Kevin Iole: “I’m on both sides here. Now, we have a lot of fans that say ... especially in MMA that fighters should be paid and there’s a balance as fans, I want the fighters to do as well as they can both in boxing & MMA because I know the risk they're taking.
"But at the same time, if you start paying guys what you’re paying Pacquiao & Floyd Mayweather, etc. then you can’t make other fights because the money is just not there. One of the reasons that you don’t see guys like Pacquiao fight but a couple a times of year because the promoters can’t afford to pay it, it’s just too expensive and too big of a thing.
"So, you know, you’re cutting them in. So, there’s a middle ground that we want to see the pay scale for the fighters reach where we want the fighters to be compensated very well for taking the risks that they take in putting on the show that they put on but, by the same token, we don’t want one guy to be able to price out everybody else and so we’re going to end up having a bunch of mismatches.
"So there’s a real fine line there that has to be walked.”
Steve Cofield: “Would you argue that the 30th biggest MMA fighter makes a lot more than the 30th biggest boxer?”
KI: "I would say yes.
"I would say that the 30th biggest MMA fighter, there is a middle class in MMA which does not exist in boxing. In boxing, you have I think probably, well just taking Mayweather & Pacquiao alone you could say two fighters earn over 90% of the money. But I think if you say you could probably say 10 fighters are earning 99% of the money in boxing and that would be very close to being accurate. And in MMA, it’s spread out much more.
"So, you know, I think that’s probably true. You have a good, solid middle class working in MMA that you don’t have in boxing.”
SC: “Now, it’s weird. Nick Diaz is on top of the world. He is line eventually to maybe meet up with Georges St. Pierre. He’s doing well, he’s getting paid well, we’re reading like $175,000 a fight and, yet, he called his life a living hell and is now calling out boxers.
"And I heard a media take the other day, I think it was on HDNet from Kenny Rice who does the Inside MMA show, and he said that Diaz if he was to meet a guy like Fernando Vargas for a big fight like that maybe he would make upwards of half or it would it match what he’s made in half of his MMA fights.”
KI: “That’s so ludicrous almost not to deserve comment.
"I think if Nick Diaz fought Fernando Vargas he’d been lucky, and I’m saying lucky, to make $100,000. I think he would have made probably closer to $75,000 or $50,000.
"But it doesn’t matter because he’s not going to box, I mean that’s just not going to happen. And if he did, talking about fighting Sergio Martinez. Are you kidding me? C’mon. I mean, they’re different sports, they’re not going to make it.
"But no, the top end boxers are making that kind of money. But there’s not guys that are just, you know, off for five years coming back making that money, no way and no way would Nick Diaz, who would mean nothing to a boxing audience, he’d mean nothing. It would do, you know, there’s no way that he would make that kind of money.”
SC: “Well, what I think MMA media sometimes fail to pick up on is that TV drives the whole boxing thing money-wise unless it’s on PPV and obviously that’s TV, too, but it’s either HBO or Showtime who have to work to pony up big money and like you just said I don’t think Showtime is going to kind of screw its own product by taking Diaz over to boxing and having him lose badly and I would assume HBO has no interest in a guy who’s 1-0 even if he is a big MMA star, so how the hell would that warrant getting him a pay day of $200,000, $400,000, $500,000, $1,000,000. It just wouldn’t happen.”
KI: “Look at what Erik Morales made to fight Marcos Maidana a couple of weeks ago. … Morales, when he is done fighting, is a Hall of Famer. Erik Morales was guaranteed $250,000 for that fight! Where are they coming off that a guy like Nick Diaz is going to make that kind of money for never having boxed before! They’re out of minds, they’re absolutely out of their minds. Kenny Rice is wrong, not even close to being right.”