Goossen confirms Ward-Abraham May 14 is a go.
Golden Boy CEO puts Guerrero’s ducks in a row.
Arum says Rachel Donaire comes off like a ‘ho.
I enjoyed talking Tuesday with Richard Schaefer as the Golden Boy CEO presided during a teleconference hyping Robert Guerrero’s April 9 lightweight bout with Michael Katsidis in Las Vegas. It wasn’t like the light-hearted banter Dan Goossen and I conduct on the phone every few months, but it did feel like dialogue.
Whereas, Robert Arum makes me feel like crap.
The Guerrero-Katsidis presser more or less coincided with Goossen-Tutor’s announcement that the Andre Ward-Arthur Abraham super-middleweight title bout in Showtime’s Super Six tournament will take place May 14 in Carson, Calif., as has been reported here and elsewhere. It also more or less coincided with the latest fallout from Nonito Donaire’s defection from Arum’s Top Rank to Golden Boy.
Arum followed up on his recent pronouncement that Donaire ain’t all that anyway with a complaint that Rachel Marcial Donaire comports herself like a tart. Well, that ought to bring Nonito back to the Top Rank fold, eh?
The point is, Guerrero used to be with Goossen-Tutor and defected to Golden Boy. Donaire used to be with Gary Shaw and defected to Top Rank. Backbiting invariably ensues, and it’s interesting to note not only the promoters’ public relations skills in the clinches, but also which promoters are the right people to be controlling these top three Bay Area stars.
The promotional interrelationships were underscored last week when Arum and his longtime adversary Don King co-promoted the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga bout and held court beforehand.
Well, my interaction with Schaefer wasn’t that interesting, although he seemed to sense some impatience in my questions about Guerrero’s all-too-gradual career progress . “Appearing regularly on HBO is a big step in Robert’s career,” Schaefer said patiently and not condescendingly. Now that he has “a platform on HBO to showcase his talents,” Schaefer said, “it’s just a matter of time.”
I would have asked questions about the possibility that Gilroy native Guerrero might fight again in San Jose, which Golden Boy promised us two years ago and hasn’t delivered, but the allotted time for the press conference had been reached and I desisted.
Guerrero had talked mostly about being free to train in Las Vegas now that wife Casey’s 2010 bone marrow transplant can be considered a success. “I’m 100 percent focused,” the Ghost said, “and I’m always in great shape.” The combination will yield, he said, “a whole new Robert Guerrero.”
Katsidis, piped in from his training site in Thailand, where it was nearly midnight, was asked whether he might have preferred a tune-up bout, coming off his grueling eighth-round loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last fall, but he said he was pleased that Golden Boy had found him an opponent as formidable as Guerrero.
“Why not?” the Australian said tersely. “It’s my job. I’m not here for a holiday.”
Katsidis also said “it’s for a world title,” but that’s still being worked out, Schaefer said. The CEO said he’ll be talking next week with Marquez, who dodged a mandatory defense of the WBO lightweight title against Guerrero. Therefore that belt may be up for grabs by April 9.
Schaefer also gamely let us in on a development that he said transpired during the teleconference, that the WBA had just announced it would be sanctioning Guerrero-Katsidis for its WBA Interim lightweight title. Hey, all of these guys have to sell some snake oil.
Still Schaefer was not nearly as stiff as his image. I think seeking a one-on-one interview might be fruitful.
Arum, on the other hand, totally undid all the good work his staff had done beforehand when I met him last year in Las Vegas. P.R. chief Lee Samuels remembers me from my Mercury News coverage in the 1990s and has been notably solicitous. Granted, Arum had just found out that Donaire’s main event opposition for a card three days away had fallen through when Samuels introduced us at the Las Vegas Hilton, but Arum’s conduct was nevertheless rude.
So was his reply to my question, during the buildup to Donaire’s Feb. 19 victory over Fernando Montiel, as to whether the weight division for the bout could be flexible. Arum’s answer that the title designation wouldn’t be there as 122 suggested that made it a stupid question, but the fact is, the bout was on HBO, which often refuses to mention which belts and sanctioning bodies are involved in the title fights it airs.
Maybe Schaefer will prove just as off-putting, but it’s interesting that a stand-up guy like Guerrero offered the best endorsement an American working-class hero can make:
“Golden Boy has always had my back.”