Dan Rafael: Oscar De La Hoya

Another Golden Boy exit

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
The shakeup at Golden Boy Promotions continues.

Bruce Binkow, the chief operating officer and chief marketing officer, has also left the company. His last day was Friday. Whether he was fired or resigned, well, nobody is saying.

Binkow, who has been with the company since 2007, did not want to get into the details when contacted by ESPN.com, but did confirm that his last day was Friday.

Golden Boy also confirmed Binkow’s departure and offered ESPN.com a statement from spokesman Stefan Friedman.

“Golden Boy Promotions is solely focused on one goal -- giving fans the fights they want to see,” he said. “We are fully aware that some might have different aspirations, and we wish them well in their new endeavors. As for us, we will not relent until boxing's cold war is over and all promoters leave their egos at the door in favor of putting fans first."

Binkow, whose departure does not come as much of a surprise, is the second high-ranking company official to depart this month.

He was a close ally of Richard Schaefer, who resigned his position as chief executive officer on June 2 after months of internal battles with Oscar De La Hoya, the company co-founder, president and majority shareholder, over the direction of the company.

Nicole Becerra, Schaefer’s longtime executive assistant, also left the company in recent days.

Mares card should lick summer lull

July, 12, 2013
The summer is usually a slow time for boxing, but there are at least a handful of higher-profile shows here and there to get us all through, including one for which the promotion kicked off on Thursday at a news conference at a Los Angeles Mexican restaurant.

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya formally announced a world title doubleheader on Aug. 24 (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET) at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and it's a good-looking show: featherweight titlist Abner Mares making the first defense of his belt against former titlist Jhonny Gonzalez in the main event and junior featherweight titlist Victor Terrazas in a mandatory defense against former bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz in the co-feature.

Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs) won the belt -- his third in three divisions in just 19 months -- on May 4 by knocking out Daniel Ponce De Leon in the ninth round on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Robert Guerrero undercard in Las Vegas.

Last September, Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KOs) suffered a bad cut from an accidental head-butt and was unable to continue in an eighth-round technical decision, losing the belt to Ponce De Leon. Gonzalez is seeking to regain his old title.

Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KOs) won a vacant 122-pound world title on April 20 in Mexico City via split decision against former junior bantamweight champion Cristian Mijares. He will be making his first defense against Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KOs), who vacated a bantamweight belt to move up in weight.

Here's a little of what the fighters and De La Hoya had to say at Thursday's news conference:

Mares: "I'm looking forward to fighting in front of my hometown fans on Aug. 24 at StubHub Center. Jhonny Gonzalez and I have a lot of respect for each other, but we know what's at stake. I'm confident that we're going to put on an explosive fight that fans will want to see."

Gonzalez: "The belt belongs to me. It's time it returns to my waist. I will give it everything I've got on Aug. 24."

Terrazas: "I've made many sacrifices throughout my career to win this belt and I'm not about to give it away. It's obvious that Leo Santa Cruz is a talented fighter, but it's going to take more than that for me to go back to Mexico without the belt."

Santa Cruz: "I'm very honored to be fighting for the WBC world championship and I'm extremely motivated to train hard to take this belt home. I will not let this opportunity get away from me. I will become world champion once again."

De La Hoya: "This doubleheader reminds me of great Los Angeles fight nights when you would see great Mexican fighters battling it out in the ring while the crowd went crazy. That's what we have with Mares versus Gonzalez and Terrazas versus Santa Cruz -- four Mexican warriors fighting not only for a world championship, but for pride."

Broner isn't sweating weight jump

June, 21, 2013

The normal progression for a top fighter is to move from one weight class to the next and collect as many titles as possible. But Adrien Broner, who likes belts as much as the next guy, is doing something quite unusual.

A former junior lightweight titlist and reigning lightweight titleholder, Broner is skipping over the junior welterweight division and jumping up two weight classes to welterweight, where he will challenge Paulie Malignaggi for his belt Saturday night (Showtime, 9 ET) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

If Broner wins, he will become just the fourth fighter to win titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, joining his idol Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya, all of whom stopped off at 140 to win titles.

"I moved up for the opportunity to be a 23-year-old three-time world champion in three different weight classes," Broner said. "[Malignaggi] feels like I'm just a 135-pound fighter, but he's not on my level. It is going to be the 'AB Show.' You guys will be surprised when you see me fight at 147."

Some have been critical of Broner for skipping over the talent-rich 140-pound weight class -- which includes such fighters as Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Mike Alvarado, Brandon Rios, Lamont Peterson and Zab Judah -- in order to challenge Malignaggi.

But Garcia fought in April and Matthysse fought in May, and now they are close to a deal to fight each other. Alvarado and Rios are represented by promoter Top Rank, which means no fight because Broner is with Golden Boy. Judah just lost to Garcia (and may next face Alvarado), and Peterson got knocked out by Matthysse. The point is that none of those names were available for Broner for a late spring/summer fight.

"All of the good fighters at 140 were already matched up," Broner said.

The last significant lightweight titleholder to skip junior welterweight was Shane Mosley, but even he took a couple of fights at 147 before he challenged then-champion De La Hoya in 2000.

Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) said the move up in weight is no issue for him and that there is no need for a warm-up.

"I'm really not worrying about jumping weight classes," he said. "For me, the weight is not a problem. I'm originally a welterweight anyway. I just had to lose weight, so I really didn't have to do anything different. I mean, I don't walk around at 130 pounds. I don't walk around at 135 pounds. I walk around at 147, 150 pounds, so I'm at my regular weight."

Broner's 84.6 knockout percentage is one of the highest in boxing. He said he expects to carry his power with him up to 147 pounds.

"What a lot of people don't understand is, you can't really do nothing for power -- you're either born with it or you aren't," he said. "It's like Pacquiao when he was in smaller weights. He was knocking guys out. When he went up into the bigger weights, he was still knocking guys out. It's just something that God blessed me with. I've got power, so it really don't matter what weight class I'm in. I'm still going to have the same power as I had at any weight class I'm in."

Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs), 32, who will be fighting in his hometown, has viewed Broner with disdain throughout the promotion. His jump in weight is just part of it.

"He's a little guy and he's going to see how overrated his power was," Malignaggi said. "I think they were better off letting him fight a live guy -- a lightweight or someone below that -- before him fighting a live guy at welterweight. He's fighting this bigger guy all in one jump, so I don't think that was the most intelligent move on his team's part. He will wind up looking like they put his face in a blender when I'm done with him.

"He's coming up to a real weight class against a real man."