DUSSELDORF, Germany — As Wladimir Klitschko prepares to defend his heavyweight titles against Jean-Marc Mormeck on Saturday, his team already knows when, where and against whom they would like his next fight to be: October, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, against Chris Arreola.
The problem? According to members of Team Klitschko, Golden Boy Promotions, which signed a three-year deal to be the official partner of the new building, is blocking the fight.
“The people who run the building came to us and asked us to bring a Klitschko fight to the Barclays Center,” said Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente. “When we said yes, they said we had to take Golden Boy as a co-promoter. We’re not going to do that. I don’t want to do a co-promotion with an American who has nothing to do with the Klitschkos. Why should we? We’re about to do our seventh stadium event. We do huge shows all over Europe. We have fought at Madison Square Garden. They bring nothing to the show.”
Boente says if Golden Boy were in his position, they wouldn’t do a co-promotion either. He cites the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight, which originally was slated for the Prudential Center in Newark only to be moved to Los Angeles when the Prudential Center insisted the show be a co-promotion with Main Events.
“If the Barclays Center wants a Klitschko fight, there can’t be any preconditions,” Boente said. “If they want to deal with Golden Boy and their crappy fighters, fine. I can’t understand why an arena is doing an exclusive deal with an American promoter. What do they bring to the table? A Klitschko fight is a worldwide event. It would be covered by 150 countries. It would be huge with the Russian speaking community [in Brooklyn]. I just don’t understand what they are doing.”
Both Boente and Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions, said they would be open to putting Golden Boy fighters on the undercard. Loeffler said one possible matchup could be middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin against Brooklyn’s Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, one of Golden Boy’s top prospects.
“But [Golden Boy CEO] Richard Schaefer is not standing up at a Klitschko press conference,” Boente said. “We don’t need him.”
– Chris Mannix