Richard Schaefer Announces Plans For New Mega-Million World Boxing Super Series
Last week, Ringstar Promotions Chief Richard Schaefer revealed plans for a new boxing tournament entitled the World Boxing Super Series. Powered by newly-founded Comosa AG, a Swiss-registered company with principal owners from the world of marketing (Highlight Event & Entertainment), broadcasting (Modern Times Group) and boxing (Team Sauerland), the tournament looks to attract top competitors in two yet-to-be-determined weight classes.
In a distributed news release, tournament details were listed as follows:
- Winners to receive the GREATEST prize in boxing, the Muhammad Ali Trophy
- Total Prize Money in Season One: $50 million
- KO tournament to kick off in September, 2017, featuring two weight classes with 16 boxers, setting up 14 top fights on 14 separate fight nights
- Partners from the world of boxing, marketing and broadcasting behind the project
The promise of a reported $50 million dollars in prize money is piquing the interest of boxers and fans alike, but it’s unclear which promoters will permit their talent to compete. While Schaefer says he has the buy-in of the boxing sanctioning bodies, the real challenge will be attracting top talent to compete, due to fragmented relationships between Schaefer and promoters Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum.
“Fighters will have to be ranked in the top 15 in their weight class by one of the sanctioning organizations [to be eligible],” Schaefer said. “But the goal really is to try and attract two champions from each weight classes. We want to have current champions, we want to have former champions and we want to have up-and-comers. We hope that the feel of the eight fighters participating is a representation of the best talent in a particular weight class.”
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Schaefer says September and October are targeted to kick off the large-scale event in arenas across the US and Europe, and airing on Showtime.
Schaefer said he’s in “advanced discussions” with Showtime/CBS to broadcast the bouts in the U.S., and he said the plan is to split up the 14 fights in venues between the U.S.–like Staples Center, T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, New York’s Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center–and Europe.
Following opening-round bouts in September and October, semifinals will be contested around January-February, and the finals will be set around May, Sauerland said.
The thought is that rival promoters will be interested in placing their fighters in the competition, considering the prize money, global exposure, and the fact that one loss returns the fighter to the promoter, who would be compensated for entering the fighter.
Further details will be announced in the coming weeks. As of now, boxing’s leading promoters have yet to comment on the tournament.