Bob Arum, the CEO of Top Rank Promotions, thinks he has been unfairly cast as the villain in the business break-up between Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer, who resigned as CEO of Golden Boy Promotions on Monday afternoon.
"The thing I resent most is Schaefer using me as the scapegoat, using my relationship with Oscar, as the reason that he left," Arum said. "Anybody with half a brain knows that’s not the case. Oscar believed that he was looting the company by not signing fighters and handing fighters over to [Al] Haymon and breaching his fiduciary duties."
A rift between Schaefer and De La Hoya became public the week that Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on May 3. De La Hoya met with Arum at his home in Los Angeles to try to mend their fractured relationship, though De La Hoya said they never talked about doing business together during that meeting.
At the time Schaefer said he didn’t like the fact that De La Hoya was trying to mend his relationship with Arum, who promoted De La Hoya for the majority of his boxing career.
"His entire career that’s what Bob Arum thrives on is to have these feuds. It used to be with Don King for a long time," Schaefer said to reporters back in May. "I just don’t appreciate being treated that way, being called names, being disrespected and basically at the turn of a light switch you think the next day everything is fine. It just doesn’t work for me."
De La Hoya split from Arum and formed his own promotion company with Schaefer, who had been De La Hoya’s personal banker, in 2007. With De La Hoya in and out of rehab the last couple years, Schaefer has been in charge of the direction of the company. Now that he is emerging from his treatment, De La Hoya wants to regain control.
"Oscar was like Rip Van Winkle, asleep, he didn’t know what was going on. He came out of rehab and all of this was going on," Arum said.
Schaefer oversaw remarkable growth for Golden Boy Promotions, taking it from a small promotion company to one of the top in the industry. He presided over two of the biggest boxing events in the history of the sport – De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr., which did 2.5 million pay-per-views and generated $136 million in revenue, and Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez, which did 2.2 million pay-per-view buys and generated a record $150 million in revenue.
However, it appears that Schaefer’s relationship with boxing power broker Al Haymon and his refusal to do business with Arum rubbed De La Hoya the wrong way. At a press conference before the Mayweather-Maidana fight, De La Hoya said he didn’t know how many of the fighters represented by Haymon who have been fighting under the Golden Boy Promotions banner in the last couple of years are actually signed to agreements with the company.
Arum said that will determine whether Schaefer’s departure from Golden Boy will result in a cosmic shift in the boxing business.
"First of all who does Oscar have in Golden Boy that makes an impact? One guy he has that we know he has is Canelo. Canelo is a valuable product. No question about it," Arum said. "Does he have any of the welterweights? Does he have [Amir] Khan and [Danny] Garcia? Are they with Golden Boy or are they with Haymon? If he does, yeah it shakes up the landscape because they can be opponents for Manny [Pacquiao], [Timothy] Bradley and [Juan Manuel] Marquez. If they’re not tied to Golden Boy, then it’s business as usual."
Arum said he’s open to doing business again with Golden Boy now that Schaefer is no longer the CEO. But he said he will tread lightly and wait until De La Hoya goes through all the contracts to determine who is signed with Golden Boy.
"We have to see if we can do fights with whom. There have to be matchups," Arum said. "In order for there to be matchups, Oscar has to say we have 'X' signed to me and we have a guy he can fight. Then we can make the fight. I’m not going to rush in and do something and get my ass sued."
Bob Arum believes they are making headway with regards to re-signing two of their prodigal boxers – Mikey Garcia and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Garcia, the WBO junior lightweight titleholder, was upset when a deal to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa fell apart because he thought the money was too low. Arum said HBO didn’t offer that much money for the fight.
"Mikey Garcia is talking to us about making a new deal," Arum said. "But the problem is he wants X dollars. We give him everything we get from the network. If the network doesn’t think he’s worth X dollars what are we supposed to do?"
Chavez saw his name tossed about again when Carl Froch knocked out George Groves at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday night.
"We’re going to talk to the father and Chavez and see and we can work something out. He’s coming back around," Arum said. "The end of next week I’ll be in L.A. and that’s when we’re going to talk."