By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told BoxingScene.com that he wasn't surprised when his offer of $3 million dollars, for a super bantamweight unification between Abner Mares (25-0, 13KOs) and Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20KOs), was rejected by Top Rank.
On January 25th, Golden Boy issued a contract to Top Rank - offering $3 million dollars for the services of Donaire. Golden Boy issued the contract to Top Rank's legal counsel David Moroso, a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O'Melveny and Myers.
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, recently told BoxingScene's Chris Robinson that Golden Boy's offer was not legitimate, and there were issues with the language of the contract and he doesn't believe there was a good faith effort from Golden Boy in trying to make that fight.
“It wasn’t a real offer,” Arum insisted. “It’s not an offer; it’s not a contract where a promoter can call it off 15 days before a fight and without any liability. What kind of contract is that?”
Schaefer exploded on the topic - stating that Top Rank never issued a counter-offer or any form of written response to his $3 million dollar proposal. He says Golden Boy was willing to discuss any issues with the contract, the date, or other sticking points - but there was no response from the other side.
"They are full of sh*t. I think people by now know that, they are full of sh*t. If it's not this excuse it's another excuse.....they said they don't have it in writing and then when they have it in writing it's not the right legal language. If its the right legal language then its because they have relationships with HBO. And if it isn't something with an HBO relationship and the fight is going to be on HBO - then its some other bullsh*t. It's impossible. I know, because I'm reading some of comments from fight fans, that they are sick and tired of this guy Arum, the marinater," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
Arum also brought up Golden Boy's obligation to Showtime, and other companies. Those obligations, says Arum, makes it nearly impossible to make fights between their two stables.
“It’s more complicated than you think,” Arum explained. “Because, obviously, we work with every other promoter. And the problem is that they’re tied to one network (Showtime) and we and Donaire have loyalty to another (HBO) because that network enabled him to become fighter of the year.
“You understand that [Schaefer] has contractual ties to various companies and we have contractual ties to other companies. That makes it impossible very often to arrange a match. Because I’m not going to get sued and neither is he.”
Schaefer disagrees. He says there are no contracts, at least on Golden Boy's end, to prevent his company from making fights with Top Rank. In fact, Schaefer says contrary to the statements made by Arum and Top Rank's President Todd duBoef, Golden Boy was never focused on bringing Donaire-Mares to Showtime. He says Golden Boy was obviously looking for the best network deal possible, but there was nothing that prevented Donaire-Mares from being picked up by HBO and there was written communication to confirm that.
"I have no contract with anybody. I only have one contract, with Amir Khan, who has a multi-fight deal with Showtime. There are no other contracts whatsoever. Maybe [Arum] is speaking for himself but we certainly have no contracts," Schaefer said.
"As it relates to that failed Mares-Donaire situation, I sent an email to HBO encouraging them to push for this fight and [told them that] I would be happy to sit down with them, if in fact that fight happens, to see if they're interested. I don't know what [Top Rank] is talking about."