By Ivan G. Goldman
Golden Boy boss Richard Schaefer has apparently concluded that a superfight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could be catastrophic to his promotional company and is desperately seeking alternatives.
So while most of the boxing world yearns to see this sure-fire welterweight extravaganza, Schaefer plots to prevent it. Every time someone tries to fire up the possibility, he runs over to douse it with a fire hose. The reason is simple. Pacquiao is contractually tied to Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Floyd is officially promoted by his own promotional company. Therefore, Pacquiao-Mayweather requires the participation of Top Rank but, there’s no need for Golden Boy.
Schaefer could end up watching the fight on TV, with no role in the most anticipated match in decades and what would surely be the biggest money fight every fought. But Schaefer, even as he erects new walls, must deal with breaching attempts from within his own company.
Last Saturday, Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy, the man who saved Schaefer from his torpid life as a banker, tweeted Arum: “Mr. Arum on behalf of my family and I, we wish you happy holidays and a great year. Let’s make these fights for the fans.” Oscar, who will be inducted this summer into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for his manifest accomplishments in the ring, didn’t specify which fights he was talking about, but he’s as aware as anyone of the biggest potential match out there. A Top Rank-Golden Boy co-promotion remains a slim possibility, but not if Schaefer keeps hurling insults at Pacquiao and Arum.
When reporters asked Schaefer about Oscar’s tweet at the Marcos Maidana-Adrien Broner card in San Antonio, he wouldn’t even concede the tweet was genuine. De La Hoya, recently released from 90 days in substance abuse rehab, wasn’t on the scene to be queried. When the topic is sharp-tongued Arum, Oscar is more clearheaded than Schaefer is. Arum, De La Hoya’s former promoter, was once a father figure to him. Oscar even gave him his Olympic gold medal.
“I have no interest whatsoever to work with Bob Arum,” Schaefer said. “We don’t need Bob Arum. He has nothing left, and you know, we just don’t need to deal with the guy. I have absolutely no interest in that.” He declared that Pacquiao isn’t even a potential opponent. “I’m not going to talk about that because it’s not going to happen.”
It’s instructive that once more reporters accepted Schaefer’s right to speak for Mayweather even though Golden Boy is hired by Mayweather to fill promotional tasks on a case-by-case basis only. Schaefer has no more right to speak for Floyd than the guy who polishes his cars.
Mayweather is slated to fight someone May 3, possibly Amir Khan. He has a habit of delaying such matters. By keeping a potential opponent dangling, Floyd gains even more advantage in financial negotiations. Before Maidana kicked Broner off the success ladder, Schaefer was touting him as a possible opponent for Mayweather.
Arum is planning to feature Pacquiao on an April 12 card, apparently back in the U.S. Pay-per-view buys in the U.S. for his bout in China against PEDs-enhanced Brandon Rios came in at a disappointing 475,000 or so. Congressman Pacquiao is in financial trouble thanks to the Philippines government freezing his assets in a tax probe that was very possibly politically inspired. Although he faces a hefty IRS bill when he fights in the U.S., he’s apparently concluded that if the pie gets bigger, it’s okay to accept a smaller share.
Arum says that a Pacquiao-Mayweather match could be made next autumn. His stepson Todd DuBoef, Top Rank president, has already said he’d deal with Showtime for the event, which eliminates any problems with rival HBO, Pac-man’s network. Mayweather has a long-term contract with Showtime.
“It’s stupid if it doesn’t happen,” Arum said of a Pacquiao-Mayweather match. “They owe it to the sport. What, is Mayweather going to fight Amir Khan? Who gives a shit?” He said “somebody” needs to contact Top Rank “so we can sit down and explore how it can happen.”
That somebody would almost certainly be Mayweather’s advisor , tight-lipped Al Haymon. It clearly won’t be Schaefer.
Ivan G. Goldman’s boxing novel The Barfighter was nominated as a 2009 Notable Book by the American Library Association. Information HERE