There has been a good amount of whispering and chatter lately about a rift between the two big chiefs at Golden Boy Promotions, CEO Richard Schaefer and founder Oscar De La Hoya, and it appears we may learn more soon, as De La Hoya tweeted about the situation somewhat cryptically last night.
For his part, Schaefer says these are just rumors, and that he won't comment on rumors. De La Hoya seems to have no problem commenting on rumors:
Regarding all these rumors about my company and Richard Schafer, I will be setting the record straight soon.— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) March 15, 2014
The wording there could mean something: "my company and Richard Schaefer." Or it might not, since it's Oscar we're talking about and sometimes he words things in a weird way.
There has been some talk that Schaefer may be on the outs at Golden Boy, but that would be a real stunner. Like him or not, Schaefer has been the backbone of Golden Boy from the get-go. Without his input, business acumen, and work as the real promoter of the company, Golden Boy could have flopped as most expected it would when the company formed. Even with De La Hoya -- boxing's biggest star at the time -- and some other top name fighters involved right away, the business side of things could have been ugly without someone doing the job that Schaefer has done at the head of the table.
If Schaefer were to leave or be forced out at GBP, he'd be difficult to replace. De La Hoya has been notably absent in recent months, during and following his latest reported stint in rehab. He hasn't been at fights, press conferences, or press events, even for Canelo-Angulo last week, and Canelo is considered "Oscar's fighter" by some.
The other issue with Schaefer potentially not being with Golden Boy anymore is that it may hurt the relationship between Floyd Mayweather and Golden Boy -- not that Mayweather would have much choice but to keep working with them, unless he dislikes De La Hoya more than he does Bob Arum, which is unlikely. Mayweather and De La Hoya are far from friends, and Floyd has always made sure to point out that he does his business with Richard Schaefer. The two sides have worked together exclusively since Floyd's 2007 fight against De La Hoya.
I don't want to be too dramatic about something that may turn out to be nothing at all, but generally speaking with boxing, where there's smoke, there's at least a little fire. Even if this time they both deny anything is wrong and keep working together like normal, one more spark and the forest could go up next time there's some issue. And this is a situation that could seriously change American boxing, which has seen a lot of landscape shifting the last few years.