The rumor mill has been buzzing for weeks, that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer would be exiting the company topped by the president Oscar De La Hoya, which has been enmeshed in an un-civil war for some time now. Now, the rumor is fact, as the Swiss-born ex banker, brought in to the business by his Oscar more than ten years ago, announces his exit.
An email to Schaefer sent last week wasn't answered and now the fight game wonders what his next play is. And what is Oscar's next move? Do we get clarity this weekend, when he is inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame…or before? Oscar had been talking reconciliation, said he'd he hoped to work it out with Schaefer. But the man who had taken the day to day reins over from Oscar, quite noticeably in the last couple years seemed frosty to the idea.
Oscar didn't put out a comment right away and I requested a comment from Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, as most of the boxing content which runs on his net is from GBP. “Our July 12 event will not be affected,” he told me. “But beyond that it would into be appropriate to comment on internal Golden Boy matters. We do expect the Canelo pay per view to be very, very successful.”
Paul Malignaggi fights for GBP. The mouthy hitter/analyst reacted. “I'm speechless. I wonder where this leaves the fate of so many fighters. Who promotes the fights on June 21 and July 12? What about the fighters signed to both Al Haymon and Golden Boy? I guess we will see, I am confused and speechless and I thought they would find an amicable solution and not part ways. I'm shocked. Hopefully this isn't bad for the fighters.”
Schaefer signed a contract extension with GB back in April 2012, and at the timcalled Oscar a visionary” and ODLH called him “one of my closest friends.” When did that dynamic change? Industry folk wonder if more of that could come out in a court room, if this squabble moves to a new arena.
As this can be seen like a divorce one wonder about the custody of the kids, er, star fighters. Will they take sides, follow the brainy ex banker? Or can Oscar, now clear headed after ditching his hard partying ways, lure the hitters with his brand recognition?
STATEMENT FROM RICHARD SCHAEFER
“After more than ten 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. I am proud to remain a shareholder, so I have a strong interest in the continued success of the company. I am proud of what we have accomplished at Golden Boy, but I now look forward to new challenges.”
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