Knight (r) takes it to Salas.Golden Boy’s CEO Richard Schaefer and president Oscar De La Hoya announced back in September that they were going to include women’s professional boxing on future cards.
A few days after that Riverside’s Kaliesha West captured the WBO bantamweight world title with a scintillating knockout.
People shrugged despite the emphatic knockout and said that would be the last time women’s boxing would be on a Golden Boy Card.
The word around the women’s boxing world was that it was mere lip service.
Last Friday, flyweight stars Ava Knight and Gloria Salas fought on another Golden Boy card. This time at Fantasy Springs Casino.
People aren’t scoffing any more.
Golden Boy kept its word and female prizefighting was showcased on another fight card. Working with Claudia Ollis, a new powerbroker in women’s boxing, the Los Angeles-based boxing giant Golden Boy has made waves in the boxing world. Now other boxing promotions are jumping on the bandwagon with female fighters included on their respective cards.
“Not many promoters will do it,” said Schaefer by telephone. “They don’t give female boxing a chance.”
One other major change is needed for women boxing to gain recognition, added Schaefer.
“I think unless networks change their approach they (women boxers) are going no where,” said Schaefer, adding that without television exposure female boxers will not profit. “I feel bad because the women work just as hard in the gym as the men.”
Golden Boy Promotions has been working with Ollis who hit back-to-back homeruns with first West, then last week with Knight. She plans to bring several other elite female prizefighters to the forefront.
The union has made a sudden impact on the female boxing world that was convinced Golden Boy Promotions would never back the sport. Not true.
“Richard Schaefer and GBP have been instrumental in my movement! They literally have paved the way for other promoters to follow suit, "the leaders of the pack" so to speak in a new era of women’s boxing,” stated Ollis who has a number of elite female fighters under her wings. “By allowing one of my fighters to fight on a major card for a world title this past year was huge and now it’s slowly starting to break the gender barrier and hopefully the television barrier.”
It’s going to take a lot of muscle to push women’s boxing to the forefront. Golden Boy’s support is a big boost for the sport.
Schaefer knows what it takes.
“The networks have to get on board,” he said.
That day when both Schaefer and De La Hoya vowed support for women’s boxing, non-believers chuckled. They’re not chuckling any more.
Will Oscar De La Hoya be returning to the ring soon? And will it be against Ricky Hatton?
“That’s absolutely not true,” said Schaefer on Thursday morning. “Those are just rumors. I don’t know where they started.”
The Golden Boy chief said that De La Hoya and Hatton are retired.
Though the WBC has ruled that the light heavyweight titleholder Jean Pascal must fight Bernard Hopkins in a rematch after both fought to a 12-round draw, there are still problems.
“They say there is a rematch clause between Chad Dawson and Pascal,” said Schaefer, adding that it is a stumbling block at the moment that could be remedied.
JMM vs. El Terrible
A match between universally recognized lightweight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez and former featherweight kingpin Erik “El Terrible” Morales is under construction and near completion.
Fight Night Club returns
Golden Boy Promotions stated that Las Vegas prizefighter Jessie Vargas headlines the return of the popular Fight Night Club on Thursday Feb. 24. Vargas faces Lanard Lane in a junior welterweight bout.
Prices have been reduced to a minimum $15 for admission.