After weeks of tension between Oscar De La Hoya and the chief executive of his boxing promotion company, Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer announced Monday he is leaving the company.
The announcement was made by a publicist who works for both Golden Boy and for unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., the sport’s pound-for-pound king who has shown interest in expanding his own boxing promotion company.
“After more than 10 years with Golden Boy, it is time to move on to the next chapter of my career,” Schaefer said in his statement. “This decision has required a great deal of personal reflection, but ultimately I concluded that I have no choice but to leave.”
De La Hoya's attorney, Bert Fields, released a statement late Monday afternoon saying, "Golden Boy has a written contract with Richard Schaefer that ends March, 2018.
The company intends to enforce that contract."
Schaefer told The Times before the statement was delivered that he can see himself working "inside and outside the sport ... it's time to move on."
De La Hoya, who has battled alcohol abuse in recent years requiring rehab stints, has been at odds with Schaefer since his most recent return over Schaefer’s insistence not to conduct co-promotions with rival promoter Top Rank and its chairman, Bob Arum.
De La Hoya has met with Arum recently and wants to try to make co-promotions, mentioning the possibility of something such as a Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Manny Pacquiao super-fight.
Schaefer and Arum have mutual distaste for each other, and Schaefer said previously he has been incensed and let down so often by Arum he no longer wants the companies to work together. The two failed repeatedly to negotiate a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
Schaefer has promoted all of Mayweather's bouts since 2007.
There has been speculation that Schaefer’s increasingly close relationship with Mayweather manager Al Haymon will lead to a new promotional company that could ultimately lead current Golden Boy fighters managed by Haymon, including welterweight Adrien Broner, unbeaten Los Angeles super-bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz and many others, to leave Golden Boy.
Haymon and Schaefer were both named in a lawsuit last month by promoter Kathy Duva on allegations of interfering with a deal for a fight between light-heavyweights Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev.
At a news conference last month, Alvarez, Golden Boy’s top fighter, professed his loyalty to De La Hoya.
Schaefer was mum about his future career plans, but he noted he remains a shareholder in Golden Boy and said, “I have a strong interest in the continued success of the company. … I now look forward to new challenges.”