Smoke and Mirrors in the Middleweight Division

‘Believe none what you hear and only half of what you see’ is a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. However, this well known idiom did not immediately enter my mind when I heard, what I first assumed to be shocking news, that Peter Quillin had relinquished his WBO middleweight title in order to pursue a fight with Daniel Jacobs for his WBA ‘regular’- read, meaningless- title.

The only available picture of Al Haymon online!

The only available picture of Al Haymon online!

To fully believe what I was seeing would be to put credence in the claim that ‘Kid Chocolate’ was vacating his title and rejecting a career high payday of $1.2  million solely to avoid facing his mandatory challenger Matt Korobov.

Yet I struggle to accept the notion that Quillin is relinquishing a legitimate title belt due to his reluctance to face Korobov, because I believe Quillin to be a better boxer than Korobov. There is no reason for him to be reticent to face Korobov. To confuse matters more, I am far less inclined to believe anything that I hear about Quillin vacating his title to assist him in his quest to be recognised as the ‘best middleweight in the world’. This is an utter fallacy. If Quillin wanted to be the best middleweight in the world he would the face the real WBA middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin, not the Daniel Jacobs, the man in possession of a paper title that says ‘WBA’ on it.

It just didn’t add up, there were definitely a few pieces from the puzzle that had to be put together. To connect the dots, I had to think critically and ask myself the question ‘what I am being asked to believe?’ I don’t believe that I see Quillin foregoing his title and a record paycheck out of fear of facing Korobov, and all I hear is hollow words full of falsity in the statement that relinquishing his title will help him become the best middleweight in the world.

What is the truth? What can we believe? Well, in this curious case full of equivocations, one cast iron fact is that Jay Z’s Roc Nation won the bid for the Peter Quillin vs Matt Korobov bout when they put up a $1.6million purse for the fight. The problem was that Al Haymon, the autocratic manager of Quillin, doesn’t like Jay Z- his relationship with Roc Nation has been sour since the days he used to work in the music business. Now that we can appreciate the intricacies of the Al Haymon and Roc Nation dynamic, we can understand that it is was inevitable that Quillin was destined to vacate his WBO title.

We haven’t heard it, we will never see it, but what we must believe is that Al Haymon, in true dictatorial fashion, has forced his fighter to dispense with his world title so he doesn’t have to do business with Roc Nation. The truth is that Al Haymon is not going to give his rival bricks to build a foundation in the boxing business by letting his client Peter Quillin fight on a card promoted by Roc Nation.

It was all smoke and mirrors from start, and where Al Haymon is concerned, believe none of what you hear or anything of what you see.

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