Late on Monday night in UK time, the most significant news in terms of boxing politics for some time broke as Richard Schaefer, CEO and co-founder of promoters Golden Boy Promotions, resigned from his position with immediate effect.
His position has been subject to intense scrutiny over recent months as news of a rift between him and Oscar De La Hoya, the other founder of Golden Boy, spread like wildfire across social media. Many thought it would be De La Hoya himself that would step back from his duties, but Schaefer has now moved first.
Their relationship was said to be tense after De La Hoya, nothing more than a figurehead for the entity in recent times, stated his desire to become an active role in the company named after his moniker as a fighter.
As a result of the resignation, Floyd Mayweather has also ended his association with Golden Boy as he enjoyed a cosy relationship with Schaefer; all of Mayweather’s recent fights have been in association with the Los Angeles-based promoters.
Schaefer’s departure leaves burgeoning questions surrounding the cold war between themselves and Top Rank, headed up by Bob Arum.
Golden Boy (backed by Showtime) and Top Rank (backed by HBO) are obviously rivals in the boxing promotional game, but their sheer insistence on not working with each other has seen many exciting match-ups fall by the wayside.
Most recently, a multi-million pound fight between light heavyweight stars Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson fell through when Stevenson jumped over to Golden Boy.
Their reluctance to work together stems from a personal feud between Arum and Schaefer which has never been resolved, so naturally the latter’s departure increases the chances of them working together.
Both De La Hoya and Arum have spoken to the media recently about burying the hatchet and working together once again, something which Schaefer was said to disagree with, but that is the least of De La Hoya’s problems.
A large number of the Golden Boy ‘stable’ are signed with boxing advisor Al Haymon, who also represents Floyd Mayweather. It has come to light recently that many fighters fighting on Golden Boy cards don’t actually have a contract with them, but are signed solely with Haymon.
Should Haymon decide to build his own promotional company, it remains to be sees exactly how many boxers will remain with Golden Boy, or indeed how many are contracted to the advisor. It could have a catastrophic effect on the success of De La Hoya’s 12-year-old venture into promoting.
Some believe Schaefer may even be part of any company Haymon proceeds with and, having previously being a central figure at Golden Boy, had the tip-off about any future plans Haymon has with regards to moving his contracted boxers elsewhere, leaving the mess behind for De La Hoya to clean up.
There are also musings Mayweather could recruit Schaefer for Mayweather Promotions in an attempt to increase his market share in the boxing world outside of the ring.
Are we likely to see any of these sought-after contests in the near future? It remains highly unlikely and certainly not between Mayweather and Top Rank fighters, given his outspoken disregard for Arum.
The feud between Top Rank’s boss and Haymon is central to these fights falling by the way side. A better working relationship between Golden Boy and Top Rank will only effect fighters not signed Haymon, of which there are very few at the elite level.
Those thinking Schaefer’s departure solves all of boxing’s match-up problems are incorrect. In fact, it could be the tip of the iceberg in what is set to be both a contractual and personal dispute.
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