Richard Schaefer stepped down as CEO of Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in a move that quickly rippled through the boxing world.
Schaefer and De la Hoya had been at odds over the direction of the company, although De la Hoya said at a May 3 news conference in Las Vegas that he wanted Schaefer to stay.
However Schaefer, a Swiss national who left banking to join De la Hoya’s fledgling promotional company more than 10 years ago, said he felt compelled to leave.
“This decision has required a great deal of personal reflection, but ultimately I concluded that I have no choice but to leave,” Schaefer said in a statement. “I am proud to remain a shareholder, so I have a strong interest in the continued success of the company.”
The news comes just days before Olympic gold medallist turned multiple professional world champion De la Hoya’s scheduled induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, on Sunday.
Tension between De la Hoya and Schaefer was reported to stem from the ex-fighter’s decision to reach out to rival promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.
They haven’t promoted together in years, a situation that scuppered a series of potentially lucrative fights.
Any hope, however, that Schaefer’s departure might boost the chance of a fight between unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather and Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao was quickly dashed by a report on ESPN.com that Mayweather was cutting ties with Golden Boy.
Mayweather, who has his own promotional company, has worked with Golden Boy 2007, but has a close relationship with Schaefer rather than De la Hoya.
Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com on Monday that Mayweather would “absolutely not” work with Golden Boy without Schaefer.
So any thaw between De la Hoya and Arum won’t include Mayweather.
Pacquiao this month extended his promotional deal with Top Rank, and Mayweather has vowed never to fight him as long as Pacquiao is promoted by Arum.