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September 20, 2014

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CEO’s exit leaves De La Hoya’s Golden Boy in shakeup

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Steve Marcus

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, greets undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. at MGM Grand on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. Mayweather will face Canelo Alvarez of Mexico in a WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept. 14.

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Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, attends a news conference at the MGM Grand Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

Oscar De La Hoya's main partner in Golden Boy Promotions is leaving the company because of a dispute that involves rival promoter Bob Arum and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Richard Schaefer, who has served more than a decade as chief executive officer of the boxing company, issued a statement Monday saying it is time to move on to other opportunities.

"This decision has required a great deal of personal reflection, but ultimately I concluded that I have no choice but to leave," Schaefer said. "I have succeeded in banking and I have succeeded in boxing, and I look forward to the next opportunity."

Schaefer's exit comes after months of speculation over a battle raging with De La Hoya over the future of Golden Boy. Schaefer has served as the de facto promoter for Mayweather for several years, and is widely expected to be involved in future Mayweather fights in some capacity.

De La Hoya said last month he had reconciled with Arum, who promoted him most of his career, and wouldn't rule out future fights between Golden Boy boxers and Arum's Top Rank roster. Mayweather has consistently refused to fight Manny Pacquiao, partly because he is promoted by Arum, who was also Mayweather's former promoter.

Schaefer has built a close relationship with Mayweather and Al Haymon, who manages Mayweather and several top fighters. But Schaefer said he would never work with Arum or have fights between Golden Boy and the rival company.

Schaefer, who was a banker before joining with De La Hoya, has largely run Golden Boy in recent years while De La Hoya battled drug and alcohol addictions. De La Hoya went into rehab for a second time last September on the eve of Mayweather's fight against Canelo Alvarez, and said recently that he was planning to regain control of the company now that he is sober.

"I have my vision and I have my plans," De La Hoya said last month, just hours before Mayweather fought Marcos Maidana. "Nobody is going to stop me from doing this. The company isn't called Golden Boy for nothing."

A spokesman for De La Hoya said the fighter was unavailable Monday to comment on Schaefer's departure.

In his statement, Schaefer noted that he still remains a shareholder in the Los Angeles company and has a strong interest in its continued success. Golden Boy and Top Rank are by far the two biggest promoters in boxing, with Golden Boy aligned with the Showtime cable network and Top Rank with HBO.

De La Hoya started Golden Boy while he was still fighting and quickly built a strong stable of fighters. But it is Schaefer who most in boxing credit with keeping the company strong while in control of the day-to-day operations.

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