The biggest mystery in boxing right now is which of the Al Haymon-signed fighters will continue with Golden Boy Promotions after Richard Schaefer, the former CEO of the company for over ten years, ceremoniously left his post a few weeks ago. With nearly a hundred member client list which keeps growing by the day, the reclusive Haymon holds a significant amount of clout in the sport because of the end of the day he has the prime product of the business. Without fighters, a promotional company has nothing to promote.
It is no secret that the biggest name in the sport, Floyd Mayweather Jr, is a Haymon-advised fighter. Mayweather Jr also made it very clear during his promotional tour for his September of 2014 bout against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez that there was no love lost between him and the man whose silhouette stands as the logo of the company, Oscar De La Hoya. Mayweather Jr went as far as to state publicly that Richard Schaefer was Golden Boy Promotions. Always looking to be part of the story, Mayweather Jr announced hours after Schaefer’s press release that he no longer would need the services of Golden Boy Promotions as the logistic partner for any of his fights.
So which fighters are still with Golden Boy?
By the looks of it not even Oscar De La Hoya himself knows. When asked for specifics by various members of the media, De La Hoya always beats around the bush and never mentions specific names that make sense. In a story by Steve Kim in MaxBoxing.com, De La Hoya mentions Gary Russell Jr as one of the fighters that he still has a contractual tie to but it has been known within the industry that the Washington D.C.-based fighter has never been a legally-bound Golden Boy fighter. Russell Jr is a Haymon guy who was developed under the Golden Boy banner.
There lies the problem. De La Hoya argues that Schaefer did not do his job by developing fighters who had no legal obligation to stay with the company once they reached a certain level. In boxing, a promoter invest often and heavily in the beginning of a fighter’s career to reap the rewards once the fighter becomes a household name, ticket seller, champion or all of the above. With a valuable commodity such as that, the promoter not only will make a profit from broadcasting licensing fees but also from the gate and thus earning back their early investment and then some.
The rumor on the street is that Schaefer along with Haymon are offering back to Golden Boy Promotions some of the fighters whose contract has expired in exchange for the De La Hoya to let go of the non-compete clause in Schafer’s contract. No word of which fighters are the ones the Haymon-Schaefer alliance is willing to offer but it can be imagined that it should be some big names.
That deal is like buying your significant other a car out of the kindness of your heart and after you break up, they try to sell it back to you.