De La Hoya, Schaefer At Odds Over Future Direction Of Golden Boy Promotions
The best fight in boxing “might not be anything inside the ring, but rather the fight over the future of the sport's leading promoter, Golden Boy Promotions,” according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. For months, there has been an “internal struggle for control over the direction of the company.” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer “has one vision” while co-Founder & President Oscar De La Hoya “has another.” De La Hoya has “largely been a figurehead,” only occasionally coming to the L.A. corporate offices or "significantly participating in the company's promotions." De La Hoya said, “There's a few things that we are not agreeing on. But it's nothing that cannot be worked out.” Rafael noted De La Hoya -- not Schaefer --“will lead a four-city media tour to promote a July 12 Showtime PPV fight between Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.” De La Hoya has “never before led a media tour.” Meanwhile, Schaefer said he and De La Hoya have not had a "meaningful" conversation in about a month. Rafael noted one of the “central issues between Schaefer and De La Hoya is that De La Hoya wants to start doing business again with longtime bitter rival” Top Rank Chair Bob Arum. Schaefer said, "You gonna suddenly do business with him and piss all over the relationships you have with the MGM, Corona, Showtime, CBS and so on? My entire life is built on relationships and I've done very well with that. Loyalty really means something in my book and I want to continue with that and whether that is going to be with Golden Boy or not with Golden Boy. I can't tell you” (ESPN.com, 5/3).
AGREE TO DISAGREE: De La Hoya said of Schaefer, “Nobody is going to dismiss Richard. Richard is not getting fired. I don’t want him to leave. No one is telling him to leave. We’ve been letting lawyers deal and handle this situation. ... I feel when our lives are exposed or business is exposed through the media it’s getting out of hand. Maybe it’s time to extend this olive branch. I have nothing against Richard. I have nothing but respect for Richard. If I have to extend an olive branch why not?" De La Hoya added, "I have the choice of taking it personally or not. I’d rather sit down with Richard and talk to him.” In Boston, Ron Borges wrote De La Hoya also “made clear if he has to go on without" Shaefer, he is “confident he can do it.” De La Hoya said, “Outside the ring, I have a whole team. I found Richard many years ago from the banking world. If I have to do it again, that is no problem for me.” De La Hoya added, “[Schaefer] helped me build my career. I’m grateful for that, but this company is . . . named Golden Boy for a reason.” Borges noted De La Hoya was “honest about his well-documented fight with alcoholism and drug abuse and admitted he understood why Schaefer might be hesitant to fully trust him after his many public failings and fall from grace.” Asked if he was surprised to learn that fighters his company promoted were not signed to promotional deals with Golden Boy De La Hoya said, “Was I surprised? Of course” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/4).
TRUST ISSUES: In Las Vegas, Ed Graney wrote De La Hoya “might be the majority stockholder and the face by which most still recognize the business," but his "demons opened the door for Schaefer to continue building the brand to an incredibly successful level.” It will be a “big problem for De La Hoya if he can’t work out those issues that have relegated his relationship with his CEO to emails between attorneys.” Beyond mega-fights such as Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana, Schaefer has “strengthened the company through its lesser-known fighters.” Schaefer is the one those at the MGM, Barclays Center and StubHub Center "trust the most.” It would be “impossible for De La Hoya to spin a positive outcome that anyone would believe should Schaefer ultimately walk away from Golden Boy.” Mayweather “might just hire Schaefer away himself, which would be a typically intelligent business decision from the Mayweather camp.” If the Golden Boy split happens, Arum “would at least help De La Hoya remain relevant” because the two “could make good fights.” Graney: “I don’t see things working out. De La Hoya and Schaefer reportedly shook hands during undercard action Saturday, but when you have a 25-minute news conference beforehand and spend most of it saying you need to do what is best for yourself, reconciliation doesn’t appear a leading option” (REVIEWJOURNAL.com, 5/3).