As expected, the Affliction-Golden Boy Promotions partnership was greeted by anger or a yawn from most fight fans. The majority of the fight media responded in the same way. The people in the fight business don't agree. From fighters to managers to promoters, they were unified in telling NBC's Mike Chiapetta, that it's going to be a big boost to the business.
Affliction COO Michael Cohen hits the nail on the head in saying that Golden Boy has the ability to lessen the opposition against mixed martial arts:
“What this partnership does is mainstream the sport. There are many who refuse to watch it because of ideology, because of perception. We believe that with Golden Boy, we can mainstream MMA to dispel any mischaracterization in the sport."
Jeff Clark, from NCFC, who manages fighters like Brandon Vera, Jason Lambert, Diego Sanchez, Tara LaRosa and Chris Horodecki, likes what Golden Boy brings to MMA:
“Affliction is aligning themselves with someone with experience in promoting. The contacts and promotion helps Affliction, while the demographic and action of MMA help boxing and Golden Boy.”
He also says all fighters should be happy about strong alternatives to UFC:
“I think the biggest upside is for the fighters. The UFC is not the right fit for everyone. They control the market, they put a lot of time and money into making the sport what it is today, and they deserve a lot of credit for that. But they don’t have enough time and space on their roster for every fighter."
Fans won't buy into the combo boxing-MMA cards until they actually see the presentation. A poll on NBC.com has 54% of the voters saying they're strictly MMA fans and don't want to see the sports combined.