Boxing After Dark featuring James Kirkland vs Alfredo Angulo
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Nov 5, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Photo: Alfredo Angulo
Tonight from Cancun, HBO brings us a “Boxing After Dark” featuring a junior middleweight tussle between James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo. There was a time when HBO had an edict against going south of the border, citing safety concerns of everyone involved.
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, the company staging this card, says, “I think you have to focus a little bit on where the places are more dangerous and if you go to Cancun, it's a tourist center, so is Mexico City. Those are actually very safe or Guadalajara. Those are very safe environments and obviously, the Mexican government is behind it as well because they are sponsors of these events and they invest money in these events because they obviously want to send the signal to the world that Mexico, you just can't throw every region over there into the same hat and that Cancun is safe and beautiful to come to and visit. So you have to look at that.
“Now, if I would go to HBO and tell them that I want to go to a little dingy town somewhere- let's say Sinaloa or something- it might be a different response but even there, we were in Sinaloa last week with one of our Telefutura shows. This is not like they are after the Richard Schaefers and Steve Kims of this world.”
(Uh, Rich, speak for yourself- but anyway, I digress...)
“I mean, obviously, there is drug violence but that drug violence is not targeted to tourists and at events. You haven't heard these things happening at boxing events because those are in-fights within the different drug cartels and obviously, I'm not trying to minimize it. But at the same time, sometimes things get a bit overdramatized.”
There are some in the industry who believe that if Golden Boy was not staging this show, HBO would not go to Mexico or even feature a main event involving two boxers with legal problems attached to them. 
Schaefer has heard enough from these detractors, telling Maxboxing, “That's exactly the problem. There are too many negative voices, too many jealous people out there and honestly, Top Rank and Golden Boy, we are focusing in on just getting fights done. We are focusing our energy and building the sport and I applaud Bob [Arum] and Todd [duBoef] for that because they are doing what we are doing. We're trying to attract sponsors, trying to come up with new ideas, create new series, create a positive environment. You don't hear us trashing the sport. You really don't and I hope Bob is going to do very well with [Manny] Pacquiao and [Juan Manuel] Marquez. I think it's a terrific fight. It's the kinda fight you just know it's going to be all-action. It's the kinda fight you just know it can't be a boring fight. And when he did Donaire and Narvaez, you look at Narvaez's past record, you can't blame Top Rank. It happens. 
“It happens that sometimes a fight doesn't turn out the way you want,” continued Schaefer. “I think Top Rank does a terrific job. We do a terrific job trying to bring positive contributions to the sport of boxing and all these people who have too much time on their hands, trashing the sport, trashing other promoters, trashing other promoters’ fights and unfortunately, a lot of jealously is coming in and I have to tell you I am really, really, really, sick and tired of all these negative people out there, attacking other promoters’ fights. Instead of crying out, ‘We didn't get anything,’ go and do something. I'm not like, sitting here and everything is handed to me and I know it’s not this way with Bob and Todd either. We don't cry about what we don't have. We're trying to get dates. We're trying to get fighters. We're fierce competitors but y’ know what? At least we don't trash each other.”
OK, what the hell is going on here?! With Schaefer being so magnanimous toward Top Rank, can we finally see a consistent set of fights between the two companies in 2012?

“When we settled our differences there in front of the mediator, Bob and me, we shook hands and said, ‘We're not going to let all that bullsh*t come between us anymore and I really mean that and I do hope that Bob means it as well and that it will result in other fights. And I agree with Bob. We don't always necessarily see eye-to-eye. We don't agree on many things but I do think we agree on many things as well. So there just shouldn't be animosity. If a big fight can get made or a good fight can get made, it should be made and that doesn't mean you need to be all buddy-buddy with everybody. It's not necessary. It's a business and let’s do it and we're in the business of entertaining people and asking them to pay for it- be it through HBO or Showtime subscription or watching it live or watching it on pay-per-view.
“So we need to entertain. We're in the business of entertaining the people and that's where our focus should be.”
I say that the first Golden Boy-Top Rank fight next year, Richard and Bob sing “Kumbaya” at center ring before the main event.

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