Schaefer: If U.S. Networks Aren't Interested in WBSS, So Be It

By Keith Idec

NEWARK, N.J. – Richard Schaefer hopes HBO or Showtime televises the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series’ cruiserweight and super middleweight tournaments.

Schaefer, one of the tournament’s promoters, believes the tournaments warrant wider television exposure in the United States. The cruiserweight tournament has been especially entertaining and will feature four of the division’s world champions in the semifinals.

The World Boxing Super Series’ distribution deal in the United States with AT&T and DirecTV’s AUDIENCE Network ends at the conclusion of the super middleweight quarterfinals Friday. The WBSS-AUDIENCE Network deal has made the tournaments available to roughly 20 million consumers in the United States over the past month, but the tournaments haven’t caught on as much in the United States as in Europe.


The tournament’s quarterfinal fights have drawn capacity crowds in Berlin, London, Stuttgart, Germany, and Riga, Latvia. The two WBSS cards in the United States – September 23 at the Alamodome in San Antonio and Saturday night at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey – attracted crowds of roughly 3,000 apiece.

Russia’s Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs, 1 NC) defended his IBF cruiserweight title and advanced to the semifinals Saturday night by knocking out Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-4-1, 37 KOs) in the third round at Prudential Center.

“Well, I think there’s huge support for the World Boxing Super Series worldwide,” Schaefer said during the post-fight press conference Saturday night. “We saw just last week that the final of the cruiserweight division will be held in Saudi Arabia. That’ll be historic in itself. So there’s tremendous interest globally in the World Boxing Super Series. In the beginning, there was a certain amount of skepticism. Are they really able to pull it off? And yes, we did pull it off. And I think the tournament is making waves like no other tournament has ever made in the sport of boxing.”

The cruiserweight semifinals will match Gassiev against Cuba’s Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs), the WBA champion, and Ukraine’s Oleksander Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs), the WBO champion, against Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs), the WBC champion.

One super middleweight semifinal is set – an all-British battle between WBA 168-pound champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and IBO champion Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs). In the other super middleweight semifinal, England’s Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) will face the winner between Germany’s Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs) and St. Paul, Minnesota’s Rob Brant (22-0, 15 KOs) on Friday night in Schwerin, Germany.

“It’s really gonna be up to the Americans, up to the American, U.S. [television] networks, to embrace the tournament and say, ‘We wanna be part of that,’ ” Schaefer said. “The fighters and the promoters, but certainly the fighters, have delivered and have over-delivered. If the U.S. network or networks or venues or whatever are not interested in it, then, you know, so be it. Because the world is. And I see the amount of fan support the tournament gets here in the United States.

“You look at the blogs, you look at the press, what you guys write about the tournament, there’s not one bad word. The Americans, the American market, the American sports fans and boxing fans, they love this tournament. And can you imagine those two guys [Gassiev and Dorticos] now fighting each other? That’s probably the best matchup in the sport, pound-for-pound, punch-for-punch, that you can make. And we are gonna see that in January. What a treat for the boxing fans and a big thank you to the organizers of the World Boxing Super Series.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Dr.Cool on 10-24-2017

[QUOTE=ultravividscene;18156553]... correction - not big enough to be a top heavyweight - as you yourself go on to state...[/QUOTE] not good enough to be lhw or hw. It is only a correction if you act like the end of the…

Comment by ultravividscene on 10-23-2017

[QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18156025]No one cares about the guys not good enough to be a top lhw.[/QUOTE]... correction - not big enough to be a top heavyweight - as you yourself go on to state... [QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18156025]It is just hard for cws to move…

Comment by dazzo16 on 10-23-2017

You are a ****ing retarded casual..[QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18156025]No one cares about the guys not good enough to be a top lhw. That is all cws are. Everybody knows it. Not good enough for lhw or hw, so they go to this made…

Comment by MDPopescu on 10-23-2017

[QUOTE=thack;18156140][B]The cruisers weights to be held in Saudi Arabia[/B] that's like a trip to the dentist in iceland . The truth is there's so many people who think Schaefer is a snake and don't want to be involved with…

Comment by thack on 10-23-2017

The cruisers weights to be held in Saudi Arabia that's like a trip to the dentist in iceland . The truth is there's so many people who think Schaefer is a snake and don't want to be involved with…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (22)
Top Headlines Errol Spence - 'The Truth' About Ambition Shannon Briggs: After I Beat Fury, They Must Give Me Title Shot! Mares on Santa Cruz Rematch, Valdez-Quigg, Frampton-Donaire Petit vs. Kasmi Ends in Violence After Riot Erupts - Video Joshua Admits That Parker's Steroid Taunts Got Under His Skin DiBella Doubts Arum Wants to Put Crawford in With Spence Now Anthony Joshua Explains Why He's in No Rush To Fight in America Joseph Diaz: I Want To Beat Gary Russell, Unify 126 By 2019 Gilberto Ramirez Would Travel to UK For Groves, Eubank, Smith Parker's Promoter: Exposing Joshua's Glass Jaw Got Us The Fight Porter: Spence Isn't an Option Next; I'm Not Ranked By the IBF Kiram is Inspired By Sor Rungvisai To Shock Lucas Matthysse Marcus Browne: I Need a World Title Shot, I'll Face Any Champ! Photos: Robert Easter Survives Close Call With Javier Fortuna Alexander: If Victor Ortiz Lasts Seven Rounds - I'll Be Surprised Photos: Errol Spence Gives Lamont Peterson a Vicious Beating Joe Joyce on Daniel Dubois: I Don't Think He Really Wants It! Kownacki: I Made The Fight A lot Harder Than I Should Have Horn's Coach: Mundine Will Get Knocked Out - No Shot To Win! Fortuna: The Public Booed Because They Know I Beat Easter! David Price: I Think Deontay Wilder Could Beat Anthony Joshua CompuBox: Spence Landed 49% of Power Punches on Peterson Spence: I Want 'Some Time' Thurman - He Keeps Making Excuses! Video: Jermell Charlo, Jermall Charlo Talk Spence, Canelo, More Robert Easter vs. Javier Fortuna - CompuBox Punch Stats Video: Robert Easter Discusses Performance Against Fortuna Video: Hunter Explains Why He Pulled Lamont Peterson Out Video: Errol Spence Breaks Down Win Over Peterson, More Errol Spence: I Didn't Know I Would Dominate Like That Easter: I'm Ready To Sign Contract For Mikey Garcia or Linares Errol Spence Drops, Beats Down Lamont Peterson For TKO Win Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Robert Easter Wins Close Call, Split Nod Over Javier Fortuna Robert Easter vs. Javier Fortuna - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Marcus Browne Demolishes Francy Ntetu in One Round Adam Kownacki Breaks Down and Stops Iago Kiladze in Sixth Spence-Peterson Undercard Results From Barclays Center Joshua Promoter: Wilder Can't Be Delusional With 50-50 Demand Spence on Thurman: Why Not Try To Get My Belt? Why Not Unify? Euro News: Skoglund, Koelling, Haertel, Kiko Martinez, De Carolis

Latest Active Forum Threads