By Rick Reeno
Richard Schaefer, CEO for Golden Boy Promotions, sat down with BoxingScene.com to discuss a variety of topics related to WBA junior middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather (43-0, 26KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto. The encounter was easily the most exciting Mayweather fight in years.
Following the victory, Mayweather challenged his pound-for-pound rival, Manny Pacquiao. For the last three years, Schaefer and Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank, have been trying to finalize deal to match the two superstars. After numerous obstacles were conquered, only a single issue exists - the monetary split between the two fighters. Mayweather expects to receive the lion's share of the money, while Pacquiao is willing to split the revenues with an even 50-50 split.
BoxingScene.com: Schaefer's reaction to Arum comparing Mayweather to Joseph Goebbels, an infamous Nazi propaganda minister.
Schaefer: Last I week I read stories or interviews where Arum was bringing up Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi, as it relates to Floyd Mayweather. And I thought he was on something when he said it, but now he said again, on HBO, and I think he must have really lost it. If I would say that he's like Hitler, a dictator where it's his way of the highway, [Arum] would get all outraged.
I think there is really no need to bring the Nazis into the picture and I think he would be better served just to drop that. It really is disgusting that he has to bring the Nazis into the boxing game and mention Mayweather in that sentence. This is exactly that kind of stuff which is counter-productive on getting a fight done, with Floyd and with Pacquiao. Maybe he knows this and that's why he's saying it.
BoxingScene.com: Schaefer explains his solution to solve the issue of the monetary split for Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Schaefer: The fact is, as I've said so many times - Floyd wants to make the fight. We are living in a country where people are paid based on their marketability, their abilities and I think that's good. Not every superstar and every basketball player is being paid the same amount of money and not every baseball player is getting paid the same amount of money. That's just the world that we're living in. I think fair is fair, and that's why I think that we need to see what is the marketability. What is the marketability of Floyd and what is the marketability of Pacquiao. The fact is, this is prize fighting and there is a prize attached to that, and I think that it is relatively easy to determine [their marketability].
If you take the pay-per-view numbers since Floyd has been working with us, starting with 2007 up to now, and you add up the revenues that he has generated on pay-per-view and you add up the revenues that he has generated on the live gates - and Arum always seems to say that Pacquiao generates much bigger gates - then lets just add everything up and see where it is.
And if in fact Pacquiao's numbers are bigger than Mayweather's - then Pacquiao should get the lion's share. And if both of are equal, then it should be 50-50. If Mayweather's numbers are bigger, than Mayweather should get the lion's share. And its very easy to calculate that. There is ratio and you apply that ratio and that's the end of the story.
BoxingScene.com: What if the numbers, in terms of the revenue, are a few million apart. Maybe two, five or ten million more in either fighter's direction?
Schaefer: If you're talking about a couple of million dollars, then I agree with you it's insignificant. But if you're talking about a substantial [amount], millions and millions of dollars, then I think it should be accounted for. There is nothing else holding it up. All of the other things like who's entering the ring first, who is getting announced first and all of that, that can be worked out.. Maybe what we do is have a special show, on ESPN or wherever, and we do a drawing to determine who is going to get these champion's privileges, and that would be sort of fun.
Arum is clear that they will agree to random drug testing, administrated by USADA, and in fact if that is no longer an obstacle and the only obstacle is the money - then lets see who generates more money. And whoever generates more money, will get more money. If its the same then it's the same. That's the way it goes. It's not rocket science.
And I don't understand why somebody would not want to agree to that. It is what I said, with people being paid based on their marketability. That's all it is.
BoxingScene.com: As far as the revenues being analyzed, would that be the pay-per-view numbers, the gate, the sponsorships?
Schaefer: We can take everything. We can take the pay-per-view and the gate. The fairest thing is to take all of the revenues and you look at it. and you calculate it like that. That would be the fairest thing. And if in fact that its only the money and how to split it, then that's the way we have to treat it.
Look, I know Bob better than most people. He's a terrific promoter and he's done a lot of things, so I'm not going to say anything [negative] in that regard. If it would be the other way around, he would be exactly like that [requesting to compare the revenues of both fighters], because in the end it's right to compensate the guy who generates more money with more money.
BoxingScene.com: Arum has mentioned, more than once, that when you previously sat down to negotiate this fight the two sides already agreed to a 50-50 split. What changed from those negotiations to now?
Schaefer: First of all, there were a lot of open issues when we sat down many years ago. One of [the changes] is that obviously Floyd Mayweather gets bigger and bigger with every fight. He's going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. Again, that's just a fact. When Kobe Bryant came out as a rookie in the NBA, he wasn't getting paid the same amount of money that he is making now. That's just the way it goes. And hopefully you're not making the same amount of money that you were making ten years ago. Somebody comes to you and says 'I want to pay you what you made ten years ago.' What's that? In what business do you see that?
Floyd is getting bigger and bigger, and I see that more and more people are embracing him. We have a very gifted and a very special athlete here. An athlete that we don't even see in every generation. Here is a guy who is in a league of his own. I think more and more people are realizing that and starting to support him and cheer for him. The Floyd "Money" Mayweather story is getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Floyd and I like to put together the biggest events and we like to challenge ourselves to break the biggest numbers and you see that here [with Cotto]. Floyd Mayweather is the only fighter in the world where you have a pay-per-view price or 59.95 or 69.95 for HD, compared to Pacquiao's [rates]. Right there you see the ratio as well. [Floyd] commands a premium because of who he is.
BoxingScene.com: We had a recent interview with Floyd, and he made similar statements to other media, that he's running out of opponents. Besides a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao, or maybe a Canelo, who is out there for him?
Schaefer: Based on the number of emails that I've received, there is a lot of people who wouldn't mind seeing a rematch [with Cotto]. The fact is, Cotto not only put forward a tremendous performance, but he also gave Floyd maybe the toughest fight of his life. Like Floyd said, it was the toughest opponent that he ever fought. Making a few adjustments, who knows, maybe Miguel might be able to pull it off. I hear more and more support for a potential rematch between those two. Who wouldn't want to see that? You know going into that day its going to be a terrific fight. And, there will be blood. That might be the name of the event - 'there will be blood.'
You have a lot of names [for Floyd]. Obviously [Saul] Canelo [Alvarez] is one. Canelo really wants Mayweather. And while Oscar [De La Hoya] thinks Canelo is not ready - at the end of the day we believe in giving our fighters the opportunities and we don't want to stand in a fighter's way. Canelo and his team feel they are ready, so that certainly is a big fight.
If Robert 'The Ghost" Guerrero is going to become a six time world champion in a fourth weight class - I think the story he brings to the table, he's a big guy, he's a talented kid. He has the speed, the power and the technical skills to certainly give Mayweather problems. I think that's a fight a lot of people would see and what a heartwarming story [about Guerrero's personal life].
You have the winner of [Victor] Ortiz and [Andre] Berto. I think Berto has been waiting patiently for one of those big fights and I think if he defeats Ortiz, that would be a fight that people would want to see. He's an exciting guy and he comes to fight. And if Victor Ortiz wins again, then you have a guy who a lot of people feel there is unfinished business. The ending of the Mayweather-Ortiz fight, there are certainly people out there who feel Ortiz hasn't been given a fair shake. There is an Amir Khan. You've seen what's happened with some of those 140-pounders who are moving up to 147. Amir is a guy who's been at 140 now for a long time. He feels that if he goes to 147, he will have a tremendous impact on the division. And he has the skills, he has the power. Who wouldn't want to see that?
I just gave you a number of names, a number of fights that I feel would be huge mega-events, just like the mega-events that Mayweather likes to be involved in.
BoxingScene.com: Pacquiao has an upcoming defense with Tim Bradley on June 9. A lot of people, including Mayweather, believe Bradley will be a tough fight, stylistically. How crushing would it be if Bradley pulled off an upset?
Schaefer: Timothy Bradley is undefeated and he's a guy with three weapons, he has two fists and a head. You can never count him out, but I really don't worry too much about that.