Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and his family members were in the stands at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday when half of the stadium lights went black during the third-quarter power outage of the Baltimore Ravens’ eventual 34-31 Super Bowl triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.
Schaefer’s initial thoughts were not good ones.
“We weren’t sitting in the pitch black [section,] but I was worried about the potential for a terrorist attack. That’s what I was worried about. That’s the first thing that comes into your mind,” said Schaefer.
“This is, obviously, a worldwide event with a huge focus and sort of like the perfect target for terrorists, and then, suddenly, you have no power? I mean, it does worry you a bit. So I was worried.”
LAMONT PETERSON ADDED TO GOLDEN STABLE OF 140- AND 147-POUNDERS
Last month, Golden Boy signed IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) to a multi-fight deal in advance of his scheduled IBF title defense against ex-beltholder Kendall Holt on Feb. 22 at The D.C. Armory.
Peterson, 28, is 3-0-1 with two knockouts since falling by unanimous decision to current WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley as a 140-pounder in December of 2009, and had been considered for a return bout with Bradley which never came to fruition.
Peterson will be ending what will have been a 14-month ring absence when he faces Holt, and, in victory, could earn a potential rematch with Amir Khan, a unification bout with current RING, WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia, or, perhaps, even a showdown with RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse — all of whom are handled by Golden Boy.
“Golden Boy, as a company, we obviously have a particular focus on the 140-, 147- and 154-pound weight classes, where we have 90- to 95-percent of all of the talent that matters. As a result, a lot of big fights can be made very easily in some of the weight classes where Showtime is very interested, and has a deep involvement in,” said Schaefer.
“So we felt, and Lamont felt that working the next fights, going forward, is what makes the most sense. So we worked out a deal, and as a result, assuming that Lamont gets by Kendall Holt, there is a lot of big opportunities out there for him.”
Garcia has a fight scheduled for April 27 against ex-beltholder Zab Judah.
“Lamont has a multi-fight deal, and I’m not going to say how many, but it only makes sense because, again, there are a lot of potential fights out there for him,” Schaefer said of Peterson, who was initially approached by Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez.
“Whether it’s a rematch with Amir Khan, or the winner of Danny Garcia and Zab Judah, or with a Lucas Matthysse. There’s a lot of opportunities for very exciting fights, because each one of those fights would be a big fight.”
Peterson’s union with Golden Boy was surprising in light of his acrimonious past with the Los Angeles-based promotional company.
When Peterson dethroned Khan as IBF and WBA junior welterweight beltholder in December of 2011, his triumph sparked what seemed to be an endless run of rancor-filled controversy between the fighters’ camps as well as Khan’s promoter, Golden Boy, and Team Peterson.
Initially, Golden Boy filed an appeal with the IBF and WBA seeking to overturn the victory or get an order for an immediate rematch on the grounds that the fight, which took place in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C., was poorly officiated and that there were scorecard descrepancies.
Team Peterson, headed by the fighter’s manager and trainer, Barry Hunter, later filed an official appeal against the WBA’s order for an immediate rematch.
Both parties later agreed to in February of last year with intentions of having a return bout on May 19 of last year at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
But in March, Peterson, 28, failed drug a drug test, coming up dirty for testosterone pellets. As a result of the infraction, Peterson-Khan II was canceled, and the WBA stripped Peterson of his belt and reinstated Khan, who was subsequently knocked out in the fourth round in July by Garcia.
Meanwhile, the IBF declined to strip Peterson after a review of his medical records by IBF-appointed doctors ruled that the testosterone levels discovered in Peterson’s failed drug test were not at a level that would enhance his performance.
“Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and move forward, and I think that we have a responsibility to deliver the very best fights for the fight fans. I think that we take that very seriously, as you know,” said Schaefer.
“The fact is that Lamont Peterson has a chance to be involved in some big fights, and we want to continue to deliver the best and the biggest fights possible to the fans, because that’s what fight fans, sports fans and the sport of boxing deserves.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR KHAN?
Schaefer said Khan (27-3, 19 KOs) will return to the ring on April 20, with high consideration being given to ex-WBC junior lightweight and lightweight beltholder Humberto Soto, of Mexico.
Khan is coming off December’s 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Molina (18-1-1, 7 KOs), of Norwalk, Calif., that represented his first fight under reigning Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter.
Soto (59-8-2, 34 KOs) weighed 147 pounds for his last fight, November’s unanimous decision victory over Jose Lopez that helped him to rebound from June’s fifth-round stoppage loss to Matthysse.
Soto, 32, entered the bout with Matthysse while riding a 15-bout winning streak that included six knockouts, and Silverio Ortiz (26-12, 13 KOs) on Saturday.
“There is a possibility that it could be former world champion Humberto Soto, but he is fighting in Mexico, this weekend, so we have to see what’s going to happen there. So we should know more by early next week. The targeted date for Amir is still April 20,” said Schaefer.
“We’ll find out more next week once we know whether it’s going to be Humberto Soto or not, and what makes the most sense. We’ll discuss it with Showtime to see if they’re open to do a show from the United Kingdom or not. But first, we need to secure the opponent before I can have these conversations with Showtime.”
Earlier consideration for Khan had been given to once-beaten Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko (33-1, 22 KOs), who rebounded from April’s ninth-round stoppage loss to Paulie Malignaggi with a ninth-round knockout of Ricky Hatton in November.
“We were discussing whether such a fight would take place in the United Kingdom or in the United States. If the fight would have been in the United Kingdom, we were looking at Senchenko, the guy who beat Ricky Hatton,” said Schaefer.
“But Senchenko is not interested in fighting Amir. So we’re looking at different options. His first choice was to fight Danny Garcia. That’s obviously not going to happen, because Danny Garcia is already scheduled to happen on April 27. So now, that’s not going to happen.”
COULD A REMATCH BETWEEN ALFREDO ANGULO AND JAMES KIRKLAND BE IN ORDER?
Schaefer would like to see a rematch between junior middleweights Alfredo Angulo (22-2, 18 KOs) and hard-hitting southpaw counterpart James Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs), who rose from a first-round knock down to stop Angulo in the third round of their clash in November of 2011.
Angulo has since one two straight comprised of a 56-second knockout of Raul Casarez and a unanimous decision over Jorge Silva in November and December, respectively. Kirkland was last in the ring for a disqualification victory over Carlos Molina in March of last year.
In August of last year, Kirkland filed a lawsuit seeking separation from Golden Boy and his handlers.
“Our attorneys are in conversation with Kirikland’s attorneys, and we’ll see what’s going to happen,” said Schaefer. “We offered James Kirkland a rematch with Alfredo Angulo, so we’ll see what he’s going to say. It would be a great fight.”
BRYANT JENNINGS WOULD REPLACE JOHNATHON BANKS AGAINST SETH MITCHELL
Heavyweight Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) has suffered a broken right thumb that has forced him out of a Feb. 16 rematch with Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs), the latter of whom lost by second-round knockout to Banks in November.
Ironically, in late May of last year, it had been Mitchell who had been forced to pull out of a scheduled July 14 bout against Banks as a result of suffering an injured right hand.
Meanwhile, the promoter of Philadelphia-based heavyweight Bryant Jennings (16-0, 8 KOs) claims that his fighter is willing to replace Banks.
Jennings is managed by Fred Jenkins, who added, “We’ll be happy to accommodate them,” and, “We’re right here in Philadelphia and we’ll bring plenty of fans to the fight.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Harry How, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Juan Marshall
Photo by PhillyBoxingHistory.com and Main Events
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org