By Rudy Mondragon
ESNEWS once again documenting and reporting some solid material. This time, Elie Seckbach and Ande Emilio (@kidhypheny) got footage of Angel Garcia last night talking about the political economy of combat sports.
Angel starts off briefly sharing his thoughts on Bare Knuckle Boxing (BKB). The man is all boxing and says he doesn’t know whats going on with the BKB’s dirty pay-per-view plans. In other words, Garcia knows that BKB is a get rich while you can scheme that will not be sustainable over time. It might be profitable for now, but not for long.
Angel discusses the hypocrisy in corporate sponsors who often say they do not invest money in boxing because “it’s a brutal sport.” Yet, as Angel points out, you see endless amounts of corporate sponsors on the trunks and octagon platform of MMA bouts. Angel argues that this is so because, in terms of class, boxing is at the bottom of the sports hierarchy.
Real talk indeed. It is no wonder that Premier Boxing Championship on NBC showcases their fighters in business suits (commercials and publications). Is Al Haymon trying to clean up the sport? Thats great and all, but my question is, what in particular is Haymon trying to clean up other than to challenge the problematic perceptions of ignorant thinkers who see boxing as nothing but black and brown savage others who are violent and come from lower income communities (i.e. the hood). MMA, with many of its mainstream fighters fitting the mold of the “Great White Hype,” is a much more white friendly brutal sport. Therefore, corporate sponsorships are more than happy to frolic towards Dana Whites world.
Garcia also discussed how NBC will change the game. Commercial money will help boxers get paid and he thanks Al Haymon for that. He uses golf as an example of a sport that is on American commercial broadcast television networks. Golfers who come from country club upbringings and do not risk their lives when competing end up receiving millions of dollars in endorsements. Boxers get punched in the face and end up retiring from the sport without a real pension retirement plan. Unless you are a mainstream fighter like Mayweather or Pacquiao who can save up money and invest in their post-boxing life, you run the risk of, as Angel puts it, driving the same Toyota a boxer started driving when she/he first started their boxing career!
Angel argues that Al Haymon is changing all of that. You can hate on the man, but Angel says that:
“[Haymon] fighters, they all okay, they live good… Look at the rest of the managers out there, whatever they call themselves. Big houses, big pools, and how they fighters living that they manage their careers? How they live? They still in the hood! Tells you a lot of who they are” (Angel Garcia)
Angel goes to the extent of saying that Haymon should get some kind of humanitarian award. To that I say, lets wait and see how the Al Haymon project unfolds. Will it be sustainable is the critical question I have of the Al Haymon project.
From my summer 2014 visit to Philly where I was able to have a one on one with Angel Garcia, I got to give it to him. The man is in the inside of the boxing world and see’s the grimy ways in which the political economy functions within the structures of boxing. As the trainer and first and foremost, the father of Danny Garcia, Angel looks out for his son’s best interest. Learning about their multiple business endeavors (barber shop, body shop, recording studio, boxing gym, and future apartments to house Temple University students), the Garcia’s top priority is building now while Danny can box in order to grow a family business that generates income and employment opportunities for members of their community. This is hip hop at it’s finest, attending to the hip hop tenant of entrepreneurship; creating sustainable business for the benefit of you and your community.
To see the full video, see below.
What do you all think BMB family? Does Angel Garcia make some sound points? Is he on point with his arguments? Do you disagree? Share your thoughts and lets start the conversation.