Last month, Adrien Broner exercised a rematch clause to pursue the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. welterweight belts that he lost Dec. 14 to Marcos Maidana.
The move was jarring to many who watched Maidana twice knock down Broner — once through the ropes — en route to a unanimous-decision victory in San Antonio.
How intently Broner (27-1, 22 knockouts) or his manager Al Haymon actually wanted that fight is a lingering question now that Haymon helped coordinate the May 3 bout between his fighters Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Maidana.
“Two things are very important to Al. One is that he wants to make sure his fighters get in the fights they want,” said Broner promoter Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions. “And he wants to make sure they get properly paid. In both of those aspects, he’s a master with no competition.”
Schaefer said that as both Broner and Mayweather eyed Maidana, it took someone “with the skill of Al Haymon to make sure everybody was going to be happy.”
The communication among Mayweather, Haymon and Broner over Maidana — who’s also managed by Haymon — will probably forever be locked away. Haymon doesn’t speak to reporters.
But the perception is that Broner exercised that rematch clause only as a face-saving publicity exercise.
Schaefer said Broner was in the mix to fight a slew of welterweights that could be on cards in late April or on the Mayweather card, including Luis Colazzo, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan and Robert Guerrero.
“The way you make fighters happy is … make sure they get paid a lot,” Schaefer said. “Why do you think Al Haymon gets all these fighters? Al knows how to move those different pieces, and he’s very good at what he does.”
Schaefer said Broner would fight “in the same time frame” as Mayweather-Maidana, but denied that any opponent had been finalized.
“Broner wasn’t happy, but you move on,” Schaefer said. “It’s a matter of getting everyone together now that we have the centerpiece. Now, we’ll put the rest of the puzzle together. That’s my task … to set those dates by the end of next week.”
It’s a good bet Haymon already knows how that puzzle looks.