Richard Schaefer has resigned as the chief executive officer of Golden Boy Promotions after 12 years of service, a move that prompted pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. to drop the promotional company.
"After more than 10 years with Golden Boy, it is time to move on to the next chapter of my career," Schaefer said in a statement, first posted on Fight Hype.
"This decision has required a great deal of personal reflection, but ultimately, I concluded that I have no choice but to leave. I have succeeded in banking and I have succeeded in boxing, and I look forward to the next opportunity," he added.
"I am proud to remain a shareholder, so I have a strong interest in the continued success of the company. I am proud of what we have accomplished at Golden Boy, but I now look forward to new challenges."
Schaefer, a former Swiss banker, co-founded Golden Boy with former world champion Oscar de la Hoya in 2002 and has handled the company's day-to-day business as De La Hoya served mostly as a "figurehead," according to an ESPN report.
Schaefer and De la Hoya had been at odds over the direction of the company, although De la Hoya said at a May 3 news conference in Las Vegas that he wanted Schaefer to stay.
Schaefer's relationship with De La Hoya further deteriorated after De La Hoya opted to reconcile with Bob Arum, the chief executive of promotional rival Top Rank. De La Hoya has spoken of his intentions to co-promote fights with Arum, while Schaefer has refused to do business with the older promoter.
"I am not going to discuss what Oscar and me discussed," Schaefer told ESPN. "Now I just have to see what I’m going to do next."
The impact of Schaefer's resignation was immediately felt when Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN that they will no longer work with Golden Boy.
It is Schaefer, and not De La Hoya, who is friendly with the unbeaten Mayweather, who has worked with Golden Boy in promoting his fights since 2007 – including the two biggest selling pay-per-view events in the history of the sport.
According to ESPN, "Mayweather has said repeatedly that he would not have worked with Golden Boy had it not been for Schaefer's presence."
With Schaefer out of the picture, Mayweather is now cutting ties with Golden Boy, although Ellerbe said he expects them to continue to have a "great working relationship" with Schaefer.
"Mayweather Promotions will continue to promote Floyd’s fights, and Floyd will continue to put on the biggest fights in boxing," Ellerbe added. "I have a tremendous team and staff, and we continue to expand year by year, and we’re ready to go."
Although it is possible that Schaefer will wind up joining Mayweather Promotions in some capacity, Ellerbe refused to speak on the issue.
"I'm not going to speak on what Richard might do next. That is for Richard to say. But Richard will have a tremendous impact on whatever he decides to do and wherever he goes," said Ellerbe. "We always welcome smart leaders, but I don’t know what his future is."
It was not immediately clear how Schaefer’s resignation and Mayweather’s subsequent split with Golden Boy affects the chances of a mega-fight between the unbeaten American and Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao recently extended his promotional deal with Top Rank, and Mayweather has vowed never to fight him as long as the "Pacman" is promoted by Arum. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse