By: Sean Crose
“I think it’s one of my favorite new places now to do a press conference,” promoter Richard Schaefer said as he stood before a California harbor talking to Jeandra LeBeauf. “It’s beautiful.” Schaefer has much to be pleased with at the moment. Not only is the man promoting this weekend’s StubHub Center event, a card which features Leo Santa Cruz and old foe Abner Mares, he’s also helming the World Boxing Super Series (“it really is the greatest boxing tournament of all time,” Schaefer said of the multi-division tournament). “There’s so much boxing now,” he claimed. “It’s a great time to be a fight fan.”
Saturday’s California card will be aired live on Fox in prime time, something that would have seemed unheard of less than a few short years ago. “This is big time boxing,” Schaefer claimed, “when you’re going to be televised on the big Fox.” Santa Cruz, 33-1-1, is hot off of his comeback win against Ireland’s Carl Frampton in January. He’ll be facing the 27-5 Chris Avalos for the WBA World Super Featherweight title. Former Santa Cruz opponent Mares, 30-2-1, will also be throwing down with the 35-1-1 Andres Gutierrez for the WBA World featherweight title. Provided Santa Cruz and Mares win, they can look forward to facing each other again.
Some have made it clear that it would only make sense to have Santa Cruz and Mares rematch each other, since both are on a solid streak and their 2015 battle against each other was competitive.
Schaefer spoke to LeBeauf of the realities of the business and stated that “often budgets are a bit tapped out.” He also stated that fighters “need to be treated fairly and properly.” As the head of Ringstar Sports, Schaefer asserted that “fighters make the most money when they fight with me.”
Schaefer has had a bit of a rocky road for himself in recent years. After a very public falling out with Golden Boy Promotions’ head Oscar De La Hoya, the European banker was away from the business for a while before the creation of Ringstar. “I’ve learned that boxing is as exciting as it’s ever been,” he said, adding that “there’s so much boxing now” on both pay and basic cable. “I’m very excited,” Schaefer claimed, “to be back in the boxing promotion business.”