Richard Schaefer’s Exit: Prepare To Learn More About Al Haymon
By Sean Crose
By now you’ve probably heard. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, has decided to step down. Not that anyone’s surprised, mind you. Even the most casual of boxing fans could have seen this one coming months ago. Oscar De La Hoya, Schaefer’s boss, made peace with rival Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions a while back and even declared a willingness for his company to do business with Arum’s company. Schaefer responded very publicly by stating that he didn’t think De La Hoya should be friends or partners with the feisty Arum.
And now Schaefer’s gone. End of story.
Except it isn’t the end of the story. While it’s true the cold war as boxing fans know it might be over as of June 2nd, 2014, a new saga is most likely about to unfold, one that’s likely to change the sport of boxing in a myriad of ways.
Indeed, one of the biggest changes might be this: that the world may now learn more about Al Haymon. For there seemed to be a real bond between Schaefer and Haymon when the Swiss banker ran Golden Boy. Now that Schaefer’s out, however, more information about the shadowy Haymon will likely come to light.
First off, everyone will probably learn what Haymon himself feels about working with Bob Arum. Since Haymon doesn’t give interviews and is rarely seen in public, it’s hard to know just what he thinks about the Top Rank CEO. The assumption,of course, is that Haymon merely views Arum as a kind of lush tree from whom he can pick fighters away from. Now that De La Hoya may demand that Haymon’s fighters battle Arums, however, Haymon’s true thoughts and feelings may become public knowledge.
On top of that the world may also learn exactly which fighters are legally bound to Haymon. The truth is that no one knows at the moment. Word around the campfire is that Schaefer was letting Haymon’s fighters box under the Golden Boy banner without becoming Golden Boy fighters. If that rumor’s true, we will soon find out who’s truly under De La Hoya’s umbrella and who isn’t.
As if that weren’t enough the public may also finally become aware of exactly what it is Al Haymon does. Is he a manager? An adviser? A promoter? Some strange combination of the three? Has everything he’s done been above board? Has he really steered his fighters away from tough competition? These questions may well be answered sooner than one might think. Now that Schaefer’s gone, events might start developing quickly.
Lastly, boxing fans may finally see just how powerful Al Haymon really is. If the man butts heads with De La Hoya, after all, the era of mystery will be over. The public will learn once and for all if this mysterious figure really is a Don Corleone-esque figure or if he was merely some paper tiger all along.
As for Schaefer, he claims he’s not sure what he intends to do from here on in. He clearly thinks he’s done a bang up job at Golden Boy, although others surely disagree. Perhaps he’ll work for Floyd Mayweather. Or even Haymond himself. It’s hard to tell, really.
All that’s certain is that big changes are coming to the world of boxing. And they’re going to come in a very public manner. That might not be good for Haymon, but it will certainly be good for the fans. And Schaefer? Well, history will be the judge of Schaefer. He certainly helped make Golden Boy a powerhouse, yet his unwillingness to help put together matches like Mayweather-Pacquiao may forever haunt him.
Or not. It’s simply too soon for the verdict to be in on this case.