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Tom Atencio Says Larry Merchant’s Comments On Oscar De La Hoya Are “Completely Ridiculous”

This past Saturday, Affliction held their second mixed martial arts event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.  Golden Boy Productions founder, Oscar De La Hoya, was one of 13,228 people in attendance. 

On that same night, there was a highly anticipated boxing match between Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  During the HBO broadcast, boxing commentator Larry Merchant stated that De La Hoya was not present at the Staples Center because he was "paid" to attend the Affliction "Day of Reckoning" event.

Vice President of Affliction, Tom Atencio, denied such comments from Merchant and said that it was "completely ridiculous" on his part.  Affliction has recently partnered up with Golden Boy Productions so having De La Hoya at the event was basically expected. 

Larry Merchant during the HBO broadcast of Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito:


"A celebrity who is here in bronze only (referring to a bronze statue of Oscar De La Hoya that stands outside of the Staples Center)…Oscar De La Hoya, the live version, is in nearby Anaheim, where his company got a $5 million fee from a t-shirt maker (Affliction) so that he would be personally involved in the promotion of a mixed martial arts show…It would take that much (money), Jim (Lampley), to get me to go to one of those things."

Tom Atencio (VP of Affliction) responds:

“I think they’re completely ridiculous (referring to Larry Merchant's comments)I don’t see where they would get it from…But based on the comment I would say that yeah, he definitely had to make it up…I’m
not him, so I’m not going to assume anything like possibly they would.
I’m not going to make rumors; all I can say is that it’s completely
false…
We knew he was going to be there (because) he’s our partner…Being our partner – the good partner that he is – he
honored and wanted to live up to his part of the bargain; that was
being part of the show."

Oscar 'The Golden Boy' De La Hoya responds:

"We like to be involved with big fights…Fedor (Emelianenko) and (Andrei) Arlovski, I don't think it gets any bigger than this…This is not a short-term relationship with Golden Boy
and Affliction. This is a long-term relationship where we are looking
forward to stage bigger events, stage better fights, even though I
don't know how it can get better than this."
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