The Boxing Esq. Podcast, Ep. 33: Tim Smith
The Ring is proud to present “The Boxing Esq. Podcast with Kurt Emhoff”. Emhoff, an attorney based in New York City, is a top boxing manager who has represented over ten world champions in his 20-plus years in the sport.
His guest on this podcast is Tim Smith, vice president of Communications at Haymon Sports and the PBC. They spoke about the upcoming welterweight unification fight between Errol Spence and Shawn Porter and the rest of the top welterweights on the PBC roster – Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia. They also talked about the heavyweights, including the rematches between Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua.
Additionally, they discussed the loaded jr. middleweight division and what’s next for Jermall Charlo, Adrien Broner, Leo Santa Cruz and others.
Below are a few excerpts from the interview:
On Errol Spence’s potentially emerging as PBC’s PPV star:
“Well, this (Sept. 28 welterweight unification fight with Shawn Porter) is his second pay-per-view this year. You know, he fought Mikey (Garcia) in March on pay-per-view. So, I think he’s in a great position to sort of grab that ring. I think when we first started out, I think a lot of people were looking at Keith Thurman as that guy because he was pretty well established as a welterweight champion. But the injury sort of sidelined him and knocked him off track and in the interim, Spence sort of crept in there and just sort of caught everybody’s fancy. So, we knew that of the welterweights that we had that it was going to be between guys like Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence, and maybe Shawn Porter. But Errol just sort of captured everybody’s imagination with his style and the way that he goes into the ring and takes care of business.
Keith tried to come back this year. He fought Josesito Lopez in January, then came back in July and fought Manny Pacquiao. And I think obviously had he been successful against Manny Pacquiao and then Spence had come out against Porter or even if Porter comes out (with a win), then that would have made for an interesting bout next year sometime. But those guys are still in the mix, Danny Garcia is still in the mix. Keith Thurman is still in the mix. So you still have some interesting matches ahead in 2020 in terms of round robins with former welterweight champions. So nothing’s lost. But at this point, I would say that Spence has the inside track, amongst the welterweights, of being that guy that you push forward as a pay-per-view guy.”
On the status of Manny Pacquiao with the PBC and plans for the future:
“As far as I know, he’s still with the PBC. He’s one of those guys that we just treat shabbily and we don’t do anything for. He could high tail it anytime now (laughs).
As far as I know, he’s still with the PBC. Obviously he’s still a welterweight champion. You know, he’s got a title. I think he is one of those guys, like a lot of guys, let’s just say he’s earned the right to call his own shots. And I think that people that follow boxing sort of understand that. He’s sort of a champion emeritus. I don’t want to go all WBC on him and give him a Mayan title or the Aztec title or, you know, pre-Peruvian title or anything wacky. But, I think he’s sort of earned the right to call his own shots now in terms of what he wants to do.
And you know, there are a lot of good matches out there for him. I think he’s going to be one of those guys that sort of seriously sits back and looks and watches Spence and Porter to see what’s there. And you know, what always amazes me is everybody always wants to speak for these guys. Oh, there’s no way he should get in the ring with Spence. Spence will kill him. Spence will do this, Spence will do that. Well, you know, the same people were saying that he wasn’t going to beat Keith Thurman. But you know, look, this guy has earned the right to do whatever he wants to do. And I think if he sees something there that he thinks he can explore, you know, he may decide that that’s the direction that he wants to go. But he has plenty of options to do what he wants to do and I think he’s earned that right. So I’m not gonna sit around and tell him what he should do or what the next fight should be.”
On whether a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao rematch is likely:
“I haven’t seen any indication. I mean every time I see any kind of posts from Mayweather, he’s surrounded by tons of money or using his garage with his 20 cars that cost more than my house. He’s getting off a private plane at some exotic locale. He’s feeding some flamingos at someplace that I don’t even know and that I’m never going to visit it ever in my life. But it looks great. I mean every post that I see from him just screams that my life is a hundred times better than yours and I’m enjoying it. So I don’t know if he wants to give that up and get into the ring and train at the level at which he would have to train to beat this reinvigorated Manny Pacquiao.
Cause I got to tell you, Manny looks like he’s dipped into the fountain of youth in that fight against Keith Thurman. I think Keith had an outstanding plan, which was box and box and box and see if he could wear the old man out and take him out in the later rounds. But I think the knockdown early sort of knocked him off of his game plan. And then he ended up having to try to make up the stagger and he tried during the middle rounds and he just couldn’t do it. But man, he looks like he’s found some kind of vigor that, uh, you know, that 40-year-old guys around the world are looking for, but he seems to have found it. So, you know, I don’t know if Mayweather wants to train as hard as you would have to train to get back into the ring with Pacquiao.”
On PBC’s strategy regarding building a potential Errol Spence-Terence Crawford match:
“This is the thing that I find interesting. You and I both know Bob Arum and we’ve been around Bob for a long time. And I ask people that know and have been around him for a long time if Top Rank had Errol Spence, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, and the PBC only had Terence Crawford, would he be running to the PBC to make a fight?
How many times did Manny Pacquiao fight Terence Crawford (when they were both with Top Rank)?
Okay. So I say that with a little bit of jokingness to it, but I think if the tables were turned then the narrative would be different. And here’s what I think the narrative would be. I think the narrative would be, hey, let’s let both of these guys build themselves up into bigger household names. You know, and if Arum had a Fox deal, his thing would be, I’m going to build my guy up on Fox so that he becomes a household name so that the mainstream sports fan can think of him in the same way that they think of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. That he will be such a big name that when I decide to put him in against Terence Crawford, then that will be a mega fight.
And he would also be telling the person that had Terence Crawford, he would be saying, hey, you ought to do the same thing with your platform. You want to put this guy on your platform so that he can get big numbers and a big audience. Not stick him on a streaming service, which has a limited number of viewers, but put him on big ESPN so that he can get viewers so that we can tell his story, so that we can build them up, so that when my man, whom I’m building up on Fox, gets the big name and you’re man who you’re building up can get in the ring and we can do Mayweather-Pacquiao-type numbers in a pay-per-view.
That’s what I think he would be saying if the tables were turned. And from a business standpoint, I could not argue with him. Because if those two guys are to get into the ring and make it a match that mainstream sports fans or going to flock to and it’s going to be a water cooler type match – they have to have some interest in both of those guys. They have to be able to know them. They have to be bigger names in the sports realm. We’re trying to get there with Errol Spence. We have him going to Cowboys’ games. We have him with a close association with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. We’re building on that. Our fights and our shows are being promoted on Fox during NFL Games where you have 15, 16, 17 million viewers on Sunday watching an NFL game. You know, watching the Cowboys played the Giants or watching the Cowboys play the Redskins. So we’re trying to build this guy into a household name and I would ask if you are interested in making this a big fight, what are you doing to build your guy into a household name?
You’re a great promoter (Arum). What are you doing to build him into a Mayweather-type status or Pacquiao-type status? You’ve done it before, right? Do it again.”
On the upcoming (November 23) Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz rematch:
“That’s probably the most dangerous fight for my man Wilder. Obviously he has a great equalizer. But you know, a lefty who can punch and shows you a different way that the right hand is coming at you. It’s pretty dangerous. It’s a very, very, very intriguing and interesting fight.
So we’ll see where Mr. Wilder is and hopefully he can keep things on track and go from there. And then I guess the other big heavyweight fight is Joshua and Ruiz.”
On Andy Ruiz:
“I mean that’s one of the most remarkable stories. Sports stories, just generally sports stories that I’ve ever seen. I mean, you know what he did on the sort of coming out party for guy who came to America to build himself into like this sports icon and you know, he’s just this fat chubby guy that he supposed to walk over. And to turn the tables, the way that he did is just unbelievable. You know? I mean it’s an incredible story. It’s not even Rocky because Rocky didn’t win. People forget that Rocky lost.
I was just reading all the stories about (Joshua’s) clothing line and going to the Hugo boss store in Manhattan for the private showing of his clothes. I was like, man, this guy’s concentrated on everything except the fight. You know, he’s got a fight. You know, at some point can’t you hold that until after. As the kids say – it’s just bad optics. You know, it just looks bad. You can’t do that, man. You know, you just have to be very, very careful, particularly in the heavyweight game where these guys hit hard.
But (the rematch) should be a really interesting fight. I’m curious to see if it was just an anomaly. If it was just a freakish flaky occurrence that happened or whether there’s some legitimacy to what Andy can do. And I actually thought that Andy Ruiz had beaten Joseph Parker when they fought. I thought he had won that fight. He just didn’t get the decision. His story is just literally rags to riches. Even after he signed with us, he was looking for some place stay man. You know, just trying to get his life settled and everything. But good for him. I’m so happy for that guy. There are guys in boxing who you’re just happy for because they come up and they had misfortune. And then fortune smiles on them and you’re just happy for him. He’s one of those guys. I’m just very happy for him, you know, however his life turns out. I’m happy for him in this moment. We’ll see where he goes from here.”