Put simply, De La Hoya and Mayweather have not gotten along.
Yet Schaefer has adeptly handled the business of promoting Mayweather through the company named in honor of De La Hoya while also dealing with their well-publicized adversarial relationship as well as the personal and legal troubles, respectively, of De La Hoya and Mayweather.
Once a loser by narrow decision to the 34-year-old Mayweather, the 38-year-old De La Hoya gone public recently regarding his past problems with alcohol and cocaine.
De La Hoya has been clean and sober for more than three months.
Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) will challenge WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) in an HBO Pay Per View televised clash at the MGM Grand Arena on Saturday night, even as he is beset by numerous legal issues outside of the ring.
A Las Vegas resident, Mayweather has faced charges six civil and criminal cases. One has to do with domestic violence with his former girlfriend. There are separate charges such as battery and harassment after a argument with Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children, and legal action from incidents involving confrontations with security guards.
During an interview on Tuesday in a VIP room near the lobby of the MGM Grand, Schaefer spoke candidly about regarding his relationship with the two men, his thoughts on their issues outside of the ring and also their relationships with each other.
“You know, Oscar can be proud of what he has accomplished, but I know that he was dragged into some of those situations because of alcohol and drugs, and I’m not trying to come up with excuses for him, I’m really not.
“Just like with Floyd. But maybe somebody is really provoking people to the edge. Might that have happened with Oscar? Might that have happened with Floyd? I can not really tell you that.
“But the person that I know in Floyd Mayweather is a totally different person than the person who appeared to be described in the lawsuits. The same with Oscar.
“The person that I know is not the Oscar in fishnet stockings, I’m sorry. And it will never be. The same as with Floyd, I mean, that’s not the person I know.
“And I’m not going to be one who would guess, could they be this? Or could they be that? I don’t know.”
On how the notion that there are some who try to capitalize on the celebrity of De La Hoya and Mayweather:
“And let there be no mistakes, there’s a lot of bad people out there which are trying to shake people up for some money and so on. I really think that in many of those cases, Floyd is a target and has been accused of many of those things and it’s unjustified.
“There are a lot of people out there, male or female, which are out there and they’re trophy hunting. That’s what it is, like, ‘Let me get Oscar or let me get Floyd.’ That’s not the Oscar I know and that’s not the Floyd that I know.”
On how a confrontation with Mayweather drew them closer:
“So I basically confronted him and we were like really going at it at one of the press conferences, and ever since, I respect him, he respects me, and we had a great plane right over to London.
“We did New York, and we did Los Angeles, and then we were flying to London, and we were sitting next to each other on a plane. We had a great talk and a great conversation and I think that we became friends.
“I just saw that there is a different Floyd Mayweather. There’s the Floyd Mayweather that you see on 24/7, and then there is the Floyd Mayweather you see when you spend time with him one-on-one.
“And it’s a totally different personality. I have never met anyone who is so talented in the ring and equally talented out of the ring. He’s the best marketing person. He’s a marketing genius. Like I have never seen anyone before.”
On whether Mayweather and De La Hoya genuinely have animosity toward one another:
“I think that Floyd was a bit ticked off at the fact that Oscar did downplay the quality of his opponents, and I’m sure that Oscar is not happy about the comments he makes about him, so they go at it a bit, and I’m sure that at the post-fight press conference, they’re probably going to hug.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com