In light of recent events, the new-old-guard of the modern boxing world has suddenly shifted its weight, causing a stir in the boxing community, speculating on potential downstream events such as whether fights that fans have been calling for can actually be made. In summary, Richard Schaefer, the acting CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, is effectively retired from this position in Golden Boy, but is still contractually bound to Golden Boy and still holds shares with the company.
As a partner to Oscar De La Hoya since 2000, Schaefer was instrumental in building his promoting company to the behemoth it is today. He has architected a boxing landscape that is built to reward the business-minded boxer in an era where, understandably, boxers of great ability were taken advantage of, abused, and discarded as a shell of their former selves. Schaefer and the Golden Boy were out to make a difference, and were aptly rewarded with generations of fighters that wanted to be recognized and wanted to make money. Arguably, Al Haymon and Mayweather stepped so much further into that philosophy and maximized the profit to risk ratio with a generation of fighters all seemingly defensive and powerful in style, with matchups won before even stepping into the scales. What was once a honorable venture in changing boxing turned into a beast cranking out fighters that look the part, and crank out even more money. Here’s my formula for the PPV Cash Cow Fighter:
- Oozing with confidence
- Has a nice smile/face that hasn’t been pounded with punches
- Obsessively conditioned body
- Clinch first/fight back later
- Likes to shake head to opponent, feigns “That didn’t hurt.”
- Probably not a bad dancer
- Growing posse with a fat guy and small guys
- Probably is a LeBron fan
- Hedging to be a movie/rap star on the side
- Makes a fashion statement outside of the ring
- Fiance ringside with a massive ring
- Likes to be in pictures with the Watson Twins
Of course, in regular BMB fashion, let’s be critical optimists of this situation. I believe greatly that this shift in the landscape is a monumental chance for fighters to take ownership of their futures in the sport. I’m not saying that they have to be different fighters, but they have a chance to directly tap into the fans rather than try to appease the big wigs in the promotional thrones. They don’t have that much weight anymore, the fans with their money do. Too long has boxing taken advantage of the media and skewed the so called value of a fighter with superficial quantities like PPV buys. Is PPV buys correlated with the international professional record of a fighter? Is PPV buys correlated with the hours put in the gym or miles pounding pavement? In the same vein that students can’t be judged with their SAT or GRE scores alone, boxers too should access all their talents and dimensions to their game (personality, values, work ethic, humor, community) along with the new wave of media channels – Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook – to market themselves and control their destiny.
Here’s to a bright future for boxing.