By: Jerome Souza (@FirstClassBox)
Richard Schaefer, the man behind the newly found Ringstar Sports, is off to quite a start over the past few months from a promotional standpoint. This past December, Ringstar Sports promoted a Showtime Championship Boxing card featuring Jermall Charlo’s spectacular knockout over Julian Williams in the co-feature and Abner Mares’ battle with Jesus Andres Cuellar in the main event. Fast-forward to this past weekend, Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports packs in 10,085 fans into the MGM Grand Garden Arena along with along with an average of 587,000 televisions tuned-in to the highly anticipated and entertaining rematch between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz. Showtime went head-to-head against HBO for both events. Even though HBO has more subscribers, more people chose to watch Frampton-Santa Cruz II on Showtime.
FirstClassBoxing.com was able to speak with Schaefer regarding the succesful event. Schaefer was not phased at the idea of HBO simultaneously airing live boxing the same night as Frampton-Santa Cruz II. Schaefer was pleased with the totality of what the event produced, “I think we can be proud to be involved in the sport when you see a night like this with two true champions fighting each other and entertaining fight fans from around the world”.
Frampton-Santa Cruz II was also complemented with an exciting co-feature for the WBC Lightweight Title. Mikey Garcia’s KO over unbeaten Dejan Zlatcanin sent shockwaves through the boxing world. Schaefer was ecstatic over Garcia’s performance that he believes paved Garcia’s route to superstardom.
Schaefer was able to work with Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions, who promotes Frampton and top Scottish prospect Josh Taylor. Taylor was showcased on the Showtime Extreme portion of the card and improved his record to 8-0 with a unanimous decision victory. In addition to these two great fighters being on the card, devoted fans followed them to Las Vegas in support. “It was fantastic. I mean the Irish fans are the best, they really are. I love the Irish fans, they’re are passionate and fantastic, first class”, Schaefer told FirstClassBoxing.com. It was estimated somewhere around 4,000 or more fans flew to Las Vegas to watch and cheer on Frampton and Taylor. Schaefer did acknowledge that nights like January 28, 2017 are not common in boxing in terms of fan turnout but still make for memorable events. “I like to put together big events, this was a big event, and you had a lot of fans here so you know that happens but it doesn’t happen always”.
Like a professional sports team drafting the right players and stacking their farm club with talent, Schaefer has sought out and signed some of the best amateurs on the market. During the Frampton-Santa Cruz II post fight press conference, Schaefer introduced the boxing media to recent Ringstar Sports signees Money Powell IV and Misael Rodriguez. Powell IV and Rodriguez join a growing stable of young talent which also includes Tony Yoka, Eimantas Stanionis, and Lindolfo Delgado.
Schaefer is also looking to capitalize on the foreign market, primarily the United Kingdom, with his recent partnership deal with David Haye and the creation of Hayemaker Ringstar. From a live gate standpoint, boxing events throughout Europe have massive attendance and no trouble selling tickets. David Haye’s next fight against Tony Bellew is already sold out.
With the addition of Ringstar Sports to boxing world, there are many good things to come. It is also rumored that Ringstar Sports plans to showcase its younger talent at show hosted at Club Nokia, in Los Angeles, CA on March 14, 2017. Schaefer remains optimistic for the coming months ,“I think the way 2017 has started for boxing is great for all of us who are involved one way or the other in the sport. Either as journalists, as promoters, as tv networks or as fans”.