Richard Schaefer, Don King and Bob Arum Eye Floyd Mayweather
There is a promotional war of words going on involving Floyd Mayweather.
On one side is Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. On the other are his 78-year-old contemporaries, Don King and Bob Arum.
Schaefer has criticized King for saying that he relates more to Mayweather because he speaks "ghetto-ese." Schaefer has taken further shots at both King and Arum, likening them to promotional dinosaurs by calling them, "D-Rex" and "B-Rex."
"It is embarrassing to see D-Rex and B-Rex -- and you know who I'm referring to right?" said Schaefer. "Well, D-Rex is Don King. So you have Don King-Rex. And B-Rex is Bob Arum-Rex. So that's B-Rex. Anyway, it's embarrassing to see them acting the way that they are."
An angry Arum has responded by calling Schaefer's comments "ludicrous," "uncalled for," "disrespectful" and "obscene."
"Schaefer's a kid who doesn't know what he's doing. He's a kid calling two older people names because they happen to be older than he is. I think that it's not only very disrespectful, but it's totally and completely uncalled for," said Arum, who turns 79 in December.
"To keep referring to King's age and my age is absolutely ludicrous," said Arum. "I mean, King and I both know what we're doing. King and I both know how to promote. And I don't care if we were each only 10 years older, we'd still promote a helluva lot better than this Swiss banker does."
King, meanwhile, has embraced Schaefer's sentiment with sarcasm.
"What did he call us? D-Rex and B-Rex?" asked Don King, who turns 79 on Aug. 20, on his cell phone as he howled with laughter. "Tell him that I said thanks for the praise, because I love it. You know what it is. So I just thank him, you know what I mean? It means that he understands what the deal is."
The back-and-forth has resulted from recent developments surrounding King's wooing of five-time titlist Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts) with the goal of matching him against Arum's seven-division king Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs) in a megabout, possibly in the spring.
Not only did King invite Mayweather to his Florida home last week for a lavish dinner, but he had the unbeaten fighter at ringside for Saturday night's HBO-televised main event featuring WBC and IBF junior welterweight (140 pounds) champion Devon Alexander's unanimous decision over former WBA king Andriy Kotelnik at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
"I think that Don King would be better served to take good care of the fighters that he actually has, such as Devon Alexander," said Schaefer. "If I were Devon, and if I had to read all week long about how Don King bought Floyd Mayweather a $500 lobster at his house, I would be insulted and upset because this was supposed to be Devon Alexander's week."
But King told FanHouse that he believes himself to be better suited toward working out a deal with Arum -- his longtime rival and Top Rank Promotions CEO -- than Mayweather's present handlers, Golden Boy Promotions, and adviser Al Haymon, who have twice failed to bring Mayweather-Pacquiao to fruition.
"All that I'm doing is like I told you. Floyd is talking to me, and I'm listening. When Floyd speaks, I listen. I'm not embarrassed by Floyd and Floyd is not beneath me. In fact, I look up to Floyd, and it makes me feel good to be in the company of greatness," said King, adding that his conversations with Mayweather have been fruitful.
"Everything was great on Saturday night. I think that Saturday night with Floyd went excellently. I'm concerned about Floyd as a human being and a man. I'm just going to play it cool," said King. "I want to get Floyd, and not anything else. And in getting Floyd, that brings in all fights. If I can achieve that relationship, then everything that comes from that will be accessible and available. So then I can go and we could work with Bob."
King said that he believes that he and Arum can get a Mayweather-Pacquiao deal done swiftly.
"I'm not shooting for anything individually such as a Manny Pacquiao fight. It would be me and Floyd and me and Bob," said King. "I can take Mayweather and fight anybody and he could be a people's champion. That's what counts with me."
But Schaefer said that he not only vehemently disagrees with King's notion, but also with his methods, particularly King's assessment about his and Mayweather's shared abilities to speak "ghetto-ese."
"For Don to be saying that he can relate to Floyd Mayweather because he speaks ghetto-ese is frankly pretty embarrassing," said Schaefer. "I mean, if I were Floyd Mayweather, I would frankly feel embarrassed. Floyd Mayweather has become a Madison Avenue darling who commands the respect from Fortune 100 companies. Now, he's got Don King out there talking about ghetto-ese.
"It's really an insult to the Mayweather brand. I really think so. To have this guy, this D-Rex talking about it like that -- it's just embarrassing to everybody. I don't know what that relationship is. I can't speak about somebody else's relationship. But to read about this D-Rex talking that this ghetto-ese language is how he can relate to Floyd -- it's just bad. I just felt that it was very insulting."
According to King, however, Schaefer's inability to understand what he's talking about could be his undoing with Mayweather.
"That's what the whole problem is, is that he holds us in such a low state of mind. That he's embarrassed by us. I don't have to say anything. He's saying it for me," said King.
"You see, wherever Floyd is, that's where I'm at. And whatever that is Floyd is beneath Schaefer because he's humiliated and embarrassed by it," said King. "It's like he doesn't want to communicate with Floyd on Floyd's level because Floyd is an animal or whatever it is, and he doesn't want to be associated with that."
But Schaefer said that Golden Boy's loyalty to Mayweather can be measured in its financial track record with the fighter.
Golden Boy Promotions has worked Mayweather's past four victories comprised of those over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.
Starting with De La Hoya, Mayweather's adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, told FanHouse recently that Mayweather "has made over $120 million" with the promotional company.
"As it relates to paying fighters, I think that our track record speaks for itself. So, I'm going leave it at that. If somebody wants to make the most money, they know exactly where to come, and that's to Golden Boy. That's why all of the free agents come to us," said Schaefer.
"Leonard and [adviser] Al [Haymon] and me talk on a regular basis," said Schaefer. "We have a nice relationship and we work with the fighters together as well. For Don King to attack Golden Boy about not speaking ghetto-ese, it's stupid. I mean, the guy is just in a different world."
But that doesn't mean that King is prehistoric, said Arum.
"It doesn't matter if he's jealous. You could say, 'They're not good promoters and so forth.' But it is totally uncalled for and obscene for him to -- in order to attack King and myself -- to keep referring to our age like it means anything. That is really offensive. I mean, that is really offensive," said Arum.
"I mean, I'm promoting as well now as I've ever promoted. King is capable of doing the same," said Arum. "And you don't try to denigrate us by continuing to refer to our age. That's what I take the comments 'D-Rex,' and 'B-Rex,' to mean. I mean, come on. It's like, 'Ha Ha, very funny.'"