Richard Schaefer Named President of Anthem Sports Group; Will Continue To Promote Donaire, Stanionis
Richard Schaefer is off to his next adventure.
The veteran promoter is prepared to hit the ground running in his new role as president of Anthem Sports Group (ASG), a multi-platform firm based in Toronto that has taken strides to enhance its plans for expansion in the combat sports market. Schaefer joins the company on the heels of his departure from Probellum, which he co-founded and helped launch in the fourth quarter of 2021.
A lot of the ideas behind the now-defunct company are in line with ASG’s mission to acquire and grow relationships in combat sports, particularly in the boxing market.
Therein lies Schaefer’s expertise.
“Richard Schaefer is a major force in the combat sports and boxing arena,” said ASG president and CEO Leonard Asper. “As one of the industry’s most respected executives, he leads with integrity and brings an unprecedented wealth of expertise—cultivated from more than two decades working alongside the sport’s biggest brands and most legendary fighters.
“Anthem is pleased to welcome him to our executive team as the President of Anthem Sports Group, and we look forward to reaching even greater heights as a global sports powerhouse under his guidance.”
The feeling is mutual for Schaefer, who spent more than a decade developing Golden Boy Promotions and growing the outfit into one of the sport’s most powerful industry entities prior to his forced departure in 2014. He has yet to replicate that same impact through subsequent ventures but has maintained the same strong relationships both with business powerbrokers as well as with the media.
With that comes the optimism of nurturing ASG into a future player in the boxing market.
“I am beyond thrilled to be joining the Anthem team and ASG,” noted Schaefer, whose affairs outside of boxing also include his guiding role in the career of UFC heavyweight champion and pound-for-pound king Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. “Len Asper, Ed Nordholm, Scott D’Amore and Shannon Knapp have built a fantastic business, and I am honored to be working with them.”
D’Amore, who has been with ASG since 2018, was promoted to president of IMPACT Wrestling. He and Knapp—president of Invicta Fight Championship—will both report to Schaefer, who will oversee all ASG sports properties. The portfolio also includes the 24-hour Fight Network, which carries all forms of combat sports.
Schaefer leaves behind most of what he brought to Probellum, whose remaining assets were sold to upstart company Disrupt Promotions.
Boxing Scene has learned that just two boxers will remain with Schaefer: former four-division champion Nonito Donaire (42-7, 28KOs) and current secondary WBA welterweight titlist Eimantas Stanionis (14-0, 10KOs; 1NC).
Both boxers are due to return this spring. Stanionis will next face unbeaten top contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. (19-0, 19KOs) atop an April 29 DAZN show from College Park Center on the campus of The University of Texas at Arlington. Donaire is due to next face Alexandro Santiago in a vacant WBC bantamweight title fight which still awaits a fight date. The bout will likely land on the undercard of a springtime Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) event.
The number of Non-Disclosure Agreements and confidentiality clauses make it difficult to know who from Probellum will move forward with Disrupt Promotions.
Schaefer was among those who’ve opted to head in another direction.
“Together, we will create a global destination which attracts the best talent and delivers the most exciting content across all aspects of combat sports,” vowed Schaefer. “All of our assets under the ASG umbrella will create new and innovative synergies when dealing with distribution platforms, sponsors, venues and fan interaction.”
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