Tuesday, March 21, 2023  |



Schaefer blasts NY Commission over Mares license


Richard Schaefer took aim on Monday at the besieged New York State Athletic Commission for barring Abner Mares from fighting on June 25 at Barclays Center in because of an issue with his vision. The New York commission has been under siege since heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov suffered brain damage and fell into a coma after a 2013 bout with Mike Perez.

“They’ve had a very difficult year in New York, as it relates to all the ins and outs of the commission,” Schaefer said on a conference call on Monday to promote Mares’ rescheduled fight with secondary featherweight titleholder Jesus Cuellar for Dec. 10 in Los Angeles on Showtime. “I think anybody in boxing would agree that it’s a bit of a mess out there. But then you look at California. I think California, with Andy Foster on top, is one of the best-run, frankly, the best-run athletic commission.”

The New York State Inspector General released a damning report in July, finding the commission didn’t adequately care for Abdusalamov during and after his match with Perez. The Commission also recently approved new health insurance regulations that most promoters find untenable; boxing has been absent from the state since the summer. When Mares was denied a license by the commission in June to fight Cuellar, many saw it as a reaction to what happened to Abdusalamov. Mares had surgery in 2008 to repair a torn retina but has fought numerous times since, just never in New York.

Mares and Schaefer reassured those who may have concerns that Mares’ left eye has been thoroughly examined and is at no greater risk than other fighters. Mares was cleared to fight next month by the California commission and Schaefer said he spoke with Mares’ personal physician before signing off on the bout, which he is co-promoting with Tom Brown.