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Former U.S. Olympian Balderas to sign with Richard Schaefer

Photo courtesy of USA Boxing
Fighters Network

Richard Schaefer is already promoting his first show. Now, he’s about to ink his first fighter, and it should cause ripples throughout the boxing industry.

Highly-touted U.S. Olympian Carlos Balderas plans to sign with Schaefer’s new promotional venture, Ringstar Promotions, Balderas told on Friday. When he does put pen to paper, Balderas, who reached the quarterfinals of the Rio Games this summer, will become the first boxer that Schaefer has contracted since his falling out with Oscar De La Hoya at Golden Boy in 2014 forced him to the sidelines.

Balderas said he was also considering Top Rank and coincidentally — Golden Boy — before he decided to go with Schaefer, the former CEO of Oscar De La Hoya’s firm. The 20-year-old from Santa Maria, California plans to campaign at lightweight after doing so at the Olympics (at 132 pounds).

“Richard is a great guy,” Balderas said in a phone interview. “He’s been very, very honest with me, to my family. He’s been very straightforward. It should be soon,” he said of when he plans to sign. “We’ve been talking to him and his people and I feel very comfortable with them.”

Schaefer is promoting a blockbuster Showtime card on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles that features Abner Mares vs. Jesus Cuellar for a secondary featherweight title in the main event and 154-pound titleholder Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams in the televised co-feature. But Balderas said he will wait until early 2017, likely February to make his pro debut. Schaefer, along with Balderas’ father, Xenon, didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

“Ever since I got back from the Olympics, I haven’t really taken a break because we’ve been back and forth with the promoters,” said Balderas, who went 6-1 in the World Series of Boxing in 2015-16, winning gold in his division to qualify for the Olympics. “I haven’t taken a vacation,” he went on. “So after this, I want to take a small vacation with my family and then we’ll get back to training. I was looking at February and then we’ll get the ball rolling from there. I think December is a little too early.”

Balderas provided a small window into Schaefer’s plans as a promoter, saying he only wants to sign a small number of fighters, from 5-10, one of which, Balderas said, could also include his older brother Jose. “It’s just a matter of time until he becomes a big promoter again,” he said. “I’m just excited to fight.”


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