By Ryan Maquiñana
LAS VEGAS – Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya was adamant about repairing his widely reported rift with his CEO, Richard Schaefer.
“It’s nothing that can’t be worked out,” De La Hoya said Saturday afternoon in the MGM Grand media room. “… Yes, he’s the CEO of the company, and he’s the CEO of the company on paper for the next few years.”
When De La Hoya was asked if Schaefer would be fired if he did not leave on his own accord, he offered a clear response.
“No one is dismissing Richard,” De La Hoya said. “No one is getting fired. I don’t want him to leave. There’s negotiations of this, going back and forth. No one’s telling him to leave.”
The tension between Schaefer and De La Hoya has escalated to the point where the CEO is rumored to be leaving Golden Boy forming an alliance with powerful adviser Al Haymon and his top client, pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, who fights Marcos Maidana Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
De La Hoya dismissed talk that he felt any animosity toward Mayweather or Haymon.
“I have nothing against Floyd, except he’s beaten five of my guys, including myself. It’s nothing personal,” De La Hoya said. “Al Haymon, I’ve not ever, not once, disrespected him. Nobody talks for me, and I’m sure nobody talks for Al Haymon.”
Schaefer has been vocal about his displeasure with De La Hoya’s desire to revive a business relationship with Top Rank CEO -- De La Hoya’s old promoter and current bitter archrival in what has become boxing’s “Cold War.” De La Hoya acknowledged he recently met with Arum in an attempt to “bury the hatchet.”
“Our meeting was to … discuss the old times, the great stories we shared together, and that’s it,” De La Hoya said. “But it doesn’t necessarily doesn’t mean down the road, down the line, we can have another meeting based on business.
“Who knows? Now I’m glad I can lay my head on the pillow and rest my head and apologize for what I’ve said about Bob, which was disrespectful, and now we can move on.”
Another topic of contention was the news that several fighters that Golden Boy has been promoting are signed with Haymon -- and not with De La Hoya’s company.
“Was I surprised? Of course,” De La Hoya said. “Do I know how many are actually under contract? I don't know the exact number. But I have to look after myself. This is a business.
“… We’ll continue to sign fighters. I believe this company, Golden Boy Promotions, hasn’t even scratched the surface.”
As for his relationship with Schaefer, De La Hoya held out hope for reconciliation.
“Absolutely (we can make up),” De La Hoya said. “Yes, when I sit down and see him right now, I'm going to shake his hand and possibly give him a hug. Why not?”
However, when pressed to opine if he really believed that was a possibility, De La Hoya added: “I don't know. I really don't know.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine's Ratings Panel. E-mail him at email@example.com , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.com or follow him on Twitter @RMaq28. Tags: Oscar De La Hoya , Richard Schaefer , Golden Boy Promotions