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Richard Shaefer Walks Out the Door and Golden Boy Sues for $50 Million

By Bryanna Fissori
Legal Analyst

It has been nearly a month since Richard Schaefer resigned as CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which is arguably one of the largest boxing promotion in the United States, but if he thought he was going to make a clean getaway he was sorely mistaken.

Last week the promotion filed a $50 million lawsuit against Schaefer for damages incurred during his tenure. The case will be sent straight to arbitration because of a clause in the company’s contract with the former CEO. Arbitration clauses are not an uncommon and serve as form of alternative dispute resolution. Arbitration is a process in which a third party reviews the evidence in a case and imposes a legally binding decision on the parties. This helps parties to avoid expensive and lengthy litigation.

Since the case will not be heard in court, there is no public record available stating the cause of action, but there are numerous speculations many of which center around the rumors of disagreements between Schaefer and majority shareholder Oscar De la Hoya. The two co-founded Golden Boy Promotions in 2002. Schaefer previously worked as a Swiss banker prompting him to take an active roll in the financial aspect of the business as CEO. De La Hoya was still actively competing, and was just inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame less than a month ago.

Upon resignation Schaefer told ESPN, “After more than 10 years with Golden Boy, it is time to move on to the next chapter of my career. This decision has required a great deal of personal reflection, but ultimately I concluded that I have no choice but to leave. I have succeeded in banking, and I have succeeded in boxing, and I look forward to the next opportunity.”

The next opportunity is speculated to be with Mayweather Promotions. Mayweather was undoubtedly Golden Boy’s most profitable fighter, but just hours after Schaefer headed out the door, Mayweather followed close behind. Since his 2007 bout with Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy have co-promoted all of Mayweather’s fights, which total nine. Both the 2007 De La Hoya bout and 2013 bout with Canelo Alvarez were promoted by Schaefer and set records as the most and second most buys at 2.5 and 2.2 million respectively.

The addition of Schaefer will not likely help in securing the highly discussed match up between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. One of the major hold-ups recently has been Mayweather’s unwillingness to work with Pacquiao’s manager, Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions. Much of the refusal has been fueled by Schaefer.

During his tenure with Golden Boy Schaefer has also worked with advisor Al Haymon to secure a number of big name cards, though not all of those fighters have been under contract. This has caused a number of legal issues for Golden Boy and Haymon, which may or may not have contributed to Shaefer’s departure.

Schaefer does still hold a small percentage of the company and Golden Boy has contended that Schaefer is under contract until March 2018. De La Hoya had previously stated publicaly that he does not want Shaefer to leave, though this was prior to Golden Boy asking for $50 million in damages.

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