A Golden Weekend
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (April 19, 2011) Doghouse Boxing)
Richard Schaefer Oscar De La Hoya
It was quite the weekend for Golden Boy Promotions. Amir Khan retained his WBA junior welterweight title in Manchester, England with a six-round technical decision over Paul McCloskey. However, the big bounty the promoter bagged was Victor Ortiz capturing the WBC welterweight title by defeating Andre Berto in an entertaining 12-round affair at  Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.

"It's a big win for us," stated Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy's CEO, back at his offices in Los Angeles after three weeks on the road.

When asked what was next for the oft-maligned Ortiz, who gained a huge measure of redemption on Saturday night, Schaefer told Maxboxing on Monday afternoon, "Look, in a perfect world, if it would be up to me, I would love to see if we can get a fight done with him and Floyd Mayweather." Schaefer insisted that Mayweather was not at the fights this past weekend for that specific reason. Getting back to Ortiz and his possible future endeavors, Schaefer said, "I like, as well, a rematch [with Berto] would be a helluva fight. It doesn't get much better than that. I think Manny Steward called it the best he's seen since [Sugar Ray] Leonard-[Thomas] Hearns. There are a lot of opportunities and possibilities. The fact is, the list is endless. There's so many names."

For a company looking to restock its cupboard, this was a significant victory and Golden Boy has a chance to add to its largess this upcoming weekend at the Nokia Theater.

"I'm focusing on the bantamweights and our other young gun- Abner Mares, who I think is going to bring another title to Golden Boy," said Schaefer. Mares faces IBF bantamweight titlist Joseph  Agbeko in the finals of Showtime's 118-pound tournament. "So all these young guys, we put a lot of effort in and it's starting to pay off. They're all delivering and it's their time and it's our time. So with Victor, I'm going to be, next week, starting to have some more concrete conversations with HBO and see what's out there. I know it's going to be something exciting."

Looking ahead to the summer, it looks as though Golden Boy will be staging another pay-per-view card on July 30th, according to Schaefer. "That's something which I'm going to be working on, as well," he said. "Erik Morales is going to be coming this week to Los Angeles; he's going to be at the fights on Saturday night and we'll be sitting down with him to see what's next for him. But I'm pretty confident, as a matter of fact, that he's going to be on that card."

That card, which will most likely land either in Los Angeles or Las Vegas, could feature the fourth chapter of one of the most heated rivalries this sport has ever seen.

"I read in the Mexican press that Marco Antonio Barrera is interested in a fight with Morales. So we might look at that," said Schaefer, who added that another possibility is a Morales rematch with Marcos Maidana.

Schaefer says that he is moving ahead with making a July 23rd bout between Khan and Tim Bradley. Golden Boy just resigned Khan to a promotional pact, believed to be a four-fight agreement. One of the issues they have to deal with now is the fractured relationship with Sky Sports, which abruptly pulled the plug as the pay-per-view distributor for last weekend’s bout, leaving Khan with a significant financial loss and forcing him to go with Primetime, a much smaller platform. There is talk that this may lead to Khan leaving the UK for good.

"They say, 'Never say never,' so I don't know," said Schaefer, when asked if this rift with Sky Sports was irreparable. "It certainly was a blow and I have to tell you; I don't understand why Sky took that position because the fact is, you have a young fighter with Amir, who legitimately had 17,500 or 18,000 people at the M.E.N. Arena on  night when MAN City and Manchester United had a soccer game and the guy still drew and sold out the M.E.N Arena. He's obviously a star; he's obviously being embraced there and it's not as if England has so many pay-per-view stars."

Sources indicate that McCloskey brought over a sizable contingent of fans, between 5-7,000, who came out for “Dudey” from Ireland. Regardless, the point is that a Khan-McCloskey fight probably couldn't fill a phone booth in the States. In England, it was a major event, any way you look at it.

Schaefer adds, "And for Sky to walk away from the pay-per-view because Hasim Rahman pulled out of fighting Tyson Fury, I really have to scratch my head. I talked to the Sky people; I know them quite well and honestly, I have a good relationship with them, respect them and I couldn't believe it. I could not believe that one of the emerging stars- not just in England but in the sport, period- that they would pull the pay-per-view because of the Hasim Rahman-Tyson Fury fight. Who the hell would have bought the pay-per-view because of that fight? That's what I told them. Rahman may have been a great champion at one point but at this point, who the hell cares?"

Golden Boy has a clear, detailed plan for “King” Khan.

"Assuming [Khan] wins against Tim Bradley, we would have him back in the fall,” Schaefer detailed. “He's going to have Ramadan in August, then back in like November, December, fighting potentially a Zab Judah to unify all the belts to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion and then once he cleans up the 140-pound weight class, assuming he wins that fight, then move up to 147 sometime in the spring of next year, potentially from England against somebody like Kell Brook, which is the highest-rated welterweight in Europe. So do that and after that, you go for the pound-for-pound crown, which is Floyd Mayweather.

"So this is like a dream set up, like a blueprint. So why the hell would Sky walk away from a guy who has these big fights lined up? I just don't get it."


Here's a viewpoint from a respected British scribe, Gareth Davies, on this whole Khan-Sky quagmire:
Amir Khan shuns Britain to become Golden Boy in US following controversial defeat of Paul McCloskey


It's funny but Dan Rafael of ESPN.com is getting a lot of derision for scoring the Ortiz-Berto fight in favor of Berto by a score of 113-112. Now, I can't say I agree with this (watching this from “couchside,” I had “Vicious” winning this fight going away) but Rafael was not the only one who had Berto winning this fight. Ron Borges, Michael Marley and Peter Mooney (who covered this bout for our website) all had Berto on top. For whatever it's worth, two of the official ringside judges had that fight awfully close. Julie Lederman scored it 114-111 for Ortiz and Glen Feldman had it 114-112 for the new champion, which means that if you take away the knockdowns, they basically had this fight even, for the most part.

It just goes to show you, watching and judging a fight from ringside can be a completely different perspective than watching it on television (although it has to be noted that the HBO crew, which sits right on the ring apron, had Ortiz by a wide margin).

I still remember the wide discrepancy in opinion between the HBO crew, the ringside media and the television audience over the rematch between Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya in 2003. While those watching on pay-per-view were screaming bloody murder- perhaps influenced by the HBO crew (which had their Golden pom-poms out that night)- the majority of the ringside press had Mosley winning and didn't know what the fuss was all about.

Hey, sometimes you just see a different fight.

Other times, you just disagree on what you witnessed.

Admittedly, once in awhile, you just have a bad night at the office.


Schaefer says that the Khan-Bradley fight could take place in Las Vegas or at a venue in Southern California like the Honda Center in Anaheim or the LA Sports Arena (which, decades ago, was a regular  host to championship fights)...As it relates to Ortiz's next foe, Selcuk Aydin has been the WBC welterweight mandatory since about the time Barack Obama was still a senator from Illinois. He may have a case for facing him next. It's not a bad fight at all, style-wise. Aydin isn't hard to find and is aggressive...Adrian Broner-Jason Litzau is the leading contender to lead off the June 18th HBO broadcast before Saul “Canelo” Alvarez takes on Ryan Rhodes. OK, not sure why “Bore-ner” is leading off a show from Guadalajara, Mexico but if he can't look any more exciting than he did versus Daniel Ponce de Leon against Litzau, he's hopeless...Did my man Manny Steward really say that Berto-Ortiz was the best fight he's seen since Leonard-Hearns? Wasn't he on the call for HBO for Gatti-Ward I?...Based on all the injuries the Houston Rockets suffered, I think Rick Adelman actually did an admirable job in coaching them...With the return of Harrison Barnes, isn't UNC the prohibitive favorite to win it all next year in college hoops?...From what took place at the Miami spring game, it's clear that the Hurricanes need to run a version of the “Wildcat” with Lamar Miller, Storm Johnson and Mike James all playing at the same time. That QB situation is a Category 5 disaster, right now....

I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing.

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