Lem Satterfield

Richard Schaefer reacts to WBC’s suspension of Adrien Broner

Adrien Broner v Carlos Molina

 

Although Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer emphasized that he does not condone Adrien Broner's disparaging comments regarding Hispanic fighter Carlos Molina following Saturday's unanimous decision victory on Showtime Pay-Per-View, he was "upset" upon first hearing about the WBC's disciplinary action against 24-year-old three-division titlewinner from RingTV.com rather than organization President Mauricio Sulaiman.

Schaefer reacted on Wednesday when the decision was rendered.

"Adrien Broner is a young guy and he said some things that he shouldn't have said, and I told you guys at the post-fight press conference that I don't endorse those things. I don't. My wife is Mexican and my boys are Mexican-American, so I don't condone these things and I wasn't happy about it," said Schaefer, adding he does expect Broner to make a public apology.

"But you know what? For the WBC to go and say that they're going to suspend him…I think that Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC are not more Mexican than my wife is and she was born in Mexico, so you don't deal with things that way in my opinion. What you do is you sit down with a young man like that and you explain to him that, 'You can't do this,' and, 'You can't do that.' You coach him that you do not do things like that. Again, that has nothing to do with agreeing with what he said or what he has done. I didn't agree with it and I think that it was wrong what he said. I didn't like it."

Neither Broner nor his trainer, Mike Stafford could be reached for an immediate comment on Wednesday.

In a statement emailed to RingTV.com on Wednesday, the WBC stated in part, "Mr. Broner is hereby suspended from participating in any WBC-sanctioned championships and will be excluded from the WBC ratings until he makes a public apology satisfactory to the public of the world."

"Adrien Broner is out of the ratings of the WBC and he can not compete for any WBC-affiliated championship. We can not control what the other organizations do. What we have expressed is an open letter inviting him to either do an explanation if he was misunderstood or we have invited him to issue an apology which is acceptable to the world," said Sulaiman.

"If he does that, then, of course, we will review that and lift the suspension. But we have a group of panelists and communications who were extremely hurt and WBC members who saw the fight on television had expressed their concern because boxing is not about that type of behavior."

Schaefer said he was hearing of Broner's suspension for the first time from RingTV.com.

"I was actually not even informed. I did not get any emails. You know, usually, when it's an email about the sanctioning fees, I get it and I usually get it two or three times," said Schaefer, adding that Broner's advisor, Al Haymon had also not been notified.

"Unfortunately, on this particular one, I was not informed and the first time that I am hearing it is from you. I just talked to Al Haymon and he had not been informed either and I have to tell you that we are a bit upset that the WBC does something like that and does not even inform us."

Sulaiman defended his decision, however, as being consistent with that leveled against heavyweight Chris Arreola in the wake of a nationally-televised loss. Arreola has a rematch on Saturday against Bermane Stiverne for the WBC's vacant belt.

"We suspended Chris Arreola several years ago for swearing on television in a very terrible way," said Sulaiman, "and he was suspended, so this is consistent. Chris Arreola accepted the suspension; he did apologize and he did have a conversation with my father [the late former President Jose Sulaiman]. Now, he is fighting for the WBC [heavyweight] championship."

Reached on Thursday morning and informed of Schaefer's disatisfaction, Sulaiman said, "This is about the fighter, not the promoter." Sulaiman had just landed in Los Angeles, where he is set to attend Saturday's heavyweight fight between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne for the WBC's vacant belt.

Broner (28-1, 22 KOs) had just beaten Molina in his junior welterweight debut on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana undercard in Las Vegas and was being interviewed in the ring by Showtime's Jim Gray when he said, "I've beaten 'Afri-CANs' and I just beat the f— out of a 'Mexi-CAN.'"

"When I got into the ring with Adrien, the first thing that he did was he stormed toward me and he clearly came to me and he said, 'I am so sorry about the comments that I made, so he knows that he made a mistake,'" said Schaefer.

"I'm sure that he is learning from those mistakes. I know that he is an outspoken guy and he said something that he will later regret but it's just a matter of talking to him and explaining to him that these kinds of things have consequences, so that he understands."

Prior to Molina, Broner was last in the ring for a unanimous decision loss to Maidana, who floored him once each in the second and eighth rounds for the WBA's welterweight belt in December.

Broner had earned title belts over three weight classes, taking the WBO's junior lightweight belt by third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November 2011 and the WBC's lightweight title following an eighth-round stoppage of Antonio DeMarco in November 2012.

Prior to facing Maidana, Broner jumped two weight divisions last June for his 147-pound debut with a split-decision victory that dethroned Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi for the division's WBA's belt.

"When Adrien Broner was undefeated and beating everybody and looking sensational, everybody couldn't wait to jump onto the Adrien Broner bandwagon and then, when he lost, suddenly, a lot of people jumped off and started criticizing him and were not his friends anymore. But that's not the way that it works," said Schaefer.

"I mean, either you are with somebody or you're not with somebody…Suddenly, when things aren't going his way, now everybody is picking all over him. That's not right. That's not right and I don't respect people like that. So that's not me coming to the defense of Adrien Broner because what he said was wrong and I don't support it any way shape or form. It was wrong. It was wrong and he apologized to me and I'm sure that he's going to be apologizing to everybody else but the way that the WBC chose to deal with that is wrong."

As far as the penalty?

"Look, I mean, what can we do? We can't fight for the WBC, then we won't fight for the WBC; no problem. The fact is that Adrien Broner is 'Must-See T.V.' and people are going to watch him fight the next time that he fights," said Schaefer, "and he is in a great weight class and there are going to be some great match-ups for him and we'll be discussing that with Al and I'm sure we're going to come up with the right game plan for him."

 

Photo-Ethan Miller/GETTY IMAGES

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