De La Hoya on his way as Golden Boy applies for British license
23:00 GMT, 17 December 2012
The Golden Boy is preparing to invade England with major boxing events show-casing Britain's 2012 Olympians on the under-cards of top Americans in world title fights.
Oscar De La Hoya and his company – in a move which will send shock waves through the ranks of the established UK promoters – are applying to the British Boxing Board of Control for a license.
They are also engaged in talks with several UK stars of the London Games, who are believed to include medalists Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell and Anthony Ogogo.
Invasion: Oscar De La Hoya (left) could be set to sign up some British talent
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The trans-Atlantic expansion of Golden Boy Promotions has been confirmed here in Los Angeles by chief executive Richard Schaefer.
He outlined his plans to British Board chairman Charles Giles and general secretary Robert Smith, who flew to LA for Amir Khan's resurrection fight on Saturday night.
Since Schaefer is a Swiss passport holder who is preparing to open offices in London and is already in negotiation with British television companies, they see no basis for objection.
Golden Boy are now the world's biggest promoters, staging more than 120 shows a year in the US and Mexico.
Schaefer says: 'There is fantastic opportunity for us in the UK. I have always said the British boxing fans are the most passionate in the world.
'Over here some people could hardly believe that Ricky Hatton sold out 20,000 tickets for his comeback fight before he even named his opponent.
'I love London and I will be spending a lot more time over there in the future.
'I am promising to help your Olympians maximise their potential and develop into big, successful stars. For that, I will be taking fighters under my wing personally for the first time.'
Schaefer is not only in discussion with the traditional UK television channels, such as Sky.
Intriguingly, he has sparked interest with British Telecom, who are rapidly becoming major players in the sports market, and is also exploring the possibility of an American network becoming the host broadcaster.
While he realises the impact this will have on the British boxing establishment, Schaefer does not expect the rivalry with Golden Boy's counterparts across the Pond to be bitter.
The initial concept is for no more than four shows a year and he says: 'I get on well with the British promoters. I have a good relationship with Mick Hennessy (who promotes Tyson Fury) and Frank Maloney (David Price).
'We have just enjoyed a positive negotiation with Eddie Hearn for Kell Brook to challenge Devon Alexander for his world title over here. Not only is Frank Warren an outstanding promoter but we are very good friends.
On the cards: Anthony Joshua (right) is believed to be in talks with De La Hoya's company
'I won't be trying to steal their fighters. But this is a competitive business so when any boxers become free agents at the end of their contracts then of course we will expect to have talk with those we like.'
Golden Boy's $200million-a-year turnover will lend massive weight to that bargaining power, as it appears to be doing with London's Olympic super-heavyweight champion Joshua and others of his team.
Several Team GB boxers have held back from committing their futures until their amateur funding runs out in March and the first Golden Boy promotion in Britain is not scheduled until the second quarter of the year.
Others under review are youngsters who just missed out on the Games 'but who have the ability and charisma we need.'
Schaefer is also tempting them all with the prospect of early US exposure on promotions over here.
Medal winner: Anthony Ogogo (left) shone for Team GB at the Olympics
In England, the 02 Arena in London tops the preferred list of venues. To fill that, Golden Boy will top the bills with big international names in world title fights.
For example, former champion Sugar Shane Mosley is planning to come out of retirement to challenge Paulie Malignaggi.
Says Schaefer: 'While that is coming too early for our first UK promotion that is the kind of fight which could take place over there.
'Adrien Broner is a dynamic younger champion who would relish the chance to do his thing in England.'
Nor is it beyond possibility that Floyd Mayweather – who appreciates his large fan base in Britain and often talks of how he would love to fight in London – could make the trip in 2014.
Schaefer said: 'We will promote in the UK with same quality and style we do in the USA.'
The gauntlet has been thrown down.
Tyson still all man
Mike Tyson has been forced to deny a spoof report which went viral in Asia – where it was taken as fact – that he has undergone a successful sex change operation to become a woman.
Just as well for the author that he did not say it to the face of the youngest ever world heavyweight champion.
He may have mellowed into a showman now but there was a glint of the old Iron Mike when he lisped: 'I never lose touch with my masculinity.'
Still the man: Mike Tyson had to deny spoof reports he had undergone a sex change
Pacquiao v Mayweather still on the cards
The mega-bucks fight the world has been waiting so long to see may yet happen, despite Manny Pacquiao's brutal knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez.
Floyd Mayweather is scheduled to make his post-prison comeback in Las Vegas on May 4.
While that will probably be against Robert Guerrero, the Money Man has told the PacMan: 'Ease back in with an interim fight of your own to make sure there are no after-effects from that KO and we might look at my next date, in September.'
Chance: Floyd Mayweather could still fight Manny Pacquiao in a big-money bout
Munroe calls time
Rendall Munroe – who went from a dustbin round in Leicester to a world title fight in Tokyo – has retired following his super-bantamweight defeat by the fast-rising Scott Quigg.
He leaves the ring with his dignity and our admiration for a most worthy career.
Merchant hangs up his microphone
The doyen of American TV boxing analysts called his last fight on Saturday night, Nonito Donaire's victory over Jorge Arce in Houston.
Larry Merchant has hung up the microphone. He is 81 yet only last year, in a feisty post-fight interview in the ring, he famously told an angry Floyd Mayweather: 'I wish I was 30 years younger so I could kick your ass.'
I am doubly glad now that he and I had a long, reminiscent chat in Las Vegas on the eve of Pacquiao-Marquez a week earlier.
Thanks for the memories and all the wisdom, Larry. We will miss you at ringside.
Legend: Ringside analyst Larry Merchant is hanging up the microphone