Schaefer: If U.S. Networks Aren't Interested in WBSS, So Be It

By Keith Idec

NEWARK, N.J. – Richard Schaefer hopes HBO or Showtime televises the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series’ cruiserweight and super middleweight tournaments.

Schaefer, one of the tournament’s promoters, believes the tournaments warrant wider television exposure in the United States. The cruiserweight tournament has been especially entertaining and will feature four of the division’s world champions in the semifinals.

The World Boxing Super Series’ distribution deal in the United States with AT&T and DirecTV’s AUDIENCE Network ends at the conclusion of the super middleweight quarterfinals Friday. The WBSS-AUDIENCE Network deal has made the tournaments available to roughly 20 million consumers in the United States over the past month, but the tournaments haven’t caught on as much in the United States as in Europe.


The tournament’s quarterfinal fights have drawn capacity crowds in Berlin, London, Stuttgart, Germany, and Riga, Latvia. The two WBSS cards in the United States – September 23 at the Alamodome in San Antonio and Saturday night at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey – attracted crowds of roughly 3,000 apiece.

Russia’s Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs, 1 NC) defended his IBF cruiserweight title and advanced to the semifinals Saturday night by knocking out Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-4-1, 37 KOs) in the third round at Prudential Center.

“Well, I think there’s huge support for the World Boxing Super Series worldwide,” Schaefer said during the post-fight press conference Saturday night. “We saw just last week that the final of the cruiserweight division will be held in Saudi Arabia. That’ll be historic in itself. So there’s tremendous interest globally in the World Boxing Super Series. In the beginning, there was a certain amount of skepticism. Are they really able to pull it off? And yes, we did pull it off. And I think the tournament is making waves like no other tournament has ever made in the sport of boxing.”

The cruiserweight semifinals will match Gassiev against Cuba’s Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs), the WBA champion, and Ukraine’s Oleksander Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs), the WBO champion, against Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs), the WBC champion.

One super middleweight semifinal is set – an all-British battle between WBA 168-pound champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and IBO champion Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs). In the other super middleweight semifinal, England’s Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) will face the winner between Germany’s Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs) and St. Paul, Minnesota’s Rob Brant (22-0, 15 KOs) on Friday night in Schwerin, Germany.

“It’s really gonna be up to the Americans, up to the American, U.S. [television] networks, to embrace the tournament and say, ‘We wanna be part of that,’ ” Schaefer said. “The fighters and the promoters, but certainly the fighters, have delivered and have over-delivered. If the U.S. network or networks or venues or whatever are not interested in it, then, you know, so be it. Because the world is. And I see the amount of fan support the tournament gets here in the United States.

“You look at the blogs, you look at the press, what you guys write about the tournament, there’s not one bad word. The Americans, the American market, the American sports fans and boxing fans, they love this tournament. And can you imagine those two guys [Gassiev and Dorticos] now fighting each other? That’s probably the best matchup in the sport, pound-for-pound, punch-for-punch, that you can make. And we are gonna see that in January. What a treat for the boxing fans and a big thank you to the organizers of the World Boxing Super Series.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Dr.Cool on 10-24-2017

[QUOTE=ultravividscene;18156553]... correction - not big enough to be a top heavyweight - as you yourself go on to state...[/QUOTE] not good enough to be lhw or hw. It is only a correction if you act like the end of the…

Comment by ultravividscene on 10-23-2017

[QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18156025]No one cares about the guys not good enough to be a top lhw.[/QUOTE]... correction - not big enough to be a top heavyweight - as you yourself go on to state... [QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18156025]It is just hard for cws to move…

Comment by dazzo16 on 10-23-2017

You are a ****ing retarded casual..[QUOTE=Dr.Cool;18156025]No one cares about the guys not good enough to be a top lhw. That is all cws are. Everybody knows it. Not good enough for lhw or hw, so they go to this made…

Comment by MDPopescu on 10-23-2017

[QUOTE=thack;18156140][B]The cruisers weights to be held in Saudi Arabia[/B] that's like a trip to the dentist in iceland . The truth is there's so many people who think Schaefer is a snake and don't want to be involved with…

Comment by thack on 10-23-2017

The cruisers weights to be held in Saudi Arabia that's like a trip to the dentist in iceland . The truth is there's so many people who think Schaefer is a snake and don't want to be involved with…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (22)
Top Headlines Photos: Ramon Alvarez, Jorge Paez on Weight For Showdown Photos: Gervonta Davis, Jesus Cuellar - Ready For WBA Title Fight Photos: Jermall Charlo, Hugo Centeno - Ready For Title Fight Photos: Adrien Broner, Jessie Vargas - Ready For War Frampton Admits a Loss To Donaire Could Mean End of Career Broner Weighs In Heavier Than Vargas for Their 144-Pound Fight Photos: Otto Wallin, Adrian Granat - Ready For a Viking War Gervonta Davis Makes Weight on First Try - First Time in 3 Fights WBC Reveal Huge List of Boxers Not Drug Testing With CBP/VADA LIVE Stream: Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas - Official Weigh-In Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz Finalized For May 19 at MGM Harbor Khan: I Want To End Career With a Big Bang, I'm Still in My Prime Max Ornelas, Tony Lopez Fight For Bragging Rights on beIN Pacquiao: I Still Have a Couple of More Fights Before I Retire Povetkin's Promoter Claims $4.3 Million Court Win Over Wilder Photos: Frampton, Donaire Prepare For Fireworks in Belfast Photos: Amir Khan, Phil Lo Greco - Ready For War in Liverpool Hugo Centeno Reflects on Stoppage Loss To Maciej Sulecki Jesus Cuellar: Gervonta Davis is Overrated; He's No Mayweather! Broner on Vargas: He Ain't Win His Fights When He Stepped Up Hearn: We Won't Let You Play With Our Balls To Overpay Wilder!'s Television Picks of The Week - April 20 Max Ornelas: I'll Do Whatever it Takes To Be a World Champion Vanes Martirosyan: Canelo is a Cheater, Golovkin is a Gentleman Khan vs. Lo Greco: Bilal Rehman To Remain On Card Amir Khan: If I Lose To Lo Greco - It's All Over For Me Jessie Vargas: No One Will Care About Broner After I Beat Him Euro News: Serge Michel, Stefan Haertel, Elvis Hetemi, More Photos: Pacquiao, Matthysse - Go Face To Face in Malaysia Pacquiao Expects a "Toe To Toe" Fight With Lucas Matthysse Don King Warns That Vanes Will Bring a Real Fight To Golovkin Lamont Roach, Orlando Cruz Fight To a Ten Round Split Draw WBC Prez: Canelo's Image Can Improve, Time To Turn The Page Sullivan Barrera Wants The Winner of Kovalev-Alvarez Khan: I Hoped Canelo Would Get Longer Ban, A Few Years at Least Video: Adrien Broner Goes Bonkers on Ellerbe at Final Presser Abel Sanchez Reacts To Canelo Suspension, Sends Message To WBC Photos: Ramon Alvarez, Jorge Paez Jr - Go Face To Face Golovkin vs. Martirosyan: Huge Crowd Expected at Stubhub Photos: Gervonta Davis, Jesus Cuellar - Square Up at Barclays

Latest Active Forum Threads