|A Golden Rift?
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing on Doghouse Boxing (March 21, 2014)
Image made by icheehuahua, Doghouse Boxing Inc.
lieu of any real meaningful fights taking place this month, the biggest
scuttlebutt in the boxing business centers on the relationship between
Golden Boy Promotions Founder Oscar De la Hoya and its CEO, Richard
Schaefer. Numerous industry insiders are indicating there is a
significant rift between the two over the direction of the company and
its investors are said to be asking questions about its finances.
not clear if this is headed toward a divorce but it’s clear that for
the time being, they are at least sleeping in separate rooms. On the
night of March 8th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez took Alfredo
Angulo apart, not only did De la Hoya and Schaefer not take their
customary seats together ringside (sitting between them was Leonard
Ellerbe), they didn’t even seem to converse or acknowledge each other’s
presence. A person who happened to be inside Angulo’s dressing room with
the two before the fight told Maxboxing, “You could cut the tension
with a knife. They wouldn’t even look at each other.”
la Hoya, who was not originally scheduled to go to this fight, flew
into Las Vegas that day and sat ringside. Other than that, he wasn’t
much of a presence for much of this promotion during the week. When
asked about a possible fissure in this union, Scahefer gave a bit of a
Nixonian, “non-denial” denial to veteran boxing scribe Robert Morales
last week: www.insidesocal.com/schaefer-wont-comment-on-rumors
Neither was present this weekend in Bayamon, Puerto Rico for their show featuring Danny Garcia and Deontay Wilder.
Regardless, the “Golden Boy” wants more control of Golden Boy. But the
truth of the matter is the major shareholders (like Gabriel Brener and
AEG) may also want a healthier return on their multimillion-dollar
investments. However, the reality has been that De la Hoya has been an
absentee owner for years, who’s nothing more than a figurehead to the
company. It’s Schaefer who dutifully comes in and runs the day-to-day
operations of the company. There was a time when the iconic De la Hoya
could nab the interest of corporate entities and sponsors. Even in
retirement, he was a powerful brand.
the other hand, the problem was he kept running into one embarrassing
episode after another. If it weren’t drugs or, most embarrassingly, a
cross-dressing scandal, De la Hoya started becoming a corporate
liability, no longer a boxing idol but a punchline. And as the years
mounted, his involvement with his own company waned - much to the relief
of some, who believed he had become a nuisance.
interesting is that it wasn’t long ago when Oscar was more than willing
to engage in the “Cold War” against his former promoter, Bob Arum of Top
Rank Promotions. But while Schaefer continues to dig in his heels
against Top Rank as if he were Vladimir Putin versus Ukraine, De la Hoya
has recently taken a much more conciliatory tone toward Arum. In this
with Luis Sandoval of Boxingscene.com a few weeks ago, he professed his
“love” for Arum and the desire to start co-promoting events with his
rivals. On his Twitter feed (@OscarDeLaHoya), De la Hoya has not only
been throwing 140-character bouquets toward Arum and his company but
also HBO, a network he encouraged everyone to boycott and unsubscribe to
last year after it essentially jettisoned Golden Boy from its airwaves
(for their efforts, his followers would get a much coveted retweet from
De la Hoya, a trade-off not quite commensurate for missing out on “Game
Schaefer, who came from the world of Swiss
banking and years ago, helped boost the finances and portfolio of De la
Hoya, has become one of the most influential men in the sport. Under his
direction, Golden Boy Promotions became one of the preeminent companies
in the business, staking out strong alliances with various networks,
venues, sponsors and Floyd Mayweather. Under the direction of Schaefer,
Golden Boy has not only become the busiest promotional outfit in the
world (many weeks having multiple cards) but it’s an integral part of
many of the sport’s biggest events.
But the investors are
wondering why they haven’t seen much in the way of dividends with such a
hectic and high-profile schedule. And there’s also a question of the
pervasive influence of adviser Al Haymon, whose clients have recently
taken up more and more of the slots on Golden Boy/Showtime broadcasts.
It’s not unusual nowadays to see his fighters take up multiple slots on
triple and quadruple-headers on this network (sometimes even facing each
other). In the past year or so, fighters like Lucas Matthysse, Paulie
Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana, who already had pre-existing deals with
Golden Boy, inked deals with Haymon believing it greased the skids for
them to obtain certain bouts. Haymon is usually listed as an “adviser”
and is therefore able to skirt some of the rules associated with
Has Golden Boy become more Haymon’s company than De la Hoya’s?
As for Haymon, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that he’s signing more guys
than Nick Saban and Alabama on National Letter of Intent Day. There was a
time when Haymon only signed marquee fighters but recently, he has
signed the likes of Rances Barthelemy to contracts. It’s clear he’s
branching out for one reason or another (perhaps to force his way back
onto HBO, who, by sheer numbers, would have to use some of his vast
stable). It’s said that Haymon now works with well over 50 boxers in
some capacity. Some are under contract with Golden Boy; some however -
even though they have appeared on Golden Boy cards and gotten valuable
television time on their shows the past couple of years - are not.
So how does this all shake out? What are the possible scenarios? Well,
here are the most discussed, debated and plausible possibilities:
- Schaefer leaves Golden Boy and runs a company for the likes of Haymon
and/or Mayweather. A couple of years ago, before his current deal to
head GBP was finalized, there were rumors that Schaefer would do this.
If this were the case, one of the more pressing dilemmas would be the
division of talent/assets. Which boxers are bound to Golden Boy and
which are just tied to Haymon? And how would it be worked out for those
who are both? (And you thought real life divorces with custody battles
got ugly.) But even without the Golden Boy fighters, Haymon now has
enough fighters to have someone run a viable promotional company made up
of his boxers.
- If that first scenario were to play out, many
believe Oscar/Golden Boy would then create a working relationship with
Arum/Top Rank and therefore have entry back at HBO. As for its remaining
assets, they do have “Canelo” Alvarez (who looks to be a budding
pay-per-view franchise) and a few others who fill their roster, managed
by the likes of Frank Espinoza and De la Hoya’s brother, Joel.
The status quo. Yeah, like a bad marriage that sticks together solely
for the kids, there might be a scenario in which - with all the existing
entanglements - De la Hoya and Schaefer could be stuck with each other
and have to play nice and smile while out in public. Meanwhile, De la
Hoya would look for more of a say-so in the direction of his company.
Meanwhile, it’s not clear which side Showtime would take in the case of
a full-blown divorce - although you’d assume it’s whichever side has
Mayweather. Speaking of which, Mayweather faces Marcos Maidana on May 3rd in Las Vegas and as of now, Mayweather Promotions still does not have a
valid promoter’s license in the state of Nevada. The last eight
Mayweather fights have been promoted by Golden Boy going back to his
fight in 2007 versus De la Hoya. Mayweather paid Golden Boy a flat fee
over the last seven and have all come against boxers under its
promotional umbrella - with the exception of Miguel Cotto.
It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out. It could lead to a
tectonic shift in the boxing business or simply be a bump in the road.
Meanwhile De la Hoya (who recently changed his Twitter profile photo to
the Golden Boy Promotions logo that is his silhouette) tweeted this
“Regarding all these rumors about my company and Richard Schafer (sic), I will be setting the record straight soon.”
While it’s not yet clear if De la Hoya and Schaefer are done, it’s
pretty obvious that Floyd Mayweather and Miss Jackson are finished.
Well, at least according to this story on MediaTakeout.com:
I’m sorry, Ms. Jackson, but is this for real?
TYSON FURY GOES CRAY-CRAY?!
Got a video of yesterday’s press conference - Tyson Fury went nuts:
The WBC has ordered a heavyweight eliminator between Bryant Jennings
and Mike Perez...Golden Boy announced the signing of featherweight Rene
Alvarado...Look for heavyweight Andy Ruiz to make his return to the ring
on May 17th at the Forum...So can Phil Jackson work his magic as a front office executive?…
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