Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Golden Boy wins rights to title bout
By Dan Rafael
LAS VEGAS -- In an unexpected outcome, Golden Boy Promotions won a purse bid on Monday to gain promotional rights to the mandatory rematch between junior middleweight titlist Cornelius "K9" Bundrage and former titleholder Cory Spinks.
Golden Boy does not promote either fighter but still bid on the fight, offering $211,011. That bid blew away the only other offer of $51,000 from Don King, who promotes Bundrage and Spinks.
"We like the fight and we are very interested in the 154-pound weight class," Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com. "I feel that at that price it's a good buy. If I see a fight which I like, a fight I think if you can buy for a reasonable price that fits in our strategy, I will buy it."
Golden Boy is heavily involved in the junior middleweight division. Schaefer is in Las Vegas this week promoting Saturday night's HBO PPV card at the MGM Grand that includes two junior middleweight title bouts, Floyd Mayweather challenging Miguel Cotto for his title and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez defending his version of the title against former champ Shane Mosley.
Golden Boy also promotes notable junior middleweights Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo.
"Golden Boy's main focus are the 140-, 147- and 154-pound weight classes," Schaefer said. "That doesn't mean we are ignoring the others but those divisions are where the big fights are. We want to put together some great 154-pound fights, so this fight fits in with what we want to do. We put in what I considered a reasonable bid. For Don King to bid only $51,000 is a joke."
King had notified the IBF several weeks ago that he had made a deal for the fight to take place June 23 at the Hard Rock resort in Hollywood, Fla., and a purse bid was canceled.
"We found out later that there were problems and we ordered a second purse bid," IBF championships chairman Lindsey Tucker told ESPN.com.
As part of its bid Golden Boy told the IBF the fight would tentatively take place July 28 in San Jose, Calif. That would mean it would take place on the undercard of the Robert Guerrero-Selcuk Aydin welterweight fight that will headline a Showtime card that night.
However, Schaefer said he might move the fight. He had to list a date and place for the purposes of the bid.
"It looks like it will go on July 28 but I might change that if I come up with a different plan," Schaefer said. "I'm not depending on Showtime buying it or HBO buying it. If they buy it, great. If they don't I couldn't care less. I can always go to St. Louis (Spinks' hometown, where he has been a draw) and cover the cost with my gate and put it on Fox (Sports Net, as part of Golden Boy's new deal with the network)."
The first time they met, Bundrage destroyed Spinks in August 2010 in St. Louis. Spinks' trouble making weight and his inactivity caught up to him. Bundrage thrashed him before knocking him out in the fifth round to claim the title.
Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs), 39, of Detroit, has only fought once since, a title-retaining decision against Sechew Powell last June. Ongoing contractual issues with King have kept him inactive.
Spinks (39-6, 11 KOs), 34, has won both of his bouts since being knocked out by Bundrage, including a decision in a title eliminator against Powell in January.