By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, is fuming over the continued reports that Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1, 30KOs) is a free agent (or about to become one). Schaefer once again stated to BoxingScene.com that Canelo is under a long-term agreement with Golden Boy. During a recent media interview in Mexico, Canelo’s manager, Eddy Reynoso, told reporters that he plans to sit down with Golden Boy in the near future to map out a “three fight plan in 2014.”
There is an ongoing legal battle that pertains to Canelo’s alleged breach of contract with All Star Boxing, run by CEO Tutico Zabala. In the legal documents, Zabala claims that Canelo was still under a valid contract with All Star Boxing when he initially signed with Golden Boy several years ago.
Schaefer is not positive whether it’s Tutico or another third party who provided Arum with the quoted information related to Canelo. The rivalry between Golden Boy and Top Rank intensified when HBO made a decision, earlier this year, to cut their business ties with Golden Boy. As a result, Golden Boy is fully aligned with Showtime and Top Rank is fully committed to HBO.
“These idiotic comments that he’s making that Canelo is not under contract. Canelo is under contract with Golden Boy and Canelo is proud and happy to be under contract with us. Canelo will tell you himself and so will his mangers. This guy has totally lost it. Tutico and him are like buddies, and then you put in another 100-year-old guy from Mexico, [Rafael] Mendoza, who thinks he knows everything. That guy doesn't know sh*t. They had their time, but it's over now. Their time is gone. Arum should worry more about promoting fighters under contract instead of promoting fighters he doesn't have under contract,” Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
"The guy is getting desperate. First he was pissed when Al [Haymon] and me were with HBO, he was bitching about the stuff going on with HBO. He could have worked with Showtime. He could have picked up all of the Showtime dates that he wanted. And to make things better for him, the CEO of CBS (Showtime's parent company), Les Moonves, was a personal friend of his. They used to go on vacations together. But Arum is not capable of having relationships. He f**ked his own buddy.”
“Arum brought Pacquiao there and Showtime did a terrific job. The single biggest pay-per-view of Pacquiao's career was on Showtime. And then he takes him back to HBO and basically f**ks his own friend. He is not capable of having relationships and as a result he became persona non grata with Showtime. The only person he has to blame is himself. And I can guarantee you that it's not whether HBO is going to get f**ked by Arum - that's not the question - the question is when. He is incapable of having relationships. He f**ks everyone and the only person who matters is himself. And he thinks because he is 100-years-old he can get away with that sh*t. He thinks 'oh what do I care at my age.'"
“He doesn't give a sh*t anymore and it's showing. Look at the numbers they did at the Home Depot Center [for Chavez Jr. vs. Vera]. It was one of the worst promotions ever. They barely sold over 3,000 tickets. Look at the Bradley fight [with Marquez]. Some of you media guys were tweeting that he had to hire a seat filler company so it looks good on camera [for the HBO pay-per-view]. Some of you media guys tweeted that stuff out, I'm not making this sh*t up. It's over. It's not a sinking ship - it sunk already.”
Regarding Canelo, there are numerous options out there – and the biggest fight possible would be a showdown with Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31KOs). In 2012, Cotto worked with Golden Boy to co-promote his fights against Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout. For his last fight, which took place on October 5th against Delvin Rodriguez, Cotto partnered up with Top Rank and returned to HBO.
Since the end of 2011, when Cotto's contract with Top Rank expired, the former three division champion has been a free agent and doesn’t have any contractual ties to any promoter or network. HBO would like to make a fight between Cotto and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. There have been discussions between Top Rank (on behalf of Cotto) and Martinez’s adviser Sampson Lewkowicz and promoter Lou DiBella.
However, Schaefer is confident that Canelo is by far the most lucrative option for Cotto.
“At this point in his career, Cotto wants to make the most money. Cotto could probably end up making $15 million bucks against Canelo……or maybe more. Martinez has this guy with the gold chain and the gold tooth, Sampson....he's telling everyone how great or a promoter Arum is. You have to wonder why? Maybe he should look out for Sergio Martinez. If fighters want to make the most money, you know exactly where they go and who they fight. It's a fact. Cotto is a free agent and he can do whatever he wants. If he wants to make the most money, he knows where to go. It's as simple as that. And Cotto is a young guy and a smart guy, so I know he is going to make the right decision for himself and his career,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer tells BoxingScene that he doesn't hold any grudges against HBO for their decision to break ties with Golden Boy. In fact, Schaefer says Golden Boy has generated more revenue, had higher attendance figures, and provided the boxing public with more solid shows since moving their talent over to Showtime.
"This year has been a record year for Golden Boy. We have the best fighters and the best matchups. We keep doing what we do best - putting on the best events that people want to see live and on TV - it's as simple as that. It's amazing, HBO is happy just to match the numbers by Showtime. A lot of people have not picked that HBO still has a 30% higher subscription base. If they are pulling in the same numbers, that's not really the same numbers because Showtime has a smaller subscription base. It's amazing that with a smaller subscription base Showtime is pulling in the same numbers as HBO. It's pretty impressive," Schaefer said.
"When we were with HBO, who had the best shows? And now the best show are on Showtime. We don't put on these appearances fights like other people, and you know who I'm talking about, where the opponent doesn't win a single round of the fight. And when HBO said they weren’t going to do business with Golden Boy, they said it was going to be an open door for every other promoter. Just ask Lou DiBella or ask Dan Goossen just how open that door really is. They will tell you…all you have to do is ask them. We had a record year in 2013 and just wait until you see what we have planned for next year."