Golden Boy Road Show Begins
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (March 20, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo Art by Chee)
Golden Boy Logo on TV head
Next week in Houston, Texas at the Reliant Arena, what looks to be an entertaining “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader takes place featuring WBC junior welterweight titlist Erik Morales defending against upstart Danny Garcia with a junior middleweight support of James Kirkland vs. Carlos Molina. It begins a long stretch with Golden Boy Promotions offering cards on HBO, Showtime and pay-per-view and at casino venues and local arenas all over the country.
It’s as busy a stretch as this company has ever had.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer while speaking to Maxboxing. “We have Morales next week and James Kirkland and then we have those two guys on April the 20th (a “ShoBox” telecast with Erislandy Lara facing Ronald Hearns. Fernando Guerrero is also on the card), April the 21st at the Don Haskins Center (when Abner Mares faces Eric Morel as the headliner on Showtime), April the 28th at the Boardwalk Hall, HBO- that fight is selling like hot cakes; it’s unbelievable- Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson, Seth Mitchell and Chazz Witherspoon, a great doubleheader. Then a week later, we have the big event with Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto and “Canelo” (Saul Alvarez) and [Shane] Mosley and then two weeks later after that, it’s Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson (May 19th at the Mandalay Bay on HBO) and then on May the 26th, we have Winky Wright and Peter Quillin as part of the Antonio Tarver card [on Showtime] and so I have to tell you, I’m pretty excited.”

Golden Boy is as active as any company in the world right now. This is in addition to its “Solo Boxeo” series and fight cards which are broadcast in Mexico on Televisa.

“We’ve never been more excited or busier and that’s the end of May and then in June,” continued Schaefer. “We’re back with [Victor] Ortiz and [Andre] Berto (June 23rd on Showtime). We are going to be doing something on June 30th, as well, from the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. I’m working with Gary Shaw on July 7th [for the rematch between Antonio DeMarco and Jorge Linares].”
And the second go-round of that thrilling bout that took place last October could wind up in familiar surroundings, the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, a favorite of hardcore fight fans in Southern California. “I was talking to Gary; I said, ‘Y’ know, when we did those fights with Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez and we did it from there, this is like, ‘The Story Continues.’ It was unbelievable and this fight, right here, fits. This is probably never going to be a fight like that one [Vazquez-Marquez III] but there will be many other good fights. But if you have to come up with a fight, if you can sort of, like, put it in the continuum, that series, I think this is the perfect fit. It’s the perfect venue. I mean, I’m really, really excited about that.
“So that’s that. We also have [Robert] ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero and Selcuk Aydin (July 28th on Showtime from San Jose) and then I’m working on an August show from Cincinnati, August the 18th,” said Schaefer, who confirmed the show from Cincy would feature Adrien Broner (who might make his return on the Peterson-Khan II card in Las Vegas).
Top to bottom, it’s a solid lineup of fights.
“We have so much momentum and I was telling our matchmakers, ‘You look at our fighters, put them in with anyone, you look at Devon Alexander, ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Broner, Guerrero, Khan, Linares, [Marcos] Maidana, Mares, Morales, Ortiz, Kirkland, Lara, [Lucas] Matthysse, Mitchell, Gary Russell, you look at our stable; we’ve never had- since we started Golden Boy- a better and more exciting stable.”
OK, so is the second edition of Ortiz-Berto taking place in Los Angeles? According to Schaefer, “It’s not official yet. I have not worked out the deal yet; that’s why we can’t officially announce it. But I feel pretty confident it’s going to be at the Staples Center.”
As for Gary Russell Jr., he will not be appearing on the April 20th edition of “ShoBox” as originally planned.

“He’s going to be fighting on April 21st from the Don Haskins Center on the card with Abner Mares against Eric Morel- which is now [for] the 122-pound WBC title because the Japanese guy [Toshiaki Nishioka] vacated- and so that fight has been elevated for the world title. Then Anselmo Moreno versus David De La Mora and then Gary Russell is going to be fighting an opponent we had announced before, Dat Nguyen,” said Schaefer.
It was announced on Saturday via Top Rank press release that on April 14th, a split-site doubleheader featuring Brandon Rios from the Mandalay Bay and Juan Manuel Marquez from Mexico would be on a pay-per-view card distributed by HBO PPV.
Yeah, paying $44.95 for Rios against Richie Abril and Marquez versus some unknown Russian isn’t ideal. But as the shenanigans of Yuriorkis Gamboa blew up the highly anticipated bout with Rios on that date and HBO and Top Rank failing to agree on who would face “Bam Bam,” this was really the only alternative. Pay-per-view cards like this aren’t moneymakers for those involved but they are a necessary evil to keep boxers active while advancing their careers when a network slot is not available.
You just wonder, with Mayweather and Pacquiao slated for pay-per-view cards in May and June, respectively, how many boxing fans will have room in their budgets for this card?
Got a few interesting emails over the past few days from my readers that I wanted to address regarding defending middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who held off the spirited challenge of Matthew Macklin in 11 rounds...
Here comes the Sergio Martinez train again....
I’ve never seen a fighter get such praise for beating such limited and un-accomplished opposition (Barker and Macklin). Not only would Floyd or Manny not be allowed to fight such opponents, but they would get frowned upon for struggling. Pacquiao is now looked as a lessor fighter because he struggled vs the great Juan Manuel Marquez.

A few points I wanted to speak to..

Everybody is bragging about this "sell out". Honestly, I think it says a lot that the supposed third best fighter is fighting in the theater that seats only 4,700. He’s arguably the "B" side in a fight being promoted more around an event (St Patricks Day) than the actual fight.

I am also sick of people accusing Floyd and Manny of ducking him. The last time I checked, Floyd and Manny are much smaller fighters fighting two weight classes beneath him (save for the occasional trips to 154 to fight other DRAWS).

Sergio has also weighed in at 180+ lbs at the 30 day weigh vs Paul Williams, so enough with this "Small middleweight" nonsense from his fans. Go fight Pirog, Sturm, etc and worry about building your own brand first.

Sherman M.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Class of ’09
Bachelor of Arts, Economics
Sherm, all I can say is that for that salient email, Frank Beamer would not only give you a game ball but a lunch pail to carry around (given to the Hokies’ hardest working defensive player). And it’s deserved, given that you have a better understanding of the business than about 98 percent of my colleagues, many of whom carry pom-poms for “Maravilla.”
But yeah, not only would Manny and Floyd be castigated for struggling at all versus the likes of Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin, they’d be ripped ad nauseam for even facing them to begin with. Hey, some believe Martinez is “number three pound-for-pound”; that’s what matters right? Here’s what Carlos Acevedo of The Cruelest Sport had to say about that whole matter in another one of his fine pieces: (
Macklin, 29, will be the third consecutive fairly anonymous European to face Martinez, whose mythical “P-4-P” status allows him to call out welterweights, hold press conferences to bewail his lot as a prizefighter, and face run-of-the-mill opponents for exorbitant purses despite an inability to sell tickets or produce significant ratings points for HBO. If you think all this P-4-P nonsense does not affect reality, think again. By having a free PR campaign comprised of media members, pound-for-pound penthouse dwellers eventually come around to believing their own blogspot clippings. It is also the reason why tickets to Martinez fights are so expensive, since his standing as a “superstar” is used by Lou DiBella, rightly so, it should be noted, as a promotional tool to hype any fight involving “Maravilla.”
Listen, I give DiBella his due for at least creating an atmosphere at one of his fights. Now let’s see if he keeps that promise of fighting his man three times in 2012 thus keeping him in the public eye. Lou deserves a lot of credit; this past week, they actually promoted this event and didn’t just mail it in like so many others do when given an HBO license fee. As for facing the other middleweights, well, to be fair, Top Rank and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. aren’t willing to step to the table yet (or ever). Felix Sturm is safely tucked away in Germany and isn’t going anywhere. Now the hot new name is Gennady Golovkin but really, if you thought Martinez’s last few guys were anonymous (and he’s actually a real threat)…As for Dmitry Pirog, yeah, this is where I put some of the blame on HBO, back when he beat Danny Jacobs for the vacant WBO title. Instead of showcasing this guy and building him up as a potential foe for Martinez, the network punished him for having the temerity of knocking out an Al Haymon client.
Back when HBO was really HBO under Seth Abraham and, ironically, DiBella, they understood that for every marquee star you have, it behooves you to develop B-sides for them. One example is Ike Quartey, who, like most African fighters, was never a draw in the States but because HBO continually showcased him in solid fights, he was a guy that held value as an opponent for the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas.
Nowadays, I’m not convinced- based on what you pointed out- that Martinez is even an A-side but I do think what took place at the Theater this past weekend is a good step forward.
Then I got this email from one of my favorites, Mark T, regarding an article I penned last week on the promoting of Martinez by DiBella (

I read your article this morning about Sergio Martinez, and I cannot say I completely agree with your implication that Sergio Martinez not been well promoted by Lou DiBella in the past. When Martinez was looking to sign with a promoter back in 2007, no one was willing to give him a shot, except DiBella. Lou did a terrific job getting his new fighter into position for an HBO date against Alex Bunema (whom he wrecked) followed by seven HBO fights (Saturday night’s tilt will be his eighth fight on HBO). During that time, DiBella helped guide Martinez into an HBO mainstay, putting him in a fight of the year candidate against Paul Williams, matching him against Kelly Pavlik for the middleweight crown, which ultimately got him named Fighter of the Year for 2010. In the process, Martinez has made a fair amount of money, even if he has been unable to line up a megafight.

You can call DiBella a "TV packager," but he guided his fighter from being a complete unknown in the US to a top level guy earning substantial dollars. Isn’t that a large portion of the job of the fight promoter? I agree with you that DiBella and Martinez have left money on the table by not taking on a more active ring schedule and by not getting his name out more to the wider public (I still think my idea of Sergio hooking up with Spanish-speaking actresses was a good one). But DiBella has handled his fighter very nicely and deserves more credit than he does criticism for the job he’s done.


P.S. Your comment about Mikey Garcia looking a bit like a young Juan Manuel Marquez sent me to Youtube to watch Marquez fights from the mid-to-late ’90s. I think Marquez was a bit more technically proficient with his punches, but not by much. Garcia is a damn good boxer, and I look forward to seeing him against someone who can give him a tough fight.
Mark, I don’t deny anything you pointed out. But by not doing anything else, for the most part just being at the behest of HBO (as they have been), never putting up your own money for cards and just chasing the likes of Chavez Jr. is the very essence of “TV packaging.” A real bona fide promoter’s job is to create an attraction, one that will be called out by the other significant names in the business and is put into real events. So far, that hasn’t happened for “Maravilla.”
I think Lou has been highly successful in many aspects of handling Martinez’s career, no doubt- sorely lacking in others. We’ll see at age 37 if it’s too late to rectify some of the past failures and get him into the big pay-per-view fights they’ve been yearning for.
Last year was a good one for boxing on ESPN2. This year, it’s been more like “Friday Night Farces.” And it continued again this past week when Kendall Holt blew out the uninterested Tim Coleman in two. And while DiBella tried to promote his event to the hilt, once again, Gary Shaw just mailed it in at an Indian casino (this time, the Morongo), where you saw a swath of empty seats all over and an atmosphere as lively as a mausoleum.
Here’s some of my Twitter timeline during that broadcast:
- Yeah, anyone notice all the empty sears as Lopez and Tolmajyan start their fight? Yeah, it’s a Gary Shaw ’promotion’ #boxing
- This crowd for Friday Night Fights reminds me of a Charlotte Bobcat-Washington Wizards game #boxing
- Folks, still plenty of tickets available for Holt-Coleman at the Morongo Casino. In fact, just about all of them it looks like #boxing
- Somewhere out there Joe Tessitore is really happy he got this Friday night off #fnf #boxing
- I’m hearing all 57 people at the fights at Morongo want their money back and a buffet comp after Holt-Coleman #boxing #fnf
- Honestly, FNF’s this year has been like Sarah Palin for #boxing writers and fans, it provides great punchlines and material
Thank you, thank you; you’ve been a great audience. I’m here every day at and, please, try the veal.
By the way, I like this week’s edition of “Friday Night Fights” on “The Deuce.” I think Antwone Smith-Robert Garcia can be a good scrap...Yes, I am going to Houston (a favorite city of mine) for the Golden Boy show...Omar Figueroa isn’t poetry in motion but he is a heavy-handed banger that will be fun to watch...Randy Caballero showed that perhaps he isn’t really a ten-round fighter just yet, as he struggled down the stretch versus Jose Luis Araiza...Brian Viloria’s defense of his WBO flyweight title against Omar Nino has been pushed back to April 21st as Nino still has some issues to iron out with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the WBO...If he can make 135, Carlos Molina will be involved in some very good fights in the future. He looked good versus Angino Perez in Pharr (from home), Texas on “Solo Boxeo”...I have to say, “The Office” has shown that there is life after Michael Scott but right now, “The Big Bang Theory” is my favorite sitcom...It’s great seeing a Lakers point guard who can blow past defenders, isn’t it?...Does anyone wanna play QB for the Miami Dolphins?...So is Matt Flynn “Matt Hasselbeck: Part II” in Seattle? ...

More of Steve's recent work below his contact info...
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