By Robert Morales
Golden Boy Promotions has a dilemma. On one hand, it wants to continue to help Floyd Mayweather Jr. promote his fights, which is a no-brainer. On the other hand, Oscar De La Hoya's company can't just cater to Mayweather, especially when it actually promotes - by contract - his opponent.
In this case, that will be Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on Sept. 14 in a junior middleweight title-unification fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view). No, Golden Boy must make sure both parties are happy. So De La Hoya basically takes the side of Alvarez, while CEO Richard Schaefer seems assigned the task of singing Mayweather's praises.
De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com just the other day that he believes Mayweather's insecurties are showing because he asked for - and received - a catch-weight of 152 pounds for this fight. That's two under the limit, the idea obviously being that if Alvarez has to make 152, he might not be able to get back up over 170 by fight-time.
That's key because Mayweather won't even be 160 at the bell.
Schaefer spoke to us just a few days ago, and he couldn't say enough about Mayweather.
"You have the best boxers fighting Floyd Mayweather and somehow Mayweather always finds a way to make everybody look ordinary," Schaefer said. "I mean, it's amazing. That just shows you how good he is."
Then he played the legacy card.
"Sometimes somebody has to retire before we as a boxing community fully appreciate what we saw," Schaefer said. "And what we are seeing from Mayweather, it might be the best fighter of all time. It just might be."
To Schaefer, Mayweather showed even more by taking this fight against a much younger - and bigger - man.
"I think the fact that Floyd agreed to this took everybody by surprise," he said. "Even his own fans. Certainly his critics, certainly the media members and the TV networks and everybody.
"It took them by surprise that Floyd Mayweather agreed to fight 'Canelo' Alvarez and that we were able to put the fight together very quickly. That just shows you how confident Floyd Mayweather is in his skills. He's a very smart guy when it comes to the ring."
He's No Dummy, Either
Schaefer is smart, too, enough to know that since he does promote Alvarez, he can't sound too much like he wants Mayweather to win. He pumped up the red-headed kid as well.
"With 'Canelo' Alvarez, we have a fighter which is 14 years younger (than Mayweather), he's probably going to come in the day of the fight at 170, 172 pounds," Schaefer said. "Having to lose the extra two pounds is not really going to impact him much because the (Austin) Trout fight, he came in at 153 1/2 (at the weigh-in)."
He's young, he's strong.
"You ask Shane Mosley, one of the guys with the fastest hands he ever fought was 'Canelo' Alvarez. You ask Carlos Baldomir, who fought Mayweather as well, who has the hardest punch he's ever fought, he's going to tell you 'Canelo.' And you can ask Trout if he was surprised about his boxing skills. The guy can out-box a boxer, can out-punch a puncher."
Schaefer didn't stop there, bordering on mutiny on Mayweather's bounty.
"Look at all of these things and now you add the youth factor, and the strength ... and how can Mayweather hurt 'Canelo'? That's what makes this fight so interesting," Schaefer said.
Schaefer went on to say that he was told by someone in Las Vegas late last week the odds were the closest they have ever been for a Mayweather fight.
"That shows you that this is not going to be a walk in the park," Schaefer said. "I think Mayweather knows that as well and I think Mayweather wants to challenge himself like that."
Mayweather-Alvarez Aftermath Could Be Very Intriguing
No matter what Mayweather has accomplished, he still has his haters. Schaefer believes a win for him could silence them.
"... Now he's going to be fighting a young, strong, bigger guy and if he beats him, we all need to give Floyd Mayweather his just due," Schaefer said.
If Alvarez's hand is raised, that would be stop-the-presses time. And it could create a whirlwind of unmatched proportions. So says Schaefer, who never exaggerates (wink) when he's wearing his promoter's hat.
"If 'Canelo' wins, can you imagine what that would do?" Schaefer said. "Oh my gosh. He sold 40,000 tickets (for Trout in San Antonio) before beating a Mayweather. So can you just imagine? I can see him fighting at the Coliseum right here in downtown Los Angeles in front of 150,000 people and setting an all-time record."
Goossen on Ward-Froch Possibility
If there is to be a rematch between super middleweight champions Andre Ward and England's Carl Froch, it won't be in Ward's next fight.
"It won't be the first fight out of the box," said Goossen, who promotes Ward. "Froch has stayed active and Andre has been out for a year."
Ward recently had shoulder surgery and has not fought since stopping Chad Dawson in the 10th round last September in Ward's native Oakland. Moreover, Ward's previous fight prior to that was against Froch in December 2011 in Atlantic City. That means that at this time, Ward has had just two fights in the past year and a half.
Goossen did say he has had some very brief conversation with promoter Eddie Hearn, who handles Froch. We asked Goossen about Froch and Hearn talking about how if Ward wants the rematch - remember, Ward beat Froch via unanimous decision - he's likely going to have to go to the United Kingdom to get it. As if Ward, the world's top super middleweight, should have to chase anyone.
Goossen scoffed at the notion and intimated that the only way Ward will go there is if they are made an offer they can't refuse.
"I think that's the answer," said Goossen, who then took a shot at Froch. "When everything is said and done, Carl likes to talk and likes to act as if he's the greatest thing England has ever seen. He's ruffled a few feathers out there with (Joe) Calzaghe and a few of the writers. What Carl says and what's reality are two different things.
"When the time comes and those things need to be addressed, it's not going to come from a position of Carl making the call."
Goossen said he will know in the next week to 10 days who will be Ward's next opponent, perhaps in September.
Goossen Says Molina Not a "Tweener"
Lightweight contender John Molina, of Covina, Calif., has had one championship fight. He was stopped in the first round by Antonio DeMarco, though Molina does believe the fight was terminated prematurely by the referee. That was last September on the Ward-Dawson undercard. Molina rebounded with a fourth-round knockout of Dannie Williams in January, and took a No. 4 ranking (by one of the major governing bodies) into last Friday's fight against undefeated - but somewhat light-hitting - Andrey Klimov of Russia.
Klimov out-boxed the hard-hitting Molina and won the fight via majority decision. At this point, one has to wonder if perhaps Molina is the proverbial "tweener." In other words, good but not good enough to be a world champion.
"Do I think he's a 'tweener?' " Goossen said. "No, I still believe he can do something. He's just got to get it all together. I know this one really has him down. This was a fight I know he knows he could have won. But on the other hand, he didn't do enough to convince the judges on that night. That is the type of fight that causes you sleepless nights."
Goossen, who said he thought the fight could have gone either way, said that Molina became frustrated with Klimov's movement.
"He's a tough guy to fight," said Goossen, who said he credits Molina for taking such a fight, what with his ranking at stake.
Goossen does have a suggestion for Molina moving forward.
"I do believe with his punching power, if he just uses his jab rather than just walking in, I think he would have a much better shot at upsetting the odds," Goossen said.
According to Goossen, Molina called him Sunday.
"He wants to get right back in there and get another opportunity," Goossen said. "He's an exciting fighter. Because of that he's always going to give you good fights."
Molina, 30, is 25-3 with 20 knockouts.
Robert Morales covers boxing for the Los Angeles Daily News and BoxingScene.com.