Richard Schaefer “Excited To Be Back In The Boxing Promotion Business”
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.”
The World Boxing Super Series Begins
The World Boxing Super Series Begins
By: Matthew N. Becher
Over the past weekend, the newly created World Boxing Super Series held its very first draft, for its very first tournament. The premise of the new tournament is an open competition for any professional boxer that is ranked in the top 15 of the major sanctioning bodies systems.
In theory the best fighters would face off against one another, until the last man was standing, thus making him the #1 boxer in that weight class. Simple. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting the best fighters to all participate in such a tournament, with everyone having different promoters and so forth. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out for the initial Cruiserweight Tournament.
The seeding of the tournament went as follows. The top 4 fighters were ranked 1-4 by the WBSS, with the four belt holders getting the top rankings.
1: Oleksander Usyk (WBO)
2: Murat Gassiev (IBF)
3: Mairis Briedis (WBC)
4: Yunier Dorticos (WBA)
Then from 1-4, the fighter was allowed to pick or draft his opponent from a group of 4 boxers, for their first round fight. (An exception was made for Gassiev, who had a mandatory against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. That fight was picked for him)
The first round of the tournament looks like this.
Oleksander Usyk (12-0 10KO) v. Marco Huck (40-4-1 27KO)
Murat Gassiev (24-0 17KO) v. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1 37KO)
Mairis Briedis (22-0 18KO) v. Mike Perez (22-2-1 14KO)
Yunier Dorticos (21-0 20KO) v. Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1 21KO)
Literally the best of the best in the Cruiserweight division will be competing against each other, until one is standing with all the belts, the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and possibly a $1 million dollar bonus for advancing though semifinals and the championship round.
The tournament is slated to begin in early September and rap up by Mary of next year. The location of the fights have yet to be determined and will be placed in locations that match up well for each fight.
“To unify a division and spotlight a division that has clearly been underappreciated, even though the fights in the ring are always among the most exciting in the sport, irrespective of the division, that those four champions, if you look at the record – they are all undefeated. Most of their wins, the vast majority have come by knockout. So these are all big punchers, undefeated. I’m really excited,” said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the Americas for Comosa, who helped put this field together alongside fellow promoter Kalle Sauerland (the Chief Boxing Officer for Comosa).
This is a very exciting tournament for boxing and especially for the roll out of the new World Boxing Super Series. With formats like this, expect many division to start falling in line and possibly getting to see the best match up against the best in the near future.
Carlos Balderas: King, Me
Carlos Balderas: King, Me
By: Francisco Martinez
2016 U.S. Olympian Carlos Balderas is set to debut April 9th in Los Angeles, California a few hours away from his hometown of Santa Maria who he has become a poster boy for. On this April 9th which lands on a Sunday not by accident but by design a masterplan crafted by boxing guru, promoter Richard Schaefer as he plans to showcase his young, new talent as he kickstarts his RingStar Sports entity that will feature 3 Olympians in Carlos Balderas, bronze medalist Misael Rodriguez, Lindolfo Delgado along Freddie Roach pupil, Lithuanian, Eimantas Stanionis with the card being headlined by fan favorite, The Riverside Rocky, Josesito Lopez.
BoxingInsider.com had the opportunity to catch up with Carlos Balderas at the famed Wild Card boxing club in Hollywood. Being from Santa Maria which is close to Los Angeles in Southern California Balderas supporters should make the trip which makes his debut that much more significant knowing he will have an all eyes on me type of platform to showcase his skills in front of his friends and family “I’m excited and I’m looking forward to it. The reason I wanted to fight out here is because I wanna grow a bigger fan base here and I don’t feel like New York is really my market, you know. I wouldn’t mind fighting out there later on in the future but as of right now I want to grow a big, big fan base out here in L.A.”
Carlos explains as in a prior interview he said he chose to pass up on a fight date for his pro debut on the Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia card in New York at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. His uncle and long time trainer David who trains Carlos alongside his father Xenon added this to the conversation “step by step, you know, he’s gonna start with L.A. first cause like he said, Santa Maria is his hometown and now he’s trying to make L.A. his hometown then little by little Chicago, Texas…” all states with a rich boxing history and big Mexican fan base from which Carlos would greatly benefit from.
Father Xenon says L.A. was the starting point for Carlos at a young age of 7yrs old “I’m very proud of him. I’m very happy for what he is doing and I am pretty sure he’s gonna be a world champion, I promise you he’s gonna be a world champion” the Balderas family migrated from Mexico to the United States in what Carlos grandfather calls a “poor” early start in Santa Maria. As family the Balderas are as strong as a family can be and carry a support system that has manage to help guide Carlos to this point of his young and ambitious career as sacrifices after sacrifices is what kept them pushing through when times got really hard and difficult for them.
Carlos Balderas grandfather recalls when he pawned his watch at one point in time to help fuel the amateur part of his career and flash forward a few years later and Carlos did not forget and kept in mind as a young man exactly what his grandfather and family were doing to help keep his dreams as a young fighter alive. Carlos did not forget his grandfather’s unselfish act of loyalty and in return gifted the elder Balderas with his very own exclusive 2016 Olympic watch “well my family has always sacrificed for me, you know, my grandpa had once sold his watch so that I can go to a boxing tournament and I had always told myself that I was gonna pay him back and the day my Olympic watch arrived I just gave it to my grandpa to show him that I appreciated what he had done for me”
Something that didn’t surprise Carlos father, Xenon “those sacrifices, we went through a lot and when I see those things I know he’s grateful, I know he’s grateful and he’s thankful to the family” uncle David was also humbled by this act of maturity beyond his 20 years of age Carlos “you know what, Carlos being the grandson he feels like he needs to work for us, he feels like he has to work for his grandpa even though we tell him many times, all the time, you know what, relax this is your show you don’t have to work for us. You don’t have to carry us on your shoulders, you don’t have to do that but he’s like, no, no, no but one day I would like to pay my dad, my uncle, my grandpa for all the sacrifices. My grandpa sold his watch for me to go to the Olympics and all these types of things you know he remembers them”
Through these sacrifices Carlos Balderas has matured quickly and it has also humbled him. This April 9th at the Novo in downtown Los Angeles his journey as a professional boxer begins. His father Xenon promises Carlos will be a world champion and his uncle David expects for Carlos to shine on this Sunday and display his skills in front of a hometown crowd. Big expectations and ambitions from the Balderas family and what they have overcome to this point as they guided Carlos Balderas to this elusive April 9th debut has already been a victory as a team. Don’t miss it live April 9th at the Novo in Downtown Los Angeles for a actioned packed card that’s sure to entertain.
Follow all coverage leading up to the fight via #RingStarSports