It's not all golden between Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer

Oscar De La Hoya

Golden Boy Boxing Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya and CEO Richard Shaefer's relationship appears to have deteriorated to the point where a separation could be on the way. (Jed Jacobsohn / Golden Boy / May 4, 2013)

Wednesday began with breakfast in Pasadena with Oscar De La Hoya and assurances that all was well with his Golden Boy Boxing Promotions.

Wednesday continued with a phone conversation with Richard Schaefer and assurances that all was not well.

De La Hoya is the founder, president and majority stockholder of Golden Boy, a major force in the sport. Schaefer is Golden Boy's chief executive, who played a major role in building it into a major force.

De La Hoya said that talks were proceeding with Schaefer and that "this will be settled this week." He also said, "This is like a marriage. You have your disagreements, but you don't want a divorce."

Schaefer said he couldn't comment extensively and added that the only talks he knew about this week were "between our lawyers."

Sounds like a divorce.

If you are a boxing fan, this is significant because these are people who make the fights. If you are ever going to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight Manny Pacquiao, Golden Boy would be involved in some way, at least as the current boxing world turns. Even though there is a Mayweather Promotions and that banner is well displayed at all his fights, his company doesn't have a license to promote in Nevada, nor does it have the manpower to put on one of these huge shows. Golden Boy does and has.

This is also significant because Golden Boy is one of two major boxing promotion companies in the U.S. The other is Top Rank, run by Bob Arum.

TV is a big part of this, as it is of everything in sports. Golden Boy's big fights are on Showtime, Top Rank's on HBO. Currently, never the 'twain shall meet.

Arum hates Schaefer and has said so publicly in so many words. Schaefer hates Arum and has said so publicly in so many words. De La Hoya fought for Arum, together they made millions, they split up, kissed and made up several times, and, in the last several years, split up again. De La Hoya pretty much said, in so many words, he hated Arum. Specifically, he referred to Top Rank's business as a "sinking ship."

They became the Boxing Bickersons.

Recently, De La Hoya called Arum and they kissed and made up again. Zsa Zsa Gabor didn't have this many reconciliations.

Arum and Schaefer have not made up. Probably won't in their lifetime, although there is always the overriding caveat that says, "this is boxing."

Arum is formerly a New York lawyer and Schaefer formerly a Swiss banker. That shouldn't matter but seems to. In business, things are not supposed to get personal. With these two, they did.

It became a several-year history of Arum distrusting Schaefer and shooting off his mouth about it, as he tends to. And Schaefer hearing the public shots he was taken from Arum and privately seething more and more, as he tends to.

So, once De La Hoya sought out Arum last month, and they had the reconciliation No. 467, by phone and in private meetings, Schaefer viewed that as the straw that broke the Swiss banker's back.

De La Hoya has responded recently to questions about his company's internal turmoil by calling things "peachy," and saying that Schaefer has "just been on vacation."

Schaefer has responded by saying, "Things are absolutely not peachy."

And so, as the world of big-time boxing turns, it is like a smelly pig on a spit.

Expect De La Hoya and Schaefer to part company, with the big winners the same big winners as in all these things. The lawyers.

CHICAGO

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