By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has advised BoxingScene.com that his legal team is ready and willing to pounce on Showtime Sports Promotions [not to get confused with the American cable network].
Over the last few weeks, Showtime Sports Events (SSE), run by Johnny Eames, have been sending out numerous press releases related to an event on May 18th in Abu Dhabi. According to the press releases, WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi would appear in the main event against Humberto Soto or another potential opponent.
Schaefer tells BoxingScene that SSE have gone around Golden Boy and contacted several of their boxers, including Malignaggi and Soto, to secure their involvement on this show.
"I have informed my attorney to put these people in Abu Dhabi on notice because they have contacted several of our fighters, including Paulie Malignaggi, which are under exclusive promotional contracts to Golden Boy and any further interference will not be tolerated [and] a lawsuit will be filed swiftly," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
Malignaggi told BoxingScene that he would like the opportunity to participate on the Abu Dhabi card, but understands Schaefer's frustrations. He doesn't believe SSE tried to act in bad faith.
"I think they were aware that Golden Boy would have to be on board and I think they thought Golden Boy would be on board because it's such a big opportunity. As long as things get moving I think Richard is on board, but I believe that Richard has lost his patience. I don't blame him, the negotiations have gone on for a long time. if it doesn't get done by the end of the weekend, Richard is ready to move on. I wouldn't have any excuses for him to keep waiting, because I know its frustrating for Richard to keep waiting to put me on the schedule," Malignaggi told BoxingScene.com.
"I know he has to put me on the schedule and he has a job to do and I understand his frustrations. If its not done by end of this weekend, then I wouldn't have anything to tell Richard about him putting me on the schedule for June at the Barclays Center. I know Richard has a job to do and I'm holding him up. My lawyer, Steve Bash, was told that they paperwork would be in by this weekend."
As BoxingScene reported earlier, Golden Boy has placed the Barclays Center on hold for June 22nd for Malignaggi to potentially defend his title.
As we also reported earlier, WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner (26-0, 22KOs) has a reserved date of June 15th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. While Broner's preferred opponent is Ricky Burns, there is legitimate interest in moving up, by two full divisions, to challenge Malignaggi for the welterweight title.
"Burns is a possibility but it could be a possibility as well that Adrien my might just move up and fight Paulie Malignaggi. It would sort of put everybody on notice [at 147] by saying 'hey guys, I'm here,'" Schaefer said.
Malignaggi (32-4, 7KOs) has been approached about the Broner opportunity, and he likes the fight, but first he wants to resolve the situation with the Abu Dhabi offer. However, Malignaggi feels Broner would be making a big mistake by moving up to 147 to challenge him at this moment in time.
"There are weight classes in boxing for a reason. But, there is enough stupid who watch boxing who will actually believe that Adrien Broner could move up in weight and be a legitimate welterweight. I think in due time Adrien can grow into the welterweight division, but I don't see him giving me any problems if he moves up now. And I'm not saying that because I don't think he could fight, because I do think the kid could fight but weight classes exist in boxing for a reason," Malignaggi said.