by Robert Morales
Just for fun, BoxingScene.com asked Richard Schaefer on Tuesday if there is any light at the end of the tunnel regarding his and Golden Boy Promotions' feud with Top Rank Inc., one that could perhaps allow for a fight between Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao. The former is promoted by Golden Boy, the latter by Bob Arum's Top Rank.
We only asked him about this because of Matthysse's sensational third-round stoppage of Lamont Peterson on Saturday in Atlantic City, and Schaefer's own declaration that in Matthysse, "We have a new Pacquiao."
Schaefer remained cool, but his response said it all.
"No, as I've said before, I've tried too many times over the past five, six, seven, eight years to work with Arum," Schaefer said. "He's impossible to deal with and I have no interest in dealing with the guy. I'm over done with it, done with him. And I've moved on."
Schaefer spoke in who-needs-Top-Rank tones.
"The fact is, we deliver exciting event after exciting event, you know, with thousands of people in attendance and in some great venues here in the United States," he said. "We are very proud of what Golden Boy stands for, what we go for and the opportunities we provide to our fighters. At this point, honestly, I couldn't care less about Top Rank, particularly Bob Arum.
"I kissed the guy's ass far too long and I just don't really need the guy anymore. I couldn't care less. I mean, at one point, you have to move on. You try and try and try and try ... and life goes on. Everything goes on and I have to tell you, it goes on very, very well. Very well."
Guess that means no Matthysse-Pacquiao.
Then again, theoretically speaking, that fight could happen. But only if the fight were on HBO, according to Arum. And since HBO has washed its hands of Golden Boy, that would also mean Top Rank would have to be the lead promoter.
"There is no problem working together," Arum said of Top Rank and Golden Boy. "Our fighters fight on HBO. If they wanted to make a deal with us for say Abner Mares to fight (Guillermo) Rigondeaux or to fight (Nonito) Donaire or to fight Mikey Garcia and they were willing for that fight ot be on HBO, we would do it in a minute. But the fighters we promote will not fight on Showtime, period. Why? For various reasons.
"If Lucas Matthysse wanted to fight a Mike Alvarado or (Ruslan) Providnikov, somebody lke that, fine. I got no problem arranging that because he (Matthysse) is a good attraction, he fights very well, he's exciting the way he punches. But it's gotta be on HBO. It can't be on the second network."
Arum said one of the main reason is because HBO remains the top boxing network, and it does better numbers.
Schaefer working on Mayweather-Alvarez
Schaefer predictably had a lot on his plate, a lot on his mind. Not the least of which were updates on some potential blockbusters he is trying to put together.
First was an update on negotiations between a fight with welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and junior middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, which would presumably take place Sept. 14 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We tried to throw Schaefer a curveball, and asked him what he thought of Mayweather-Matthysse if Mayweather and Alvarez can't connect. Schaefer fought off the pitch well.
"You know, I really don't want to talk about anything else right now than the fight I'm working on, which is Mayweather against 'Canelo' because I think that's the fight people really want to see," Schaefer said. "So I don't want to make any comments or discuss anything but, because that's how you start getting sidetracked.
"I really want to stay focused and my focus is to get what I believe is the biggest fight that can be made in the sport between Mayweather and 'Canelo'."
Schaefer was asked if he is confident that will come to fruition.
"I'm always confident," he said. I'm a positive-thinking guy. But you never know. With these big, big fights, sometimes they don't. The only thing I can do is keep working and see what happens."
Schaefer indicated we should know soon.
"The good thing is I don't think we have to wait too long to find out because obviously there are certain deadlines which have to be met because Sept. 14 is not that far away," he said.
Arum scoffs at possibility of Mayweather-Alvarez
One of the topics of discussion about Mayweather-Alvarez has been the weight. Would Mayweather agree to move back up to junior middleweight, where he has fought twice before - against Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto? Could Alvarez come down to welterweight and be effective? Although Schaefer has previously gone on record as saying there is no problem in this regard, Arum believes there is.
That's why, in Arum's mind, Mayweather and Golden Boy should be trying to make a fight between Mayweather and the aforementioned Matthysse.
"That would be an interesting fight, because Mayweather won't fight 'Canelo'," Arum said. "You know that, I know that. I know he won't because of the weight issue. As far as Mayweather is concerned, he's a welterweight. Why should he fight a junior middleweight? You saw what happened when he fought Cotto. He won that fight, but he got beat up a little bit. That's why we have weight divisions."
Schaefer also eager to make Danny Garcia-Matthysse
Heck, if we can't have Matthysse-Pacquiao, not a darn thing wrong with Matthysse-Danny Garcia. As far as that goes, Matthysse-Garcia could be better because there's still no telling what that vicious knockout Pacquiao absorbed last December (by Juan Manuel Marquez) did to him. By the time Pacquiao gets done fighting Brandon Rios in November, he may not even be a viable opponent for a much younger and in-his-prime Matthysse.
In Garcia, Matthysse would be getting the guy who holds two of the 140-pound titles, a guy who not only is talented, but very courageous. And now that Matthysse has shown he very well could be the hardest puncher in the game pound-for-pound, this has barnburner written all over it.
"Yes, absolutely, this is the fight which I said before we would like to do," Schaefer said. "It is obviously the two best 140-pounders fighting each other. For many reasons many people think that Matthysse would win. And there are many reasons why some people feel Garcia would win."
Schaefer sized up the fighters.
"Garcia is the kind of fighter who always steps up to the plate and won't back down from anyone," Schaefer said. "When he went to fight Amir Khan, not many people gave him much of a chance, or any chance, and you see what happened. Any time he delivers, he delivers big. He has a tremendous heart and a tremendous will to win and if you have that heart, it's tough for any opponent to break that.
"With Lucas Matthysse, we pretty much saw with his fists. We asked Paulie Malignaggi after the fight, 'Who can beat this guy?' And he said, 'Somebody who can fight the perfect fight for 12 rounds. When I say 12 rounds, I mean every second of every round.' If you get as much as grazed by this guy, you go down. That's the kind of power he has."
Schaefer also noted that Matthysse has a good chin because he took a few flush shots from Peterson, but never wavered.
"So this is a fight I'd like to make," Schaefer said.
What about Mikey Garcia-Donaire?
Mikey Garcia and Nonito Donaire are both trained by Robert Garcia - Mikey's older brother - and managed by Cameron Dunkin. Under those circumstances, it doesn't seem likely the two would ever fight. But since terrific opponents are limited for both because of the Top Rank-Golden Boy rift, they may have to seriously consider it.
In telephone interviews with both Arum and Robert Garcia on Wednesday, it seemed like both cringed when the subject was broached. But they did discuss it and, interestingly, their responses came off like it's not completely out of the question.
"It doesn't seem to me that there is a chance that it can happen," Arum, who promotes both fighters, said at first. "They are not only trained by the same guy, they're managed by the same guy."
Arum said that used to be a no-no.
"You couldn't have fighters managed by the same guy, no less guys trained by the same guy, fighting each other," Arum said. "That never was allowed to happen. Now, apparently, nobody gives a s**t anymore. I just think it shouldn't be allowed. It's a conflict of interest. Can a lawyer represent both sides in a litigation?"
Arum was asked if it could happen if Mikey Garcia is trained by his brother and Donaire by someone else.
"I suppose that would be OK," he said. "That wouldn't be the same as two guys being trained by the same person and two guys managed by the same person."
Like Arum, Robert Garcia really wants no part of a fight like that. But he said he wouldn't stand in the way of his brother and Donaire if they wanted it.
"In that situation, it would have to be Donaire's and Mikey's decision," Robert Garcia said.
Robert Garcia said this is not a fight that has even been discussed by the respective parties, and that he knows no one involved wants it. However, because there is a limited supply of intriguing opponents, it might be something that has to be considered down the line.
"In that case the best thing to do would be for Donaire to be trained by someone else, Mikey trains with my dad (Eduardo) and me, just go and watch the fight," said Robert Garcia, who said he and Donaire are also like brothers. "It wouldn't be easy for me or for Cameron Dunkin. Mikey would be in great hands with my dad, so I wouldn't worry about that.
"But I would worry about Donaire. Maybe we're going to get to a situation where there isn't anything else out there and that fight is going to be a big favorite and Nonito and Mikey agree. I'm not going to force them to not fight each other."
Robert Morales covers boxing for the Los Angeles Daily News and BoxingScene.com.