Posts Tagged ‘Golden Boy Promotions’

Super middleweight champ Andre Ward slated to fight Edwin Rodriguez

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Andre Ward (left) has posted an undefeated mark of 26-0 for his career to this point. (Naoki Fukuda/AFLO/Icon SMI)

Andre Ward (left) has posted an undefeated mark of 26-0 for his career to this point. (Naoki Fukuda/AFLO/Icon SMI)

Super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward is close to an agreement to face Edwin Rodriguez on Nov. 16, industry sources told SI.com. The fight will take place in either Anaheim or Ontario, Calif. and be televised on HBO.

A source described the deal as “90 percent done” and said an announcement should come within the next two days.

Ward (26-0) has been out of action since last September, when he knocked out light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. A shoulder injury sidelined Ward for the first half of the year and a protracted dispute with HBO over his next opponent pushed his target return date from September to November. In discussions with HBO, Ward preferred a softer opponent — Dimitri Sartison, Caleb Truax and Stanyslav Kashtanov were three of the names that were floated — while still making a seven-figure payday. HBO was unwilling to put up the money Ward wanted for a tune-up fight.

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  • Published On Sep 19, 2013
  • Oscar De La Hoya says he is going into rehab, will miss Mayweather-Alvarez

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    De La Hoya and his promotion company helped set up the Alvarez-Mayweather fight. (Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)

    De La Hoya and his promotion company helped set up the Alvarez-Mayweather fight. Alexis (Cuarezma/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS — Former six-division champion Oscar De La Hoya has voluntarily checked himself into an undisclosed treatment facility and will not attend Saturday’s showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The 40-year-old De La Hoya, the president and founder of Golden Boy Promotions, one of the most powerful promotional companies in boxing and the co-promoter of Mayweather-Alvarez, confirmed the news in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

    De La Hoya–who has admitted to battling alcohol and cocaine addictions in the past–did not indicate what he was seeking treatment for. In 2011, De La Hoya checked himself into a rehab facility for undisclosed reasons.

    “Canelo Alvarez and I have big fights coming up this weekend. His is in the ring and mine in treatment,” De La Hoya said. “I will not be at the fight to cheer Canelo to victory since I have voluntarily admitted myself to a treatment facility. I explained this to Canelo, and he understood that my health and long-term recovery from my disease must come first. Thank you for your understanding. I ask for your support during this difficult time and for me and my family.”

    Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said that in the past week De La Hoya had opened up to him about his ongoing problems. Schaefer admitted, however, that he was surprised by the timing of the decision.

    “He really sounded very bad,” Schaefer said. “It wasn’t one of the things when you can wait until next week. I was surprised. But at the same time I was very supportive. I didn’t try to convince him that he had to be here. It wouldn’t have been the advice of a friend. I was hoping it wouldn’t happen but it did happen. I’m very proud of him. It’s not perfect timing, but what is? They say the show must go on. Oscar has a fight where he is and we have a big fight here.”

    Both Alvarez and Mayweather expressed support for De La Hoya.

    “I support him in his life battle,” Alvarez said. “I am sure he is going to win his battle, and I am going to win mine.”

    Said Mayweather, “I wish him nothing but the best. Hopefully he can pull through, like a true champion.”

    Schaefer said he didn’t know how long De La Hoya would be in rehab. In interviews, De La Hoya has previously admitted that his addictions led him to consider suicide.

    “Within a couple of years, just thinking, ‘Is my life even worth it?,’” De La Hoya said in a 2011 interview with Univision. “I don’t have the strength, I don’t have the courage to take my own life. But I was thinking about it.

    “There were drugs. My drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol. Cocaine was recent, the last two years, last two-and-a-half years, and I depended more on the alcohol than the cocaine. It took me to a place where I felt safe. It took me to a place where I felt like … nobody can say anything to me. It took me to a place where I can reach out and just grab my Mom.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 10, 2013
  • HBO announces it won’t televise Golden Boy Promotions’ fights

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    Rising star Adrien Broner, right, will no longer be featured on HBO after Monday's announcement.

    Rising star Adrien Broner, right, will no longer be featured on HBO after Monday’s announcement. [Richard Vogel/AP]

    For the last year, HBO has watched as Golden Boy Promotions has moved many of its top fighters from HBO to Showtime. On Monday, HBO struck back: The network announced that it would no longer buy any fights from Golden Boy Promotions.

    “In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups we’ve decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies,” HBO Sports President Ken Hershman said in a statement.

    The decision is a decisive move from HBO to strike back at Golden Boy. Since Stephen Espinoza — a former Golden Boy attorney — took over as the head of the sports department at Showtime, Golden Boy has pulled several of its top fighters including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Canelo Alavarez and Andre Berto off of HBO and onto Showtime. Last month, Floyd Mayweather — who works closely with Golden Boy —announced he was leaving HBO, his broadcast partner for virtually his entire career, to sign a lucrative deal with Showtime.

    Among the casualties of HBO’s decision is Adrien Broner, a rising star who has been a staple on HBO. HBO sources made it clear that it was nothing against Broner, but they will not put him on the network as long as Golden Boy represents him. Likewise for Bernard Hopkins, a longtime HBO fighter who last week became the oldest man to win a major title when he defeated Tavoris Cloud on HBO.

    The decision to stop doing business with Golden Boy is being called indefinite.

    Golden Boy CEO called the decision “retaliation” and “ill advised.”

    I’m not really surprised,” Schaefer told SI.com. “I have not had a conversation with Ken Hershman since last November or December. They are upset at me, I’m sure they are upset at Al Haymon. But the ones getting hurt are the subscribers. Whether you like Golden Boy or you don’t, our stable is second to none. I wished them well. (HBO Vice President) Kery Davis, (VP) Mart Taffet, (CEO) Richard Plepler, I consider them friends. But there are people making decisions in the HBO sports department that don’t know the difference between Floyd Mayweather and Jessie Vargas.”

    — Chris Mannix


  • Published On Mar 18, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Donaire-Mares bout in limbo, Gamboa to escape punishment

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    Nonito Donaire

    Golden Boy Promotions is trying to get Nonito Donaire (above) and Abner Mares in the ring together. (AP)

    Golden Boy Promotions ratcheted up its pursuit of a fight between super bantamweights Nonito Donaire and Abner Mares this week, submitting a contract to an attorney for Top Rank, which promotes Donaire, for a guaranteed $3 million purse for the fight. That money — however it is split between Donaire, Top Rank and manager Cameron Dunkin — would be a record purse for Donaire. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. I’m told Top Rank has no interest in the offer. It prefers Donaire fight in April, on HBO; the contract gives Golden Boy the ability to hold the fight as late as June 30. It also states that should the fight need to be postponed, Golden Boy has the right to reschedule it within 90 days or cancel it outright, provisions Top Rank isn’t willing to live with.

    Instead, Top Rank plans to move ahead with an April 13 date for Donaire and match him against either super bantamweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux or former bantamweight champion Vic Darchinyan.

    Personally, I think this is all pretty stupid. If scheduling is the biggest issue — and forget the network issue, if Golden Boy is putting up close to $5 million between Donaire and Mares, it’s a safe bet it winds up on HBO — then shame on the promoters for not finding a common ground. And according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, it’s not. Schaefer told me on Wednesday that he has “all the flexibility in the world” when it comes to changing the date and that he personally sent an email to HBO letting network executives know he had no intention of squeezing them out, that he would take the best financial offer for the fight, regardless of the network.

    “What usually happens when you get a $3 million offer is you come back with comments,” Schaefer said. “If we can do this or that, we have a deal. But it just doesn’t seem like they want the fight. I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to keep pursuing until [Top Rank] announces something. Then, I’ll move on.”

    • One of the names published in a scathing Miami New Times report  connecting athletes to a company that allegedly provided steroids and other performance enhancing drugs was that of Yuri Gamboa, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and current super featherweight contender. But while Major League Baseball investigates the players who were named in the report, Gamboa has nothing to worry about. That’s because boxing — with one of the worst drug testing systems of any major sport — will not retroactively punish a fighter, nor will it do any kind of investigation. In fact, if Gamboa, who tested clean after his December fight in Nevada, has been using something, there is little incentive for him to stop. Clearly, the arcane testing by state athletic commissions isn’t catching him.

    • Brian Kenny has been a superb addition to Showtime’s broadcasts. Kenny is a pro’s pro, a skilled interviewer and an excellent host.

    • Heavyweight contender Tyson Fury is close to a deal that will match him with former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham on April 20 at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be an afternoon show broadcast nationally on NBC. Cunningham’s wife and manager, Livvy, told me that while they do not have an official offer — and though they prefer a fight with Alexander Povetkin — they were interested in a Fury fight. Cunningham, of course, is coming off a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek in December.

    • One of the names I’m hearing for the Cunningham-Fury undercard is Curtis Stevens, who is coming off a spectacular first round knockout of journeyman Elvin Ayala last month.

    • Boxing Scene has an interesting post detailing how the WBA and former middleweight champion Felix Sturm colluded to avoid forcing Sturm to defend his title against Gennady Golovkin.

    • Last week, heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings told SI.com he was out of a proposed March 9 date on NBC Sports Network. Jennings said the money he was being offered was the same as what he made last January, when he made his television debut. Main Events CEO Kathy Duva denied that the offer was the same, telling me that it was, in fact, double what Jennings made in his first fight.

    • Can Sergey Kovalev fight again soon? Please?

    • I can understand Zab Judah’s frustration with the postponement of his Feb. 9 fight against Danny Garcia, but accusing Garcia of faking an injury is just dumb. Injuries during training happen, unfortunately, and Judah himself has experienced them: In 2008, Judah fell in a bathroom, a fall that opened a gash on his arm and forced the cancellation of a fight against Shane Mosley. Garcia-Judah has been rescheduled for April 27.

    • Lucas Matthysse’s spectacular first round knockout of an overmatched Mike Dallas Jr. will only enhance his reputation as the most feared fighter in boxing. While Matthysse wants a fight with Danny Garcia, expect Showtime to try to lure him back into the ring quickly, possibly as early as March.

    • Paging Vernon Paris.

    • Johnathan Banks wasn’t too excited when Seth Mitchell exercised the immediate rematch clause in his contract following Banks’s knockout win over him in November. Banks wanted to take an interim bout, preferably against Alexander Povetkin, before facing Mitchell again. But at a recent public workout, Banks sounded like a fighter who has found motivation.

    “Mitchell has contradicted himself,” Banks said. “Right after the fight he was very humble, gave me respect for the win and said he was going to have to go back to the drawing board, work his way back to the position he was in. Now I hear him saying things like ‘I didn’t win the fight or knock him out because I was the better man that night,’ and that it was his mistakes that were the cause of the loss. I find that to be out of character for this guy who seemed to be humble and respectful of me as a fighter prior to the first fight. When I lost to [Tomasz] Adamek as a cruiserweight, I lost. I can see [Mitchell] coming for the knockout this time. He says he is going to be different this time. I believe he will be.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jan 30, 2013
  • Nonito Donaire-Abner Mares set to be latest casualty of boxing’s costly promotional cold war

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    Nonito Donaire, currently No. 4 in SI.com's pound-for-pound ratings, is the logical opponent for Abner Mares -- but can the fight ever get made? (AP)

    Nonito Donaire, currently No. 4 in SI.com’s pound-for-pound ratings, is the logical opponent for Abner Mares — but can the fight ever get made? (AP)

    LAS VEGAS — One of the biggest potential fights in 2013 — no, not Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, sorry — is a super bantamweight showdown between Nonito Donaire and Abner Mares, who for the last two years have been steamrolling through the 118- and 122-pound divisions.

    The problem with making Donaire-Mares? The usual: Top Rank (which promotes Donaire) and Golden Boy (which promotes Mares) don’t get along.

    Top Rank’s Bob Arum’s solution is simple: Let us do the fight, and get out of the way.

    “They can have input into the promotion,” Arum said. “We wouldn’t look to put the fight in Manila. We would give them the ability to veto a site. And they could participate in the rules meeting. But they can’t run the business. We have built Donaire up. We have put an effort into it. We have companies that have committed to Donaire like Tecate, TV Azteca, HBO. If we are talking just about money, I’m sure we can come to a solution.”

    That idea, as expected, doesn’t sit well with Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.

    “The first thing is Bob should not be disrespectful,” Schaefer said. “Just because he has been [promoting] for so long, he doesn’t have that right. You need to approach this in a professional way. The silly notion of just paying [us] money and then they do it, why should we be disrespected like that?”

    “I think it’s important to maximize the money for the fighters. They deserve it. I do think there are some issues that I acknowledge, Bob is right. HBO invested a lot of money in Donaire and it’s not right for HBO to not have a big Donaire fight. But Mares was built by Showtime. All of his big fights were there. They invested substantially more than HBO did in Donaire, so it’s not really right for Showtime not to have the fight either.”

    Schaefer’s solution: Have both sides put an offer in an envelope, and the side with the biggest offer gets to promote the fight.

    “Let’s say both sides agree on a split,” Schaefer said. “Let’s say for argument’s sake it’s 50-50. Then let Arum go to the people he works with, TV Azteca, Tecate, HBO, the Filipino TV, go and talk to them and get their best offer. I’m going to do the same with Corona, with Showtime, with Televisa in Mexico and let’s see who can get more money? He puts his number in a sealed envelope, I put mine in a sealed envelope and whoever has the bigger number wins. My side can’t blame me, and Bob’s side can’t blame him.”

    “That doesn’t mean whoever has the smaller number doesn’t get their logo or their tickets or their press conference. This is not about disrespecting one another. If you want to really get it done, you have to do what is fair.”

    In an interview with SI.com, Arum didn’t sound the least bit interested, particularly when it came to doing a deal with Showtime, which has had a frosty relationship with Top Rank since Stephen Espinoza, an attorney who worked closely with Golden Boy, took over as the head of sports programming.

    “If that’s the case, the fight can’t happen,” Arum said. “I’m not going to strain my loyalty [to sponsors and networks] for a fight that doesn’t mean that much to me. Donaire can fight anyone. I pay him three times what Mares makes. I get $6 million per year from Tecate. Am I going to jeopardize it for a f—ing Donaire-Mares fight?”

    “Understand, the people who support us don’t want to hear about these kind of nuances. Donaire delivers for them. Would he fight Mares? Absolutely. But Mares doesn’t move the needle for us at all. We would fight him, but not to jeopardize our business. And why would I deliver any fight to Showtime that’s run by a guy who worked for Golden Boy, who won’t take our calls, who tries to humiliate us and does business only with one promoter? Why would I give him any kind of strength. This guy [Espinoza] is a bad guy. I don’t mind saying it to anybody. He is a bad, bad guy.”

    In an email to SI.com, Espinoza expressed a strong interest in being a part of a Mares-Donaire fight.

    “Mares vs. Donaire is a very attractive fight, and I’ve already made it clear that Showtime would bid very aggressively for that fight,” Espinoza said. “I am sure that Bob and Golden Boy will want to make sure that they generate the most money for their respective fighters and will not let anything as petty as personal feelings get in the way. Anything less would be a disservice to the sport, and more importantly, to the fighters.

    “It’s ironic that Bob would say that I don’t take his calls. I’ve been at Showtime for just over a year, and I have not received a single phone call from Bob Arum during that time. With respect to his comments about me personally, they don’t even merit a response, other than to say that I have never left any real offer from Top Rank, or anyone else, without a reply. Bob knows that. And given Bob’s track record and reputation, being called a “bad guy” by him is a badge of honor.

    “I am judged by the quality of the programming I acquire. Showtime has been televising high profile, exciting and competitive fights all year, and I am confident our subscribers are very pleased with the quality of Showtime boxing this year. We welcome all dialogue and proposals from Top Rank and all other promoters that fit within our programming strategy.”

    With so many obstacles and neither side likely to relent, Donaire-Mares will likely suffer a familiar fate: Never happening.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Dec 06, 2012
  • Abner Mares’ popularity undermined by Golden Boy-Top Rank feud

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    Bantamweight titleholder Abner Mares, who is No. 13 on SI.com’s pound-for-pound list, returns to action Saturday on Showtime against Anselmo Moreno. (AP)

    The ongoing feud between Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Bob Arum’s Top Rank has stood in the way of countless potential fights. Prime examples include junior welterweights Lucas Matthysse and Brandon Rios, middleweights Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul Alvarez and, most recently, super bantamweights Abner Mares and Nonito Donaire.

    On Saturday, Mares (24-0-1) will defend his WBC title against Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (10 p.m. ET, Showtime). And let’s be honest: Very few people care. It’s hard enough to get average fans interested in the 122-pound division, even harder when they know it’s not even the best fight they could be seeing.

    The best fight is Mares-Donaire, which would feature the two unquestioned top dogs in the super bantamweight division. Mares is slick and skilled, the winner of Showtime’s bantamweight tournament who has been picking off top opponents for the last two years. Donaire, who dominated Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka last month, blends power and speed better than anyone in the division.

    On a recent conference call, Mares expressed interest in making a Donaire fight.

    “All I can say is Nonito, he’s a great fighter,” Mares said. “He’s really, really explosive, a really great fighter. His last performance against Nishioka, I mean the fight was a little bit, you could say boring at the beginning but being that Nishioka wasn’t throwing that much, he wasn’t giving that much. Nonito found a way and took his time and got that knockout. He looked good.

    “If I were to fight him, obviously I’d fight him different and it would be a great fight. I know and I’ve seen that people want that fight. They’ve been asking for that fight and they know that I could give them a hell of a fight and definitely beat him as well. But again, that’s in the future, first things first.”

    There are no reasonable excuses for not making Mares-Donaire. Both fighters are experienced champions who are ready for the best fight out there. Both are marketable to networks — Mares to Showtime, Donaire to HBO — and both have developed a following over the last two years.

    The only excuse is that representatives from Golden Boy and Top Rank don’t want to be in the same room together. And that’s not good enough. Because only the diehards will watch Mares-Moreno, just like only the diehards watched Donaire-Nishioka.

    You want to build an audience, give them something worth watching.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 07, 2012
  • Devon Alexander signs with Golden Boy

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    Free agent Devon Alexander (above), a former IBF and WBC light welterweight champion, has signed a promotional contract with Golden Boy. (AP)

    LAS VEGAS — Former junior welterweight champion Devon Alexander has signed with Golden Boy Promotions, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told SI.com.

    Once a heavily hyped prospect, Alexander’s stock has slipped of late. In June he won a controversial decision over Lucas Matthysse. Last January, Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) lost his alphabet title to Timothy Bradley. After the win over Matthysse, Alexander announced he would move up to welterweight.

    Golden Boy has a deep roster at 140 and 147 pounds. Schaefer said Alexander was a candidate to face Paulie Malignaggi, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana. Andre Berto, the current IBF welterweight champion promoted by Lou DiBella, is also a candidate.

    Schaefer said he planned on bringing Alexander back early next year.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 16, 2011


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