De La Hoya-Schaefer rift runs deeper
- Updated: July 27, 2014
Only days after entering a drug treatment facility for the second time, recent Hall of Fame inductee was offered a $100 million dollar buyout for his company, Golden Boy Promotions.
A report by ESPN’s Dan Rafael, sheds new light into the growing out-of-the-ring drama between GBP and their former CEO, Richard Schaefer.
The article cites numerous inside sources that say that attorney Robert Shapiro delivered an offer that Schaefer was negotiating to sell the company for $100 million.
“Oscar was in an extremely dark place and he was being told, ‘This business, boxing, is bad for you. It’s time for you to get out,'” said the source to ESPN.com.
“What was given to him in the condition he was in, there was no way he could process it. It wasn’t something he wanted to do but he was told, ‘You can get out, you can get away from the pressures, you can make a bunch of money.’ He was in a very vulnerable situation.”
“Oscar was in rehab, medicated and he was being told, ‘You’re through with boxing. Sell your company.’ It was a bad situation. It was a s—– thing for Richard to do the way he did it,” the source said.
Bernard Hopkins, who owns a 5% stake in the company, was friendly with Schaefer and most expected Hopkins to jump ship once Schaefer resigned.
However, Hopkins met with De La Hoya days before the July 12 showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, and made a decision to remain with the company.
“I’m the most loyal guy in the world as long as you have my back. I wanted to hear from Oscar about what was going on and I got the answers,”
“Some I liked, some I didn’t. But I came out with a clear head about whether I still want to be part of the company. The answer was yes, I do.”
Hopkins expounded on the De La Hoya/Schaefer rift.
“Eventually, companies are built up and then they are sold,”
“Richard mentioned the possibility to Eric (Hopkins’ attorney), who mentioned it to me. I wouldn’t have had a problem with it. I would have made money. I heard the company was going to be sold and Oscar approved it and then changed his mind. My thing is a person has a right to change their mind.
“To know that a relationship broke up, it’s a shame if it’s over that. They had a great situation going on. Richard ran the company. Oscar was dealing with his own demons and Richard was a hard worker, but there are some ‘buts’ in there.”
De La Hoya has since taken the helm of the company he founded in 2011, running press conferences and being a presence at fights, although he was notably absent for the Mayweather/Maidana II tour due to a pre-planned vacation, and it was Schaefer who was spotted at the Los Angeles portion of the press conference last week.
“I seriously thought that running a promotional company was difficult. But it’s not. It’s not difficult. It’s fun,” De La Hoya said. “I mean this is my life. This is what I know, this is what I breathe, boxing.
“Right now we’re in this transition we’re making, which is a very smooth one. We’re going through the storm right now but the way I see it we’re going through a California storm, which means it’s not a Florida storm, a category 5. It’s a lot smaller, a lot smoother. Companies go through transitions left and right all the time. There are CEOs who get fired and CEOs who resign and the show must go on. I think people were expecting a transition that was going to be a lot more difficult.”
De La Hoya fired off some other GBP employees following Schaefer’s exit, and talked about hiring a company president to help carry the load along with him.
“We’re living the time of our life now. That means everything to me,” he said. “I had issues, I had problems, yes, I did. I am just very fortunate that I was able to come back because a lot of people are statistics. I didn’t want to be a statistic. I’m very fortunate and very blessed that I found the strength, that I came back.
“I love what I do. [Boxing] is my passion. That’s why I say that I don’t think it’s difficult [to run a promotional company]. In the state of mind that I was, practically all my life, taking on this type of responsibility would have been very difficult. I probably would have failed at it. But the fact is that I’m finally at peace with myself.”