NEW YORK -- Up front sat Oscar De La Hoya, Tito Ortiz,
Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Vadim Finkelstein and Fedor
Emelianenko, all of them, to varying degrees, collaborating
with Affliction to make a run in the UFC-dominated world of
“A little competition really doesn’t hurt,” said De La Hoya at the
Tuesday afternoon news conference, which promoted Affliction’s “Day
of Reckoning” event headlined by Emelianenko and Andrei
De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions announced a partnership with
Affliction in September, but the strength of the relationship has
been questioned. While Emelianenko and Arlovski meet Saturday at
the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Golden Boy will also be
promoting a boxing bout between Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley
about 30 miles away at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Margarito and Mosley will fight on HBO while Arlovski-Fedor will
cost $44.95 on pay-per-view. Affliction and Golden Boy have
essentially shrugged off the competition, which could affect
pay-per-view buys and ticket sales, but De La Hoya’s presence at
Trump Tower on Tuesday at least suggested a stronger show of
solidarity moving forward.
“The Golden Boy” called MMA’s progress “incredible” and said he
expected his company’s success in boxing to follow in MMA through
working with Affliction and Trump.
Of course insiders have speculated whether Affliction will survive
the year. Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio
seems to think so; he said he plans to promote four events a year
with Golden Boy while Finkelstein’s M-1 Global will promote 10
events, making 14 MMA shows total among the partners.
“The UFC, up until now, has been the only game in town. I hope to
change that,” said Atencio, who also addressed the UFC’s business
practices like counterprogramming. “They’re going to do what they
have to do to make sure that they’re the only game in town. With
the organization that we have and the partners we have, I just
don’t see that happening.”
Oscar De La Hoya called
MMA's progress "incredible."
Ortiz, who will commentate “Day of Reckoning” and said he looked
forward to “possibly” fighting for Affliction, didn’t hesitate to
take a crack at UFC President Dana White for criticizing
“Words from [White’s] mouth really don’t mean much,” Ortiz said.
“Fedor’s record speaks for itself.”
The top-ranked Russian heavyweight grinned when he took his turn to
speak. He didn’t seem bothered by White or by Freddie Roach, the
renowned boxing trainer who has helped prepare Arlovski and also
criticized Emelianenko’s footwork and boxing technique.
“I never claimed that I had the best boxing technique in the
world,” Emelianenko said through an interpreter. “I never actually
made any generalizations about what type of boxer I am. [Roach] has
trained a lot of great fighters and maybe he’s right, but we’ll see
what happens in the ring. We’ll see what Andrei has to offer. We’ll
see what I have to offer him.”
Asked what he would have to offer UFC heavyweight champion Brock
Lesnar should they ever fight, Emelianenko again grinned before
taking his time to formulate a response.
“Let’s just say everybody has a chance,” he said. “He’s a strong
fighter, and if we were ever to meet in the ring, we would see what
We won’t see that anytime soon, but Fedor could have a challenge on
his hands Saturday against Arlovski. He wasn’t marked up the way
some fighters are days before a bout, no visible bruises or black
eyes, but he made it clear that he has taken Arlovski
In fact, when explaining his loss in the November World Sambo
Championships, Fedor acknowledged that he wasn’t as ready as he
should have been.
For Arlovski, though, he has been “fully motivated.”