‘People’s champion’ Frampton can become a global superstar: Schaefer

Former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer (right) says Carl Frampton can become a boxing legend should he triumph at the MGM Grand next Saturday Former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer (right) says Carl Frampton can become a boxing legend should he triumph at the MGM Grand next Saturday
By David Mohan

RICHARD Schaefer senses parallels between Carl Frampton and former fan-favourite, Ricky Hatton as ‘The Jackal’ prepares to take over Las Vegas next Saturday, January 28.

Schaefer – a former Swiss banker-turned CEO of Golden Boy Promotions who split with Oscar De La Hoya’s promotional outfit in 2014 before returning to the boxing world under his new venture, Ringstar Sports – knows a thing or two about star quality having helped promote some of the biggest events in boxing’s recent past including Floyd Mayweather v Hatton back in 2007.

He witnessed first hand the atmosphere created by Hatton’s fanatical support and having tasted a little of what the Belfast fight public have to offer during the press conference in the city to promote the WBA featherweight title rematch between Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz, believes the North Belfast man has the star power to light up the Vegas Strip.

“The Irish fans and British fans are extremely passionate about their athletes,” he noted. “When we did Ricky Hatton against Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand, something happened that had never happened before at the MGM Grand – they ran out of beer. That could happen here again, who knows?

“What I see with Carl Frampton, this is a particularly important fight because to go and perform in Las Vegas is different than anywhere else. “This is the entertainment capital of the world and the place where superstars are born, where legends are made and you can see that in sports, boxing, the biggest events have taken place there, in the same arena.

“If you can make it in Las Vegas, you can make it anywhere so this is a very important fight as it’s the Las Vegas coming out party for Carl Frampton.

“If Carl Frampton can be victorious again, he could nearly step into Ricky Hatton’s shoes because he has that rare ability to not only be a world champion, but a people’s champion who can connect with the people like very few fighters do.”

Certainly, Frampton’s pulling power has been increasing outside of his home city over the past 12 months given his high-profile wins over Scott Quigg in Manchester and Santa Cruz in New York.

That star quality can helped secure the future for a boxer whose career can be ended at any time with Schaefer paying tribute to influential boxing advisor, Al Haymon who he has worked with in the past on a number of occasions and will again on January 28 for this repeat of 2016’s fight of the year contender.

Haymon comes in for criticism in some quarters with his low profile giving rise to questions over his motives, but Schaefer insists both he and Haymon have the same outlook on boxing and it is fighter-friendly.

“Since we are here with Leo, it is a good example as to who Al Haymon is,” explains Schaefer. “He is a smart guy, but someone who really cares deeply for his fighters. The way he has looked out for Leo is second to none.

“If you ask Leo about his first born son, he named him after Al so that tells you everything you need to know.

“He is a terrific person who looks out for and empowers a fighter. He is a manager and an advisor, I’m a promoter and I have to say I am about empowering the fighter and helping them make the most money.

“You saw that at the highest level when I helped Floyd Mayweather become not only the highest paid fighter of all time, but the highest paid athlete of all time.

“We have the same philosophy, Al and me to empower the fighter as they risk their lives every time they step into the ring.”

Please follow and like us: