Bob Arum on Oscar De La Hoya: ‘Our relationship is totally repaired’
LAS VEGAS — Bob Arum said that a two-and-a half-hour meeting on Thursday with his stepson, Top Rank President Todd duBoef, and Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya has "totally repaired" the Top Rank CEO's acrimonious relationship with De La Hoya, a long-time promotional rival.
Although they never talked business at Arum's vaction home in Los Angeles, the 82-year-old promoter said that De La Hoya, who turned professional under the Top Rank banner after winning an Olympic gold medal, is hopeful of mending fences and perhaps working together in the future.
"Our relationship is now totally repaired, whether we do any specific business, we will have a friendly relationship between Todd and I on our side and Oscar. We'll have a collegial relationship," Arum said of the development first reported by The New York Daily News.
"It was a very emotional meeting. We hugged each other. Oscar meant a lot to me, and I meant a lot to him. We had a helluva ride together. It was the right thing to do."
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer had a short response to the news.
"That's great," said Schaefer, who is in Las Vegas promoting Saturday night's Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana fight. "But I think that those two and a half hours might have been better used to promote a pay per view this weekend."
De La Hoya could not be reached for an immediate comment.
"I did go up to his house to make peace with him. I told him, 'Look, this meeting is not a business meeting. Let's bury the hatchet. And who knows, maybe down the road we can work together,'" said De La Hoya, according to The New York Daily News.
"Top Rank is a major player in the boxing industry and Golden Boy is the player in the boxing industry. So why not get the two powerhouses together and make the fights that the fans want to see?"
De La Hoya and Schaefer, however, have disagreed in regard to De La Hoya's move to patch things up with Arum, resulting in a "Cold War" between the sport's two largest and most powerful promotional entities. Golden Boy is aligned with Showtime, and HBO has severed ties with Golden Boy.
Schaefer has told RingTV.com said that negotiations are underway to determine whether he will remain as the CEO of Golden Boy or whether he will part ways with the company that he has nurtured from the very beginning.
“I really can’t tell you and I don’t want to tell you where we stand in those negotiations," said Schaefer. "One thing I do not believe in is to create the mess. That’s not my style.”
Schaefer said he and De La Hoya have a different vision on the direction the company should be heading. De La Hoya has also said he would like the company to do business with Arum at Top Rank, though Schaefer has vowed to never again do business with Arum.
“His vision is something I’ve tried many times, which is to make peace with Bob Arum,” said Schaefer during his interview with RingTV.com. "But I came to realize that Bob is the way he is. As they say a leopard never changes his spots. I tried it so many times and I gave up. His entire career that’s what Bob Arum thrives on is to have these feuds. It used to be with Don King for a long time."
In an interview with USA Today, De La Hoya said that he wants to work with Arum and still keep Schaefer as his CEO. De La Hoya is expecting to arrive on Saturday.
"I want to end this cold war for the sake of boxing. That's it. Boxing is a sport that when you put the best against the best up in that ring, people are going to watch and people are going to fall in love with boxing all over again," said De La Hoya, according to USA Today.
"Right now, Bob Arum has fighters and we have fighters that if we match them together, we can make some special fights together. I believe in Golden Boy and believe in boxing, and a perfect way to start helping the sport and treating the fans is by ending this cold war," said De La Hoya.
"This is a business. And Richard is doing the job as the CEO of the company. In my opinion he's doing a great job. I want him to stay for the duration of his contract, which is for seven more years. I have always praised the job he's done at Golden Boy. This is a business and I have to look out for my business. I don't know what personal feud Richard has with Bob Arum, I just don't know."
Meanwhile Arum told RingTV.com that he was pleased with the results of his reunion with De La Hoya.
"I would say that it lasted two and a half hours. We had lunch. It was at our vacation house in Los Angeles. We met yesterday. There was a good tenor to our conversation. Todd and I met with Oscar, and reminisced about old times," said Arum. "We talked about how it was crazy that we were at odds. We buried the hatchet, and it as a very productive meeting. We never talked any specific business, ever."