really wasn't much going on during the bout between WBC lightweight titlist Omar
Figueroa and amateur nemesis Jerry Belmontes. Truth be told, there was much
more attention paid to the lingering tension between Oscar De la Hoya and the
CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer, who once again acted like
neither were in each other’s presence despite sitting just a few feet apart.
The only thing chillier than the weather out in Carson, California at the
StubHub Center on Saturday night was the frostiness between the “Golden Boy” and
the man who runs his company (for now).
was plainly evident as Oscar walked to his seat with just a minute and change
left in the third round of Figueroa-Belmontes (and yes, after getting home and
watching this Showtime broadcast, I studied this frame by frame like it was the
Zapruder Film) and shunned Schaefer before sitting down. At this stage, this
very public melodrama became the night’s main event for the time being.
Twitterverse was abuzz as De la Hoya and Schaefer tried their best not to
acknowledge each other (and by the way, it provided for some great tweets if I
say so myself). At first, there was a young man seated between them and then
Schaefer's wife. Little did they know they had the best and most intriguing
seats in the house. Their body language screamed that these two are no longer
simpatico. Last month, I penned this column that outlined the growing tension
between the two (http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/a-golden-rift)
and this past week, De la Hoya basically marked his territory as the boss of
Golden Boy and made it public that he was seeking a detente with Bob Arum and
Top Rank Promotions. At the same time, Schaefer made it clear to Lance Pugmire
of the L.A. Times, who captured this
in-house verbal sparring so ably, (http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-richard-schaefer-bob-arum-20140424,0,1419916.story#axzz307qrSrVW),
that he had no intention of working with Arum.
Figueroa had won a split decision (or least that's what I think happened. Most
of us on press row were all too busy looking across the ring to see if Oscar
and Richard would even exchange glances), Schaefer customarily came over to the
media, very well aware of what was being bandied about on Twitter and he
actually found it very amusing. “You love this stuff,” he says to me, laughing.
And yeah, well...I do. The bottom line is while it's boxing we cover, it's more
than about just writing about the fights and fighters. A large part of our job
is to cover the personalities, the politics and the interpersonal relationships
that exist in the sport and how they affect the fans.
years, the “Cold War” between Golden Boy and Top Rank had an adverse effect on
the business and those who support it. Now, this particular situation and how
it plays out will have a direct bearing on what fights will be consummated in
the near future. After talking a bit about Figueroa and his future, this
reporter asked Schaefer about the conflict. He answered, “You mean the Arum
stuff?” Well, actually, it's more about him and Oscar; isn't it?
y’know, I'm happy for Bob and Oscar if they can make peace,” he stated. “It's
on again, off again, on again, off again. I guess it's now on again, so I don't
really get too worked up about it. I'm doing my job; I'm making great fights.
We have a busy week ahead, looking very much forward to next week. Working on
June 21st, another fight here, the StubHub Center, so I'm doing my
job while the two lovebirds are...well, I don't know what they're doing...but
they're making peace!”
he says this, Schaefer laughs freely like a man without a care in the world.
Like someone who believes things will work out for the good, one way or the
other for him. Like that card shark who has an ace up his sleeve. But will he
at least get together with De la Hoya and try to get on the same page as they
(or is it “if”) they move forward?
sometimes you have differences of opinions. That's the way it goes.”
what else would you say?” Schaefer asked with a chuckle. “I have a different
strategy and I think my strategy, so far, has worked. I've built up the number
one promotional company in the world. So I'm pretty proud of what I've achieved
and I think my strategy was spot-on and I'm going to continue with that
strategy as long as I'm the CEO of Golden Boy. The CEO of Golden Boy runs the
business. I was hired to run the business and if I'm asked not to run the
business anymore, then people should talk to me and let me know and then I'll
probably run another business,” said “Rogue” Schaefer. Who knows what the other
business will be? Running Floyd Mayweather's promotional outfit? Maybe being the
face of a venture started by Al Haymon? Or who knows, running the Clippers
while Donald Sterling sorts out his issues? We'll find out soon. It should be
interesting to see what happens after May 3rd when Mayweather faces
Lucas Matthysse and John Molina were about to enter the ring, Schaefer headed
back to the other side of the ring and his seat. So close yet so far from the
man who owns the company he runs.
never seems to fail. From Rafael Marquez-Israel Vazquez III to Tim
Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov to Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado I, this venue in
Carson (formerly the Home Depot Center) never fails to host memorable fights on
a consistent basis. And that was the case as Lucas Matthysse had to come off
the canvas twice to finally subdue the spirited challenge of John Molina in 11
memorable innings that had an announced crowd of just over 6,700 on its feet
for much of the night.
of all the fights on this Showtime tripleheader, this one - despite its long
odds - figured to be the most entertaining and action-packed of the evening.
And that came to fruition as the heavy-handed Molina came out swinging, hurting
Matthysse with a right hand in the first and then sending him down in the
second and fifth frames. For the fabled “Machine,” it was gut-check time and
you wondered how he'd react after his disappointing September defeat to Danny
Garcia. Matthysse started getting his jab going and was able to control the action
by the middle rounds. He slowly closed in on Molina and began a steady assault
to the body.
Matthysse returned the favor by flooring Molina in the eighth and 10th frames. There was much debate about Molina coming out after the 10th and there was a bit of an incident between his trainer, Joe Goossen and the
ringside physician. Molina was allowed to continue but was quickly sent down to
the canvas in the 11th. The fight was waved off by referee Pat
Russell but in defeat, Molina erased the memories of his short-order meltdown
versus Antonio DeMarco on HBO in 2012.
As for Matthysse, he seemed to find himself halfway through this fight and
regained his mojo.
what is it about this place that brings out the best in fighters?
was sitting there ringside and I said, ‘Y’know what? I have never been at the
StubHub Center, where there was not at least one ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.
Never. And by the way, not just with us promoting, others too,” said Schaefer.
Keith Thurman had a
truncated night because Julio Diaz had to call it a day with a damaged rib. But
the technical improvements Thurman has made in terms of his footwork and
balance are clear...Manager Sergio Diaz says Jesus Soto Karass could be facing
Devon Alexander on either July 12th (on the Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara
undercard) or its own date...Looks like Abner Mares will finally make his
return on June 21st at the StubHub Center...This is where you really
miss Mark Heisler's annual open letter to Donald Sterling...The first round of
the NBA playoffs have been something else...
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