Rumor: Josh Barnett Turned CBS Fight Down; UPDATE: Barnett Says He Did Not Turn Down Fight

Sources indicate to BloodyElbow.com that the original idea was to do Josh Barnett vs. Andrei Arlovski on October 4 on CBS, but Josh Barnett turned down the opportunity because he would have had to take a pay cut to fight. I haven't been able to completely confirm this yet so I'll call it a rumor for now.  

Despite initial denials, Affliction is most certainly trying to renegotiate its obligations.

Over at USA Today, the COO of Affliction Michael Cohen told Sergio Non that the January 24 Affliction event will be a co-promotion with Affliction and Golden Boy:

EliteXC and Affliction will also co-promote Affliction's next event with Golden Boy Promotions, now scheduled for Jan. 24, Cohen said. That fight will air either on CBS or Showtime, he said.

"We truly believe this co-promote will help the sport to become more mainstream," Cohen told me on Wednesday. "Fans should certainly look forward to seeing more fights on primetime television and Showtime." 

This is potentially a very big deal. It's possible we could see Fedor Emelianenko on CBS as soon as January of next year. However, the deal for EliteXC on CBS is currently on very shaky ground, and this co-promotion assumes that the deal will still be viable by January. A lot rides on Kimbo vs. Shamrock and the number it does.

UPDATE [from Luke Thomas]: Remember, Mike only said it was a rumor and Barnett weighs in by saying he did not turn down the fight on his personal MySpace page:

I read somewhere that I had declined the fight because I would have had to take a pay cut. I suppose others may also formulate some story about me declining the fight for other reasons.

I never decelned to take this fight. I was never told that I would have any part of my pay reduced since working with Affliction. To my knowledge, no one has been asked to take a pay cut that fights for Affliction.

I did not turn down this fight.

Josh

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