De La Hoya confident Wilder will sign to face Stiverne
Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya expressed confidence that heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder will soon sign to challenge WBC beltholder Bermane Stiverne, who De La Hoya said had reached an agreement with his own promoter, Don King, on Wednesday.
With Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 knockouts) taken care of, it is now up to Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) and his co-manager and co-trainer, Jay Deas, to come to terms with his advisor, Al Haymon, De La Hoya said.
“Stiverne is done. Stiverne has agreed and so Al is dealing with Deontay. I spoke to Al last week and he was dealing with Deas,” said De La Hoya during an interview with RingTV.com. “Absolutely, Al will get it done…I do know for sure that Stiverne is done and we’re just waiting on Al to see when Deontay signs and waiting on Al to see when he’s going to have everything finalized with King.”
Stiverne, 35, was last in action for a sixth-round technical knockout of Chris Arreola in May, earning the belt that was vacated when Vitali Klitschko retired.
In his last fight, in August, the 28-year-old Wilder registered a fourth-round technical knockout over journeyman Jason Gavern. A 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Wilder was coming off a 96-second stoppage of Malik Scott in a WBC title eliminator bout in March.
“My guess would be that with Al being as meticulous and diligent as he is, that he is going through this word-for-word and line-for-line and that he is making sure that everything is the way that it should be and then it will get forwarded to us,” said Deas. “That’s usually Al. He doesn’t do things that aren’t finished in every sense of the word. So Al is more interested in it being done right than it being done fast.
“Once we get the contract, the information that I have so far sounds agreeable. We’re ready to go. I don’t think that there is going to be any hold up on our part. I’ll look it over just like Al did and then take it to Deontay, who I see every day, and then we’ll discuss it. And if there is anything that we have any concerns about, then we’ll deal with Al on those. But we’ve never had any concerns about anything that Al has sent to us before. We’re ready to get this thing going.”
De La Hoya acknowledged a report by ESPN.com that Wilder’s contract with Golden Boy contained a “key man” clause, pertaining to Richard Schaefer, who resigned as the company’s CEO in June.
Schaefer’s exit, according to ESPN.com, would mean Wilder could exercise the clause and become a free agent from Golden Boy. Although Haymon reportedly invoked the clause, De La Hoya has filed a suit claiming to have an existing contract with Schaefer through March 2018.
“Richard put a key man clause in Deontay’s contract stating that if Richard leaves Golden Boy, then Deontay’s contract is void. But obviously, I still have a contract with Richard, so technically, I’m Deontay’s promoter. I’m Deontay’s promoter because I have a firm contract with Richard,” said De La Hoya.
“We’re happy to be promoting Deontay and to hopefully have the next great American heavyweight champion, which is huge. I’m really excited about Deontay Wilder being with Golden Boy and being possibly the next great heavyweight champion of the world.”
Deas, for his part, said, “We’ve always had a good relationship with Golden Boy,” adding, “They’ve been involved in Deontay’s career since he’s first turned pro.”