After 12 years at the helm and with a disintegrating relationship with company founder Oscar De La Hoya, Richard Schaefer announced Monday he has stepped down as chief executive officer of Golden Boy Promotions.
In recent months, tensions have flared between Schaefer and De La Hoya, who serves as the company's president. De La Hoya said during a May 3 news conference in Las Vegas that he wanted to retain Schaefer as CEO, but Schaefer decided he was unable to work with De La Hoya efficiently enough to continue.
Schaefer remains a shareholder and said he "wished the best for Golden Boy going forward," but also said he will not attend De La Hoya's induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., on Sunday.
De La Hoya has been in meetings and was unavailable for comment. No successor was named.
Clearly the split was not amicable. Schaefer wasn't happy when De La Hoya reached out to Top Rank's Bob Arum and tried to settle the long-standing differences between the companies. The two haven't promoted together in years and that has led to a series of potential major fights not being made. The feud became known as boxing's "Cold War."
Arum said Monday he has settled his differences with De La Hoya and is looking forward to working with him to put on major fight cards.
"We have had talks about working together, but nothing specific," Arum said of his reconciliation and recent talks with De La Hoya. "We never talked about Jones fighting Smith because Oscar didn't feel he was in a position to do so until this was resolved. We both said we wanted to work together and would look to do so wherever possible. But now that this has happened, we will talk specifics soon."
Schaefer said he was most proud of building Golden Boy into a powerhouse that was arguably the No. 1 promoter in the world. In addition, he said he helped lift the perception of boxing and did away with much of the negativity that surrounded the sport.
Schaefer, who served as De La Hoya's manager prior to the founding of Golden Boy in 2002, said during a brief telephone interview with Yahoo Sports he's uncertain whether he will remain in boxing.
"I'm really happy with what I've accomplished" as Golden Boy's founding CEO, Schaefer said. "In 2000, when I left my banking days behind, I left very happy. I was the No. 1 banker in the U.S., private banker, and I had felt I'd accomplished a lot and I moved on to a new challenge. That was boxing. Now, I'm at a crossroads again.
"I could do something totally different, or am I going to stay involved in some form in boxing? We shall see. But the fact is, I have a large number of relationships in the sports and entertainment fields, so I'm going to weigh all of that and see what I'm going to do."
Under his direction, Golden Boy promoted the two largest pay-per-view shows in boxing history. The 2007 match between De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather is the top-selling pay-per-view ever at 2.5 million, while the 2013 bout between Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez is the largest-grossing, with revenues in excess of $150 million.