Schaefer starts building process of new company with Sunday debuts
Richard Schaefer was fond of saying when he was CEO of Golden Boy that he was only interested in doing big shows, big events, happenings, and he did a lot of them, working with Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and scores of others.
But on Sunday, Schaefer will depart from the blockbuster cards of the past for something different. While he may be associated with a smaller show on a reduced scale — the undertaking is just as significant. Schaefer’s long-term plan since he came back to boxing after his fallout with Golden Boy revolves around a contingent of young boxers he signed in recent months, most of whom will be on display Sunday night in a PBC on Fox Sports 1 (9:30 p.m. ET) card he is promoting from the Novo at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Riverside’s Josesito Lopez (34-7, 19 knockouts) takes on Saul Corral (22-8, 13 KOs) in the main event.
But it’s the undercard that had Schaefer on the phone for 32 minutes last month, extolling the virtues of each fighter because they are signed to him in his second act in the sport. A creative, garrulous promoter, Schaefer was in full-on publicity mode, talking up Karlos Balderas, whose pro debut will be featured on the FS1 broadcast, Misael Rodriguez, Lindolfo Delgado, Eimantas Stanionis and Money Powell IV, as if they were all on the verge of PPV title fights. In this respect, he was like a veteran basketball coach enjoying a youth movement. (Schaefer also inked Tony Yoko, a French Olympian who captured gold at super heavyweight last summer and is scheduled to turn pro on June 2 in Paris.)
“I believe this new generation is going to be the future of the sport, the future stars, future Ringstars,” he said to RingTV.com, referencing the name of his new company, Ringstar Sports. “Sunday is usually a big day for sports. I want these young guys to be seen, not only by the hardcore boxing fans but really by families. It’s a really great group of youngsters that I put together where it’s not going to be just one of them that’s going to stand out. But all of them are going to be standouts.”
Schaefer discussed the 2016 U.S. Olympian, Balderas, his flagship signing out of the Rio Games last summer. Balderas is making his debut against Thomas Smith (3-4-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round junior lightweight bout. “He’s the most talked about and sought-out,” Schaefer said, “whether it was Oscar or Arum or Mr. Honda or others. Pretty much everybody was after him. I think he reminds many of a young Oscar.”
Then there’s Mexican Olympians Rodriguez, who captured bronze and is managed by Abner Mares, and lightweight Lindolfo Delgado. Stanionis is trained by Freddie Roach, managed by Shelly Finkel and represented Lithuania in Rio. Of Rodriguez, who is trained by Robert Garcia, Schaefer said he had an “extremely crowd-pleasing style” and compared him to middleweight unified champion Gennady Golovkin in his all-action mindset.
Schaefer kept going, praising Powell, a standout U.S. amateur, and the venue and discussing his plans going forward. “I think you can sense it in my voice when I go through their names,” he said. “These aren’t just guys who I signed,” he went on, saying he turned down many others who sought his services. “I am building Ringstar with a system behind it. I really want to promote guys who I am truly excited about.” He kept going, his enthusiasm spilling over because he had more to talk about.