Boxing’s 25 Most Powerful Figures

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao remain hugely influential figures. (AP/Special to Yahoo Sports)


Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao remain hugely influential figures. (AP/Special to Yahoo Sports)

The fighters are the most visible members of the boxing community, but they often aren't the ones with the real clout in the industry.

The list of the 25 most influential/powerful people in boxing is a look at who wielded power in 2014 and who will have it in 2015.

It's an exercise to simply look at who most impacts the fights that are made, what you see on television and what the experience is like in the arena.

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25. Freddie Roach, boxing trainer, proprietor, Wild Card Gym.
Last year: NR. Twitter: @FreddieRoach

24. Mark Taffet, senior vice president, HBO Pay-Per-View.
Last year: 21. Twitter: None

23. Al Bernstein, analyst, Showtime Boxing.
Last year: No. 24. Twitter: @AlBernstein

22. Bruce Trampler, matchmaker, Top Rank.
Last year: 19. Twitter: @BruceTrampler

21. Bernd Boente, boxing manager.
Last year: NR. Twitter: @BoenteB

20. Eddie Hearn, Managing Director, Matchroom Boxing.
Last year: NR. Twitter: @EddieHearn

19. Sam Watson, Al Haymon Boxing.
Last year: NR. Twitter: None

18. Patrick English, attorney, Main Events.
Last year: NR. Twitter: None

17. Ed Tracy, CEO, Sands China.
Last year: No. 11. Twitter: None

16. Manny Pacquiao, boxer.
Last year: No. 12. Twitter: @MannyPacquiao

15. Leonard Ellerbe, CEO, Mayweather Promotions.
Ellerbe would be higher if it were obvious what his relationship with Floyd Mayweather really is. Mayweather has expressed dissatisfaction with him, and has suggested he'd be out. But when Mayweather was hauled in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission – Phony marijuana? Yeah, right. – Ellerbe was by his side. Last year: No. 10. Twitter: @LEllerbe

Leonard Ellerbe (Getty)
Leonard Ellerbe (Getty)

14. Jim Lampley, blow-by-blow broadcaster/host, HBO Sports.
Lampley calls the majority of the biggest fights of the year. He now also has a platform on which to speak out about the major issues in boxing with his show, "The Fight Game." He was deservedly elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame and remains a major figure in the sport. Last year: No. 16. Twitter: None

13. Fernando Beltran, CEO, Zanfer Promotions.
Beltran is the leading promoter in Mexico and regularly puts on major shows. He also works closely with Top Rank and has a hand in many of its biggest events. Last year: NR. Twitter: @Zanfernews

12. Richard Plepler, CEO, HBO
HBO remains a powerful force in boxing and although Plepler isn't involved on a regular basis, none of it would occur without his approval. Last year: NR. Twitter: None

11. Leslie Moonves, Chairman/CEO, CBS Corp.
If a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight gets done, Moonves will have been a key figure. He controls much of what you see on Showtime and could be a central figure in bringing boxing back onto network television regularly. Last year: No. 6. Twitter: None

10. Kathy Duva, CEO, Main Events
Duva has great vision and instincts and is as tough as they come. Her lawsuit against Al Haymon proved that. Her company benefits from her talents, as well, as Sergey Kovalev became a star and Main Events once again has regular dates on HBO. Last year: NR. Twitter: None

9. Tom Loeffler, managing director, K2 Promotions
K2's top fighters include heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and 2014 Yahoo Sports Fighter of the Year Gennady Golovkin. Loeffler is a low-key guy who doesn't seek the limelight, but he's done a solid job moving his company and its fighters forward. Last year: NR. Twitter: @TomLoeffler1

8. Peter Nelson, vice president of programming, HBO Sports, boxer/promoter
Nelson approves the matches at HBO, which makes him a player in the industry. He's a bright and accessible man who is open to change and taking risks. He has handled the increased responsibility well. Last year: No. 8. Twitter: None

7. Todd duBoef, president, Top Rank
DuBoef is the opposite of Bob Arum, his step-father and co-worker. Where Arum loves the media and is frequently willing to divulge information before it's time, duBoef is secretive and close to the vest. But he has a great relationship with management at HBO and has continued to build Top Rank's digital offerings. Last year: No. 5. Twitter: @ToddDuboef

6. Oscar De La Hoya, president, Golden Boy Promotions
De La Hoya won a showdown with Richard Schaefer over the future of the company that bears his nickname. He re-opened working relationships with both Top Rank and HBO. He's taken a hands-on approach to making the best fights possible. There’s nothing to complain about the job he's doing, and rest assured, when he speaks, the industry listens. Last year: NR. Twitter: @OscarDeLaHoya

Oscar De La Hoya (Getty)
Oscar De La Hoya (Getty)

5. Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president/general manager, Showtime Sports
Showtime didn't air as many sensational fights as it did in 2013, when Espinoza was Yahoo Sports' Boxing Man of the Year, but it is still a major player in the industry. He is fully committed to boxing and to trying new things, which make Showtime a must-watch. Last year: No. 3. Twitter: @StephenEspinoza

4. Bob Arum, Chairman/CEO, Top Rank
Top Rank remains the most powerful force in boxing. He re-signed Manny Pacquiao to a contract extension. Despite complaints, he has continued to bring fights to Asia with the hope of opening the Chinese market. And no promoter has a better stable of young fighters. Last year: No. 9. Twitter: @BobArum

3. Ken Hershman, president, HBO Sports
Hershman is the closest thing there is to Al Haymon. He hates being in the media. He isn't a people person who gets out and spreads the boxing gospel. But HBO had 14 of the top 15 most viewed fights on cable, and that speaks to something Hershman is doing correctly. In addition, he helped bring back Canelo Alvarez from Showtime and opened the door again for Golden Boy Promotions to work with his network. Last year: No. 7. Twitter: @KenHershman

2. Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxer/promoter
Mayweather controls much of what happens in the industry because he's such a huge draw himself. For all the complaints they lodge against him, fans can't help talking about him. His promotional company, Mayweather Promotions, is not a powerhouse except for when he fights, but he has plenty of clout because of his star power. Last year: No. 2. Twitter: @FloydMayweather

1. Al Haymon, manager/adviser
Haymon remains the most mysterious man in boxing. You don't see him, but you definitely feel his presence. He has a huge stable of fighters, headed by Floyd Mayweather Jr., and has been able to control when, where, who and how often they fight. He's reportedly close to a deal to bring a major boxing package to NBC. Last year: No. 1. Twitter: None.

Dropped off 2013 list: No. 4 Richard Schaefer; No. 13 Cameron Dunkin; No. 14 Michael Koncz; No. 15 James Prince; No. 17 Egis Klimas; No. 18 Eric Gomez; No. 20 Brad Goodman; No. 22 Kelly Swanson; No. 23 (Tie) Edmund Chu and Sheng Li; No. 25 Fred Sternburg.

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