a lot of talk about that though. When they're talk, when they, when they say UFC style, that's the thing that really, when, if you're gonna talk about UFC, you know, the, the, the thing out, you know, it's that Dana and, and whatever hunter run it, right? It's not, there's no board, there's no, you know, fighters with a seat at the table. It's just, you know, uh, iron fist of, you know, yeah. Used to be the, the Titas and Yeah. And Joe Silva and Dana. Now it's, There's no objective rankings. There's no mandatories, right. You don't earn a mandatory that there's No real structure. Yeah, Yeah, yeah. It's, uh, it's, it's at the whim of them. And if Right, you get stripped, if you, uh, they, they create interims when they wanna, there's no, Yeah, there's no set of rules in the UFC, right? O other than like the unified rules of combat, right? There's no, Yeah. The, the, the rules in the ring, yes, but the rules of what's guiding, it's The guiding principles of the Sport unsaid rules, I guess. Because everybody assumes, but you know what, but there is no, yeah, there's no, there's no, uh, there's to be the champion, there's no obligations. It's not like you have to defend within this amount of time or you get script, right? We have nothing like that. We have no mandatories. If you get declared the mandatory, you have this amount of time or you win, you know, the title has to be handed to you or something. There's none of that. Right? So it's, it does take a lot, you know, basically is you agree to our terms and then we'll give you a title shot . And that's my one fear for, right. Which is, yeah. So, well, I'm glad we figured all this out. . I'm sure We, well, it's just that there's a lot more to talk about. It's just like, you know, okay, they, they've thrown this idea out there. It seems like, you know, there are some promoters who are willing to listen, others who are just kind of like, nah, you know, even though those, you know, speaking about Top Rank or even PBC, you know, they've kind of had a, a, they've been willing to listen to offers before . But, uh, you know, now suddenly, uh, you know, Top Rank is saying, oh, you know, that's not gonna happen. Which, uh, is a little discouraging. But it's funny 'cause I, you know, I was looking at the ALI Act the other day when I was thinking about this league, and, and one of the, um, one of the criteria that, that, uh, that they had in that the, that the, um, that the a BC set was that I think, you know, the, the top 10 contenders had to fight another contender to keep their rating like once every 18 months. So, and, and not one of the sanctioning bodies has ever, I mean, that, that's, that's, that's a really tough requirement. Like, you know, you've, I mean to you, every 18 months you have to, you know, to, in order to stay in the top 10, not even to get a title shot, you have to like beat another top 10 guy. I mean, it's, it's great, you know, wishful thinking. And it, you know, I was just thinking, well, if, if the Saudis actually pulled this off and you have a top 15 and they're all fighting each other, I mean, that's, I don't mind that , it's kind of more close to what the, what the A BC was. Uh, I see. Listen, the Saudis came and said, we're just gonna make the ultimate sanctioning organization the UFC of sanctioning organizations, right? And we're not gonna promote, we're just gonna, like, we're gonna, we're, I mean, we'll just get bonus payments for fighting to defend our belts or being on part of our ranking. But that would be one thing I'd be like, that's great. They got everybody involved and they're gonna have objective rankings and set rules. They're gonna fall at a hundred percent. I'd be like, man, you just fixed boxing. But again, my fear is eventually is that they, we are gonna, five years of the future, we're gonna be like, well, what's going on? Well, that guy has to, why haven't we seen this guy Fighter? Why isn't he ranked? Because he hasn't agreed to all the terms, the Saudis demand to get access to the title. Mm-Hmm. Just like the UFC. And so that'll be the, that's where a start will be like, ah, maybe that was not a good idea to go with the Saudis. I mean, I'm, I'm really interested in seeing what their contracts look like. 'cause I mean, um, you know, if, if, and when they rolled us out, because I was looking at the LIV golf contract or, or a sample one, and they were called, uh, player participation agreements. Um, and in those agreements, the, the players signed up for just a season at a time and uh, you know, and if they sucked and they were subject to relegation, um, but if they maintained their individual ranking, um, the player in their sole discretion could renew for one season or more, depending on how high their ranking was. If, if, if it was like really high, then they could renew for a couple seasons, I guess. Although the, this was heavily redacted, so I, I didn't see all the terms, but the player, you know, essentially got to negotiate good faith. The, uh, the terms and conditions of the extension. Um, all the players, you know, they had to agree to be bound by the LIV league rules. And I'm assuming all, I mean, this stuff is kind of similar to the PGA's system, right? Um, But I I, I would say that the difference is that there's a PGA out there. So they have to make an a an offer that, Right? That that mirrors A-A-A-A-A STAR has, who has leverage. 'cause he can go to the PGA will accept. Now what happens if the PGA goes out of business and there's only live or LIV or whatever the hell it's called in the future, right? I'm not sure those offers will be quite as favorable to the, the, the, the golfers in the future. Hmm. Yeah. I mean, listen, it's, it's, uh, you know, I mean, I think obviously what they, what they're doing with these offers is trying to avoid antitrust problems. 'cause you don't wanna have some sort of restraint of trade, um, charge brought against you. So they're allowing them to leave after a year knowing full well that they're paying so far above what the PGA pays for often mediocre golfers. Um, that, that, that, that they're definitely gonna stay. Um, and I just, you know, it's the same consulting companies working on the boxing stuff as LIV. But, um, but yeah, I mean there they are two different industries and boxing generally doesn't work this way. Um, you know, you don't, you know, in, in, in golf, because they've had antitrust concerns with exclusive contracts, they do this thing where you just become a member and you agree to the, the, the league rules. Um, and you have to abide by them as long as you're a member, which means you have to play a certain amount of tournaments and this and that. And, you know, LIV had all that stuff in there. Um, but yeah, I'm, I'm really interested to see, um, what the contracts look like. Are they gonna look more like the UFC's contracts? Are they gonna look more like a standard boxing contract, or are they gonna be, you know, something, uh, akin to, to the LIV things where, you know, they just do them year by year. If they just did them year by year, I would definitely have no problem with, uh, you know, if they were free to leave, um, after a year's time, uh, I, I would definitely have no problem If they, if they could put that in writing somehow. Yeah. That, that's a guarantee, I then I, I'd have much less of a problem. But my fear is you do that for the first couple generations and then the people want to get a chance to fight. The top guys won the title, then you start asking more and more of those guys. It's, you know, again, it's the UFC process where, you know, when there's all these other options out there, you can't do everything, but when suddenly you have 90% of the talent, like you can make really big demands of all your fighters. Right, right, right. Yeah, I mean the UFC contracts are obviously ridiculous. I mean, you know, they just settled out a lawsuit for 300 some million dollars and you know, they're, they're, they're trying to finalize a settlement. The judge is just saying after all that, I listened to you guys settle for 300 fricking, you know, dollars, you know, 300, $300 million, like that's not enough, man. You know, you guys are like puffing. This is like a billion dollars suit. Like, how'd you sell out like that ? Well, I wish, I wish, I wish one of them kind of threw it back at the judge. Like perhaps if you had hurried the case up, we would still have injunctive relief to hold as a threat to the UFC, but now We, You know, you've kind of put us in a position where we could easily get nothing out of this, so. Right, Right. Yeah, you send it to a jury, you never know what the hell you're gonna get. So you gotta get eight and you gotta get all eight to vote. People don't get that for federal lawsuits like that, so. Right, right. Huh. No doubt. No doubt. Let's see if I had anything else for you. Um, let's see. UFC styling or, uh, wow. Yeah, I was, I actually looking at, I was looking at stats of the UFC for 2023. So they had like 40, supposedly 43 events, 14 pay-per-view, 520 fights in total, including 21. So that's, that's about 12 fights per card. And they've got like around 600 fighters under contract. And I'm just like. You know, like ESPN contracted for just Top Rank, Top Rank alone to put 54 shows on their air back in 18. They don't have, they don't have 600 fighters. That's crazy. Um, I, I think the UFC averages about one and a half fight per fighter. One and a half fights a year. That's it. I mean, yeah, that makes sense. You know, you've got 600 fighters and you know, they, they put together 520 fights, um, you know, so Yeah, 1024 bouts, total fight bouts for fighter. And then, so there's, yeah, so one point, I guess 1.8, one point, you know, I think there's 700 fighters actually, but still under contract supposedly. That's the last number I heard. So, Yeah. I mean, guys get injured. Injured, Yeah. Yeah. That, Yeah, I mean, it, it, it, Yeah, you don't, you guys, you don't wanna give a fight 'cause they haven't resigned their contract yet and you wanna freeze 'em out. There's all those, there's a lot of variables in there . So Yeah, I mean, you know, so, so I was thinking, you know, with, if, if they had 200 fighters, I mean, I, I don't know how many shows that they would, they would do a year. I mean, I would hope they would do, you know, at at least as many shows as the UFC does, you know, I mean, they're not going to put, you know, 12 fights on a card, you know, maybe four or five, six at the most, you know. But, um, you know, and, and I would hope that they would have the boxers fight at least twice a year. I mean, I, I, that was one part I did like about the article. I'm just like, you know, they, they wanted to mandate that these guys have to fight. You know, you can't just like, you know, Crawford's been fighting one time a year, and I know that, uh, one of the guys on the internet, uh, I forget his handle. Um, no one uses their name. No one has the strength of their convictions jaw to put their name to these things on, on Twitter. But, um, one of these, uh, one of these guys like, did a really cool thing where he went through the ESPN top 100 fighters from the year before. And, you know, you looked at it and I, I I would say I think over half had either not fought at all or only fought once, and these are like the top guys in the sport, you know, and, and like, literally I think less than a handful, less than five had fought three times. And I'm just like, that's pathetic. It's horrible. It's horrible. Now there's various reasons. There's injuries, there's, you know, I don't know, promotional problems. Some guys are basically retired. So, you know, it wasn't all just guys not wanting to fight, but I was just like, man, you know, as, as a guy who represented fighters for, uh, you know, over 20 years, like I never did a contract for a fighter where they were, you know, guaranteed at least, you know, two fights a year by a promoter. And there's not like a, a wave of lawsuits suing promoters for breach of contract. So like, why aren't these guys fighting? You know, are they getting paid too much? John ? I don't know. I don't know. I, I I mean, it could be, I mean, the, the difference between certain ballots might be so great that it, uh, it's worth waiting. But, uh, right. Uh, I mean that's why I think you got incentives. To me, it's all regulation. You gotta incentivize. You don't fight. You're dropped from the rankings. You don't, you know, or you go down one of the two, you know, but something that motivates guys that go, I gotta preserve my spot because I eventually wanna get a title shot, so I gotta, you know. Well, that's, That's, that's, That's structure stuff to get people. That's it. Structure to me that's, that, that, that's the key right there. The one thing we've never had in boxing is buy-in by all the relevant parties. And you've never had a league where fighters have to commit to fighting, at least like tennis, you have to play a certain amount of tournaments every year. Golf, you have to play a certain amount of tournaments every year. The team sports have their schedules worked out. They play x amount of games a year. There's never been a structure in boxing where fighters sign on and have to appear in a certain amount of fights per year. You know, and, and I mean, geez, back in the day, it was not a problem. . But, but I, I also, I don't, I don't wanna for, I mean, it's fighting. I don't wanna force people to do stuff. I don't wanna say you have to, I don't wanna, uh, I, I like to leave the, the possibility open. A fighter can do whatever he wants. He can fight whoever he wants, whatever. But if you wanna be ranked, if you wanna move up the rankings, if you wanna fight for the title, if you want, you know, if you want to have the title, then you gotta follow the rules, right? If you're willing to, if you wanna be Jake Paul and fight whoever you want and do weird, that's a whole different, right? You can do whatever you want. Jake, what Mayweather's doing now, fighting Gotti, the, the third that does don't, you can do stuff like that that has no bearing, but if you're, if you want to claim you're the champion, if you want to be ranked in a certain position, if you wanna have a chance for the title, these is what, you know, follow these rules because these are the guidelines we've set out and Right. Everything else is free. Everything else is negotiated. You, You can't, you can't force fighters to fight. Yeah. I mean, that's, that's like, that's case law. But like, you know, I mean, well, but you Mean from the, not to take you away, but you from the UFC model, you kind of can, because you can say, unless you fight this guy, we're not giving you a fight and you can't go anywhere else. No, but I mean, but you can't literally go to court and force a guy to get in the ring. Oh, Yeah. You can't a Fight, But you can deny him ever fighting anybody else. Right. You can freeze him out. Right, right, Right. But I see, I don't, I don't, I'm not a big fan of that. My whole thing is, is you structure it that you motivate guys, that it's, that the incentive is there for them to take the better fights. Right? Well, that's my thing with, with structure and tournaments and all that, uh, I'm just like, you know, the more of that the better because Yeah, I mean, listen, from, from, you know, the reason sanctioning bodies came into existence or one of, well, I mean, one of the things that they tried to implement when they came into existence, when they actually had, uh, governing the sport and doing what's best for the sport in mind, I'm going back to the NBA back in the twenties, uh, once they started doing ratings, the whole idea was to get champions to fight the number one contender and fight the guy who people, you know, wanted to see, you know, trying to enforce those rules. Um, but they, you know, you know, fighters are gonna do what they're gonna do because these sanctioning bodies, there was never a league, there was never, you know, you never, you know, had like LIV has, or like the NFL has or like the ATP has, you know, there's never been a commitment to like, follow the rule, like with four sanctioning bodies. Yeah, you can kind of treat their rules like a contract when you sue them , but there's no real contract per se that, you know, I mean, if you wanna be the WBA champ, you have to follow those rules. But there's three other sanctioning bodies, you know, like, And also they're very, the very rules are very loose. They have, it's Oh yeah. The WBA can, and all of them can just, there's always the rule that they can make an exception to any other rule, which is so arbitrary and capricious. Ridiculous. Yeah. Well, this is my last thing before I have to get outta here, but I, I think this is a perfect time for fighters to take it serious. Because if you are worried, if you're, I mean, some fighters might not because they're looking at, there's tons of money gonna come from the Saudis, but if you are worried about the future of future boxers, what they're gonna have to go through, this might be the time for you guys to get together and start thinking what can we the boxers do? And because we have some power, even though we're technically powerless and we're, but there is, if a group of bo, if, if, if the, if the biggest American boxers showed up in Congress and said, we would really like you guys to add an addendum to the ALI Act or add a or, or do a national commission or something or whatever, or, or throw your weight by one, even sanction organization, I am, the power they would have would be immense. I don't think people understand what kind of power, uh, the very top guys would have if they ever got their act together. Yeah. I mean, it, it, yeah. It goes without saying with that. Yeah. I mean, like a, a, a fighter's association, you know, that, that, that, you know, could, could organize the fighters and, you know, push for a seat at the table or push for collective bargaining or, you know, e even, you know, like I, I Was at enforce, the Ali Act Enforce, the Ali Act, right, where they could fund the lawsuits. I mean, you know, I was at a conference on boxing and the law in London and, you know, there, there were plenty of lawyers over there who represent athletes in other sports, and they're just like, it's insane that boxing doesn't have a boxer's association just to give them, you know, like, you know, in every other sport over there, you know, when guys turn pro, they, they're, you know, the, the, the Players Association, you know, gives them, you know, lectures about, you know, setting up your own, you know, business entity and social media training and you know, what you do with that first paycheck and all that kind of stuff. You know, I mean, it's, it's, it's something that, you know, if for no other reason, that would be great to have a boxers association just for those types of things. Um, you know, and, and also here in the big sports, you know, you have the, uh, the, the players associations, they regulate the, uh, the agents, you know, I mean, who can become an agent, you know, and, you know, you wouldn't, you know, theoretically you wouldn't have the Daniel Kinahan come into the sport if you had a really strong fighter's association, players association that regulated, you know, who could be, who could manage fighters, who could represent fighters in contract negotiations and so on. You, you just don't have that. But, but yeah, you know, I, I, it's not really that far afield to talk about these things because if, if there really is someone with unlimited amount of money who's looking realistically at consolidating the sport, it's something that, you know, boxers really need to, uh, keep an eye on and, and think, and managers too, because I mean, when you talk about the A TP and tennis, um, it wasn't really the players that organized that. It was their representation, Donald Dell and, and all of those guys, they set up the A TP and they ended up becoming the event promoters on the tour, you know, and eventually, you know, they had to give up the representation of the players. They had a huge conflict of interest there. But, but, um, but yeah, I mean, you, you, you have to have, you know, the, the, the players rep or the fighters, reps and the fighters. I mean, forming an association if, if there's some sort of league that gets formed is, is essential. Absolutely essential , I, I would think anyway. And, and you've, you know, always been a huge fan of, uh, of tennis and, and the players organizing and, and, uh, and, uh, bringing it into, uh, existence. But tennis is like, yeah, I was looking into it further. It's like, you know, tennis is put together with like rubber bands, bubble gum and thumbtacks. Man, you, you Actually, I'm a much bigger proponent of what the PGA did. Okay. How they organized it. But then tennis, tennis guys really get taken advantage for different reasons. In fact, it's cited in the AK hearings, the, the , but, uh, PGA, I think except now it's really gone overboard even better how they treat the players, because the LIV is there as a competitor to it. So Well, yeah, I mean, uh, well, well, but the players are so at their commissioner. It's kind of like in, in tennis as well. Like, you know, they, they've, you know, the players were, were happy with the ATP until they weren't, when they realized that their seat at the table was kind of, uh, you know, it, they have seats at the table, but they're outvoted on on the most important things. Well, I mean, the, again, last i, I gotta get going here in a second a little, but, uh, the, uh, the, for tennis, for golf, I think one of it for tennis and golf, one of the problems they have is for any boxing association be basically just the boxers. It shouldn't problem with tennis is it has all these other stakeholders in the tour with them on the ta seat at the table, you know, like tennis is financing like the local events and charities, and maybe that would be a piece of a boxing association version, but really the focus would just be how do we get as much money as possible out of this is the box, right? Where the, we're the product. It should be more like the NFL and, and MLB uh, players association. Yeah, I Agree with that. And so that's one of the reasons why I think the, the, the PGA and the, uh, a TP doesn't do as good a job on the split because there's so many other parties, so many other mouths they're feeding with their money. Right, right. Well, and PGA is also put together with, uh, bubblegum and , but listen to, to put something together with boxing would be the same thing, you know? Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, uh, you've got a, a lot of different interests, uh, you know, to, uh, to appease. So it's, it's, it's a heavy lift. , Look at that. We solved everything. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know if we solved anything, but, uh, it's interesting what's going on, and I, I appreciate your time Mr. Nash, as always, and, uh, I enjoy the conversation as always, . And, uh, I will let you get to your cat. My cat is, uh, pa I've shut him out of the room, so he's patiently waiting for me to give him another scoop of, uh, of food. So, uh, he'll be happy. This, This is open. I have no, she, she dictates everything I do. She's the boss here, so. Awesome. All right, my man. Appreciate your time. Enjoy your Sunday. Alright, well thanks for having me as the, the first guest on the relaunch. Look at that , such a prestigious position. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I appreciate you, you come with Aja. Appreciate it, man. Talk to you later. Talk to you later, man. Okay, Bye. And that will do it for the comeback edition of the boxing Esquire podcast. I'd like to thank John Nash for taking the time to speak with me. If you like the podcast, please leave a comment or a rating on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, or wherever you access the boxing Esquire podcast. I'd really appreciate it as it helps new listeners find the podcast. And also, do not forget to check out my companion piece, uh, assuming I'm going to do one, uh, to this podcast on, uh, boxing That's B-O-X-I-N-G-E-S Uh, they'll feature quotes and background on the interview with John. So until next time, so long, everybody.

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