By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has denied the viral rumor that a deal is close to being finalized for Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0, 26KOs) to defend his WBC welterweight title against Amir Khan (28-3, 19KOs) on May 3rd. Rumors began to intensify when Golden Boy’s official twitter page posted a photo that showed Khan, along with Schaefer, posing with a large cardboard display of Mayweather.
Schaefer said the photo was nothing more than a small joke on some of media members who reported nearly two weeks ago that a Mayweather-Khan fight was finalized.
"Amir was here at the office with his uncle and his lovely life. They came to see me and there really was no hidden agenda. Nicole Sparks, who does our social media, she wanted to take a picture with Amir in the office. Crazy me.....I have those big standing cut-outs with Mayweather, from the last two Mayweather fights, so I said - 'hey, let's have some fun.' This was not something that was planned. He wasn't here to sign any contracts. We just said 'let's have some fun here' and that's what we did. We talked very little boxing. Amir is a good friend, a great fighter and a very brave fighter, sometimes a little to brave for his own good, but I always enjoy my time with him and he is one of my close friends," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
As far as Mayweather’s next opponent, there are ongoing discussions taking place between Schaefer, Mayweather Promotions and Mayweather’s adviser Al Haymon. But, the actual details of the event are a very long way from being finalized. Traditionally, the details of Mayweather’s Cinco De Mayo fights, and the name of the opponent, begin to surface around the end of December/start of January.
"We are having loose conversations. You always have conversations because Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions have such a great relationship and friendship so we always talk. Me and Al work with a lot of fighters together so we talk almost on a daily basis. You start having some conservations and you start kicking around some ideas for the next event. This is not something that you can just shake out of your sleeve. A Mayweather fight has become what is considered to be the gold standard for a boxing event. It is the Super Bowl or Super Bowls of boxing, where he fought twice this year," Schaefer said.
"It's not just the fight...it's the atmosphere, the whole environment. You start conversations and brainstorm. It's a long process. It just doesn't happen overnight and Floyd is very much involved with that. As we all know he is the most brilliant marketer that I've ever met and he has great ideas on how to elevate a fight into a great event. And again, these are conversations that are ongoing. They usually start after the fight, in the locker room. You say 'great fight, now let’s move forward' and nothing has changed there. Floyd is the face of the sport and it's a big responsibility to deliver a great matchup and a great event for the fans. And his fights transcend to other sports fans. It's not just a boxing event, it's a sports event - but more importantly you have to give that event the international exposure and Mayweather has done that very well."