By Rick Reeno
For quite some time, there has been a widely circulated myth in boxing - "Al Haymon fighters do not fight each other."
On February 9th, that myth will be broken when Peter Quillin (28-0, 20KOs) defends his WBO middleweight title against Fernando Guerrero (25-1, 19KOs) in a high stakes Showtime televised fight from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Danny Garcia defends his WBA/WBC junior welterweight titles against Zab Judah in the televised main event.
Haymon, regarded as one of the most influential and powerful individuals in boxing, manages a deep stable of fighters - including Floyd Mayweather Jr., Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Seth Mitchell, Devon Alexander, Gary Russell Jr., Keith Thurman, Leo Santa Cruz, Chris Arreola, Andre Berto - and many, many more.
After speaking with several matchmakers, all of them were stumped when requesting information regarding a past situation where two Haymon fighters went head to head.
Even if Quillin-Guerrero is the first, Schaefer says it certainly will not be the last time where two fighters in Haymon's stable are matched against each other. In the future, you could very well see Danny Garcia vs. Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman vs. Andre Berto, Chris Arreola vs. Seth Mitchell or even Floyd Mayweather vs. Adrien Broner.
"People are saying [that Haymon fighters don't fight each other], but that is not what Al Haymon is saying. He obviously has a very deep stable. Many of the best fighters in the world are managed by Al Haymon, so sooner or later yes you are going to see [Haymon] fighters fight each other. I think Al would do a disservice to his fighters, that once they are with him that it automatically excludes them from certain matchups. I think that's a silly notion from whoever came up with that - that Al Haymon fighters don't fight each other," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
"I don't know if it has happened before but it doesn't really matter. The fact is, Al Haymon - clearly from any manager in the business - has the deepest stable. His goal is to be the adviser of the best talent out there and of course you are going to see some of these fighters fight each other - that goes without saying. Al, as an adviser, is going to advise his clients to take the biggest and best fights where they can make the most money. Ultimately it's going to be up to the fighter whether to follow that advice or not."
In Quillin vs. Guerrero, both boxers got what they wanted from Haymon. Quillin wanted to make his first defense of the title before a hometown crowd at the Barclays Center, and Guerrero was pushing for a major title shot.
"Al Haymon is one of the most smartest and most professional guys that I have ever met in my entire life. he is going to do what's the best for his fighters and in this particular case you look at Peter Quillin, who he helped become world champion and built him up. He has a tremendous future ahead of him. And then you take someone like Fernando Guerrero, who has been with Al for a long time as well, is going to have his dream fulfilled by fighting for a world title," Schaefer said.
"I'm sure Fernando Guerrero is going to be thrilled with the job that Al has done for him and I'm sure Peter Quillin will be thrilled with being back at the Barclays Center and making his first title defense against a guy who has been named as a potential opponent in numerous big middleweight clashes; most recently he was one of the final candidates to fight Golovkin."
And he does expect fireworks in the fight.
"It's a big fight. It's an important fight. You have a very capable, very strong, very skilled challenger in Fernando Guerrero and in Quillin you have a young champion who is riding high, coming off this thrilling victory over Hassan [N'Dam]. I'm excited to have this fight as part of what I know will be a barnburner between Zab Judah and Danny 'Swift' Garcia," Schaefer said.
With two Haymon boxers trading punches in the ring, it raises the million dollar question - which fighter will be accompanied to the ring by the Watsons [Sam, Marcus and Brandon]?
"There are plenty of Watsons to go around," Schaefer laughed.