World leaders have offered him this advice: It happens. People come and go. People get fired.
Trust in your team, in those you feel are most loyal.
Full speed ahead.
“This has taught me that promoting isn’t difficult at all,” Oscar De La Hoya said. “This is my life. It’s what I breathe. This is what I was born to do, first inside the ring as a fighter and now outside it as a promoter.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all.”
But it has been there lately, like a giant, heavy, monsoon cloud, hanging over Golden Boy Promotions and its founder in the wake of a company shake-up that has many wondering how successful it will prove without the man who built the brand to implausible heights while De La Hoya was continuing to fight his addictive demons in rehab.
Without what had been the golden touch of Richard Schaefer.
Suddenly, on Thursday, the skies cleared a bit.
Suddenly, the sun shined brightly.
Golden Boy had its final news conference for the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara fight, for the 155-pound catch-weight bout Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden, for the next step in the rising and profitable career of young Alvarez.
But the day’s most important news had nothing to do with a main event this week or whether Alvarez also has sources that insist LeBron James is returning to Cleveland.
Although you figure his would be as good as any.
The relationship most thought severed in boxing isn’t all that fractured, at least not from now until Sept. 13. That’s when Floyd Mayweather Jr. will fight next, having announced he will grant Marcos Maidana a rematch of their tussle in May, scored a majority decision for Mayweather.
The important part: The fight at the MGM Grand will be co-promoted by Golden Boy, which has been the promoter of record for Mayweather’s past nine fights and helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars.
The same Golden Boy that Mayweather said he no longer would do business with once Schaefer resigned from the company in June.
Maybe it’s as simple as some believe, that Mayweather still hasn’t obtained his promoter’s license in Nevada and needed someone to work with to fight in Las Vegas in September.
That this is a one-time thing for him and a Schaefer-less Golden Boy, which promotes Maidana.
But maybe it’s more than that.
I hope so.
Boxing should, too.
Schaefer is the former CEO of Golden Boy whom the company has filed an arbitration against for $50 million in damages. Bruce Binkow, the former chief operating officer and chief marketing officer, also left Golden Boy. He was recently hired by Mayweather Promotions.
It is believed that once all legal issues are settled with Golden Boy, Schaefer also will officially switch allegiances and work again alongside Mayweather and his team.
Throw in a hospital and someone rising from the dead, and this is boxing’s version of a popular soap opera.
But no one makes money like Mayweather, and no one in boxing has better advisers supporting them. No matter what he thinks of De La Hoya — I can just picture Floyd and Justin Bieber throwing darts at a picture of Oscar while Johnny Manziel chats up a few models at the mansion — Mayweather is one of sport’s smartest businessmen.
This is a smart move.
“Being part of the Floyd business is very good for us,” De La Hoya said. “There is no reason for Floyd and I not to be working together. We don’t have to be best friends. We also don’t have to be enemies or rivals or have issues. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I really don’t. He’s beaten like eight of my guys. Don’t you think I’m frustrated?
“Look. We as promoters are always looking to be part of the biggest events. Without teaming up with Mayweather, we can’t make that happen. I’m sure he could have chosen to work with somebody else. But behind his decision was common sense. It’s business. We know how to promote fights. It doesn’t matter how this got done. What we both bring to the table is very valuable. It’s a powerhouse.”
Question is, for how long?
De La Hoya held some heavy leverage with his Nevada license. The timing couldn’t have been better for him in terms of when Mayweather is next scheduled to fight. Schaefer is also too connected, too respected, too proven in the boxing world not to believe that once he settles things with Golden Boy, he will pursue a promotional license and begin cashing in on all his relationships within the sport.
But the Golden Boy brand is hardly an afterthought. Mayweather might have three or four fights remaining in his career, and his goal of always earning the most money possible won’t change.
Maybe it’s not a perfect marriage, Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions.
But it has been a extremely lucrative one.
“Over the years, emotions, rumors, things get in the way,” De La Hoya said. “What I said. What he said. Doesn’t matter. The bottom line is, this is what’s best for boxing.”
It’s what is best for everyone’s pockets.
At day’s end, that’s all these guys care about.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on “Gridlock,” ESPN 1100 and 98.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.