Exclusive Interview: The Golden CEO

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: The Golden CEO

GL: Since the last time we had you on Boxingtalk, Golden Boy Promotions has announced a couple of big fights like Mayweather-Hatton and Cotto-Mosley. In addition to that you have the September 15 Fireworks event featuring Juan Manuel Marquez and late replacement Rocky Juarez and Pacquiao-Barrera II on October 6. Can you give us some thoughts on these events? "September 15 is going to be an absolutely amazing card from top to bottom. It's probably one of the best cards Golden Boy has promoted. It's time for the Contender guys to show if they are contenders or pretenders. You're going to see some real fights with Sergio Mora and Kassim Ouma and Steve Forbes and Panchito Bojado. There's some other fun stuff coming up as it relates to this card with Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard, that's all I'm going to say for now.

"But make sure you guys all tune in on Boxingtalk where we will reveal something pretty big between Oscar and Sugar Ray Leonard as it relates to that card. Juan Manuel Marquez is unquestionably the best fighter in the world from Mexico and he's going to go in against the silver medal winner Rocky Juarez, who learned so much in his two fights with Marco Antonio Barrera. He's going to use that knowledge. He's the one who actually contacted us when Barrios was off saying he wanted the fight. He told us he knows what to do to defeat Juan Manuel and September 15 is just going to be an amazing night of boxing."

GL: Like October 6 and November 10 and December, Golden Boy has a monopoly on HBO PPV's for the rest of the year.

Richard Schaeffer: "October 6 will be a great rematch between Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera. Barrera wants to turn back the clock yet again. He wants to show that when he had the wild fire and the issues with his managerial team and his medical issues and all of these distractions were really the reason that he lost against Pacquiao. He wants to turn back the clock and show the world that when he is counted out, that's when the Baby Faced Assasin is at his best. He has proven that against Hamed and Erik Morales. This is what Barrera is all about and he lives for these kind of fights. Many of the big time fighters, the Mosley's, the Mayweather's, they want the big fights and they want to fight the best."

"This brings us to Mosley and Cotto, which in the ring, is the best match-up in the sport, period. It's happening at the legendary Madison Square Garden and then on December 8 you have Floyd Mayweather Jr, the pound for pound best, going up against Ricky Hatton and it's going to be another amazing night. The amount of ticket requests for this fight have been like nothing I've seen for any fight that we have promoted, period. We're going to have some announcements pretty soon as it relates to the tickets and the rest of that card."

GL: Since our last discussion Golden Boy has signed Ricky Hatton to a promotional deal. Can you share with us some thoughts on that signing?

RS: "Oscar always had a very nice relationship with Ricky and his father and we're going to promote Ricky for this fight. We haven't signed any long term deal, but we feel very fortunate to be able to show the Hatton's what we can do and what Golden Boy is all about."

GL: If Ricky Hatton pulls a huge upset and defeats Mayweather, what are the chances that he fights De La Hoya next?

RS: "I think they're pretty good. It's certainly a name Oscar has mentioned. I'm also not sure it would be a huge upset. A lot of people feel, and a lot of fighters I've spoken to feel that Hatton with his straight forward, in your face style, has a good chance to win agains the pound for pound best fighter in the world. Floyd Mayweather is truly the most talented fighter in boxing and he's one of the very best fighters to enter the ring since the days of Ali. It's going to be an exciting night. Remember that Hatton has a tremendous will and a lot of heart."

GL: It would seem logical that the winner of the Mayweather-Hatton fight has the inside track on a date with Oscar in the spring. However, it seems to me that the Cotto-Mosley effects that because if Mosley beats Cotto and Mayweather defeats Hatton, perhaps Oscar would want Mosley to fight the winner of Mayweather-Hatton. What's the best way for boxing fans to look at these potential scenarios involving Golden Boy's best?

RS: "The fact is that with Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, welterweight is clearly the hottest division in boxing. There's a lot of possible match-ups and it's good news for the fight fans. No matter how you match them up you're going to have very exciting fights."

GL: Is there a rematch clause in the Cotto-Mosley fight?

RS: "No there is not."

GL: "Is there any early indication as to who could be fighting under Mosley and Cotto and Mayweather and Hatton?

RS: "Our matchmakers are working on that right now, but I know one thing, some of the fights they're discussing are going to be very exciting. I think both companies, Top Rank and Golden Boy have shown that we really want to deliver quality fights from top to bottom. That's really what boxing is all about, action packed fights where both guys are laying it all on the line. Another fight we need to mention that is going to be a great fight is Humberto Soto and Joan Guzman and that's happening on HBO Boxing After Dark on November 17."

GL: Two guys on the undercard of the Hopkins-Wright fight really made their mark on July 21. Michael Katsidis and Jorge Linares. When can we expect to see them back in action?

RS: "Actually I spoke with the management of Katisidis and we're looking to get him back in the ring either in December or January where he will be defending his WBO belt, possibly in a unification bout. We're actively working on that. With Jorge Linares, I spoke with our co-promoter Mr. Honda and he's going to have a title defense in Japan before the end of the year and then he'll be ready to fight in the United States in the early part of next year. And you're absolutely right, those two guys were discovered by the American public on that show. Since I've been involved in boxing, I've never had the President of HBO Sports calling me on my cell phone during the fight, telling me how much he liked this guys, talking about Katsidis.

"Arturo Gatti, the ultimate warrior of boxing retired and then a few weeks later the American public was introduced to Michael Katsidis and I'm sure you agree Greg, he has a lot of similarities to Arturo Gatti."

GL: Golden Boy Breaking news and Boxingtalk go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly . Since we're talking about the lightweights, it's hard for us to ignore the best lightweight in the world Joel Casamayor. Tell us about that signing.

RS: "We were so excited that we were able to work out a deal with Casamayor and we're thrilled to have him part of the Golden BOy family. He's definitely going to be seeing action on one of these big cards coming up and we've got some exciting things in store for him."

GL: Is Oscar De La Hoya fighting on May 5, 2008?

RS: "Yes."

GL: That was simple enough. The difficult question is, who will he fight?

RS: "Now you're asking the tough one."

GL: I imagine it won't be Sugar Ray Leonard.

RS: "Well stay tuned for the Sugar Ray Leonard news. Oscar is going to wait and see what's going to happen with these various fights happening in November and December. Oscar and I will sit down and he will give my marching orders to negotiate a fight on his behalf."

GL: What were your thoughts on the Hopkins-Wright fight and will Golden Boy Promotions still work closely with Winky Wright?

RS: "I think it certainly was a much better fight than people anticipated it would be. Both guys wanted it and it was a good, close fight. But Bernard Hopkins showed what kind of ring master he is and he showed what he's all about. He knew how to solve the Winky Wright puzzle and nobody before him was really able to do that. That's just another feather in Bernard's cap. As it relates to Winky, he has nothing to be ashamed of because he put on a great performance at 170 pounds. That was clearly not Winky's weight, but he went in there to face the legendary Bernard Hopkins and he came up a little bit short. Not by much, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you look at the middleweight division today, I don't think there's anybody there who can beat Winky Wright. Not too many people are going to be calling out Winky because they're not going to be able to solve that puzzle and he's clearly a class above everybody at middleweight."

GL: If Barrera is unable to even the score against Pacquiao, will October 6 be his last fight?

RS: "My belief is that Barrera is going to have two more fights. This one plus an official retirement fight. If he wins against Pacquiao, I expect the last fight to be a victory lap. And if he falls short, I expect the last fight to be a tribute to his tremendous career and all he's achieved. There's no question that Barrera is one of the best fighters to ever come out of Mexico."

GL: Have you and Top Rank had any preliminary discussions to make Pacquiao-Marquez II if they both win their next fights?

RS: "Yes we have and based on what we understand, Manny Pacquiao would like to be back early next year in February or so, and that would be fine with Marquez. But the winners of those fights can fight early next year because they're going to be on the same schedule."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

RS: "Keep watching Boxingtalk for all the best, latest and greatest in the sport of boxing."


Send questions and comments to: gleon@Boxingtalk.com