Golden Boy Promotions CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER yesterday announced he is leaving the company, and said that while he can see himself working "inside and outside the sport ... it's time to move on," according to Lance Pugmire of the L.A. TIMES. Schaefer in a statement said, “This decision has required a great deal of personal reflection, but ultimately I concluded that I have no choice but to leave.” Golden Boy co-Founder & President OSCAR DE LA HOYA has "been at odds with Schaefer" since his most recent return from rehab over Schaefer’s "insistence not to conduct co-promotions" with Top Rank and company Chair BOB ARUM. There has "been speculation that Schaefer’s increasingly close relationship" with FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.'s manager AL HAYMON will "lead to a new promotional company that could ultimately lead current Golden Boy fighters managed by Haymon, including welterweight ADRIEN BRONER, unbeaten Los Angeles super-bantamweight LEO SANTA CRUZ and many others, to leave Golden Boy." Schaefer was "mum about his future career plans, but he noted he remains a shareholder in Golden Boy" (L.A. TIMES, 6/3). ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reported Mayweather "dumped the company" just hours after Schaefer's resignation. Mayweather, "whose fights generate the biggest pay-per-view numbers in the sport, has worked with Golden Boy on a fight-by-fight basis for all of his nine bouts since his 2007 blockbuster against De La Hoya, which set the all-time pay-per-view buy record at nearly 2.5 million subscriptions." But Mayweather "only worked with Golden Boy because of Schaefer, with whom he has grown close over the years" (ESPN.com, 6/2).
WHAT'S THE IMPACT? ESPN.com's Rafael wrote Schaefer's exit "figures to dramatically alter the landscape of the boxing business." It was "not unexpected," but the "timing was a bit surprising -- a few days before De La Hoya's induction" on Sunday into the Int'l Boxing HOF. Golden Boy under Schaefer's guidance "became a powerhouse." Schaefer was the "point person in multiple record-breaking promotions, developed close relationships with HBO and later Showtime, closed an output deal for a boxing television series on Fox Sports 1, worked with numerous mainstream sponsors and made a deal to serve as the exclusive promoter of fights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, while also maintaining a close relationship with the MGM Grand in Las Vegas." Schaefer said, "I wish it didn't end like this. I spent a lot of time with this company and I'm very proud of what I have accomplished. There's nothing to be ashamed about" (ESPN.com, 6/2). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole noted many "were quick to hail" Schaefer's resignation as "the end to boxing's ugly and counter-productive 'Cold War.'" Perhaps Schaefer's departure after a feud with De La Hoya "will signify blue skies ahead for fans." But it is more likely that Schaefer's resignation is "going to spark many more legal battles." Things may "get worse well before they get better" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/2).