By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com spoke to Richard Schaefer, CEO for Golden Boy Promotions, to get an update on the scheduled May 5th return of WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. Additionally; we discuss the likelihood that Mayweather and Manny Pacquio are not going to fight in 2012, and the ongoing issue of promoters not cooperating due to personal vendettas.
BoxingScene.com: With the possibility of a four man tournament, with Pacquiao fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9th, and Lamont Peterson fighting Juan Manuel Marquez, and the winners of both fights colliding in November, wouldn't that prevent a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in November?
Schaefer: I don't know how many times that I have to repeat, to media people and whoever else, that this fight is not going to happen. How stupid are people to think that [Top Rank CEO Bob] Arum wants to do this fight? He doesn't want to do this fight. How many more times do I have to say that? Obviously him doing a tournament and locking in guys already is exactly what he wants to do. How dumb are people not to realize that? I don't get it. I don't understand it.
I told all of you media guys a few weeks ago what is going to happen and now it’s happening. He has no intention of doing this fight. Do you want to know when the fight is going to happen? The fight is going to happen when it's Pacquiao's last fight, probably towards the end of 2013 - when Arum doesn't care anymore if he loses.
Either some people are going to get it or they aren't going to get it. And there are writers out there who don't want to get it. Whatever Arum tells them, they take it as the gospel. Everybody is sick and tired of that bulls**t. Arum doesn't want to do the fight. Let him go and do his tournament and put whoever in front of Pacquiao.
BoxingScene.com: What is the next move for Mayweather? Robert Guerrero has been ruled out. Saul Alvarez is an option. Even with Cinco De Mayo, [WBA junior middleweight champion] Miguel Cotto would be a big fight, and there appears to be no issue with the weight. What are the options for Mayweather?
Schaefer: We are diligently working on everything and I'm not going to say who it's going to be, because ultimately its going to be up to Floyd. We are presenting Floyd with different alternatives and different options. Floyd is his own boss and he will decide what he wants to do. I'm not going to say what the issues are in this fight or that fight, that's not the way we work on our team. I don't think weight was ever really an issue for Mayweather, because he's known as the pound-for-pound undefeated fighter in the world. He's not known as the catch-weight king.
I think it's very counter-productive to go and keep tracking these names and negotiations through the press. We are going to be finalizing something and when it’s going to be finalized, it’s going to be up to Mayweather Promotions and Floyd and us to announce it. When you are the pound-for-pound number one fighter in the world, there is a long list of people who want to fight you. Floyd Mayweather is never going to run out of alternatives and options, because frankly he can fight Joe Shmoe and its going to be a big event. The fact is, when Floyd Mayweather fights it’s the Super Bowl of boxing and every year it’s the most anticipated event. Hopefully this year it will be twice [that Mayweather fights] and that's what it is.
He's the pay-per-view king. He's the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and he's earned that status, and now it’s going to be up to him on where he's going to get the best deal. When Oscar [De La Hoya] fought, and you are on the top of the food chain, you are the one who can dictate the terms, and now its Mayweather. Anybody who thinks that's arrogant or that's not right, they are just going to have to understand - that's a fact of life, that's the way it goes. He's the top dog. He's the top guy and he's going to say what he wants and what he's going to do. And if somebody says no, then he checks them off the list and moves on to the next one and that's what happens.
BoxingScene.com: Is there a deadline on when you want to finalize this fight or announce an opponent?
Schaefer: Obviously we would like to get it done in the next week, so we have a full three months to promote, which is plenty. We obviously have already done a lot of things on the promotional side. We basically have the sponsors, and all of these other elements are all lined up. We are ready to go.
BoxingScene.com: I touched on an issue in another article, on how you and Gary Shaw have had some bad blood in the past, but the two of you put that aside and easily make fights like the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson rematch.
Schaefer: You have to understand, me and Gary have had a good relationship now for several years. He has a responsibility to stick up for his fighters and I have a responsibility to stick up for my fighters. Gary and me, we talked about it a long time ago - [sticking up for our fighters] doesn't mean that we can't respect each other or need to get into a personal war over that. That's a silly thing. I respect him for sticking up for his fighter and trying to do his best for them, and he respects me for sticking up for my fighter and doing my best. This is not about me and Gary Shaw, it’s about respecting our fighters in the best possible way.
Promoters who start taking things personal and think this is a personal thing, this is a silly thing and this is a childish thing. Gary and me get along very well. Sometimes our fighters win and sometimes his fighters win, no problem. We get along great.
BoxingScene.com: Even with Lou DiBella. The two of you don't exactly send Christmas cards to each other, but you came together to make the rematch with Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto.
Schaefer: Well, the thing is...Lou is a sneaky guy. Upfront he smiles in your face and says he's your friend, but in the back he talks sh*t. I don't deal like that. I don't work like that. I like to deal with upfront people and not with people who are dealing like that. I have a problem with that. Gary and me get along great, we have no issues. Do we always agree on what fights should happen? No [we don't], but at the end of the day we respect each other.
BoxingScene.com: But at the end of the day, you may look at the person you're dealing with and think he's an assh*le, but you have to do what's best for business and what's best for the fighter.
Schaefer: I think promoters have to really separate - 'looking out for a fighter' and 'not taking things personal.' That's the issue. I have absolutely zero animosity against Lou and it’s not that I don't like the guy....just don't have a problem with me because I'm looking out for my fighter. I'm just doing my job. I'm not going to have a problem with him looking out for his fighter.
But when you start talking sh*t about the person, then I have problem with that. And getting involved in [other promoter's] fights and badmouthing fights that are not even his fights. You guys know that, he's the first guy to call and say 'ha, ha, ha..so and so lost.' What do you care? Focus on your own business and try to do the best possible fights - and I think in the end that is the most important thing.
Do you every hear me call and say 'oh great, DiBella's fighter lost or Gary's fighter lost or so?' No, the only thing I want is to see is great fights. I really don't wish any fighter or any other promoter any ill will. Everybody has to do their job and that's why I said that Gary and me had our run-ins several years ago and then we sat down. I like Gary and he likes me as a person and we are not going to let fighters get in between our relationship...that's a silly thing.