Ringstar Sports promoter Richard Schaefer — back in boxing after 2 1/2 years away after resigning as chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, which he co-founded with Oscar De La Hoya — continued to beef up his stable of young talent on Monday.
Schaefer announced that he has signed 22-year-old welterweight Eimantas Stanionis, a highly coveted 2016 Lithuanian Olympian.
“Being able to add a fighter like Eimantas Stanionis to our growing group of world class fighters is a great pleasure,” Schaefer said. “Stanionis is a very accomplished young man who works very hard at his craft. He could be the next great Eastern European fighter to come over to the U.S. and make it big. We expect him to make big waves in the welterweight division. Now that he has joined Ringstar, we are looking forward to working with him and making his dreams a reality.”
Stanionis is the fourth fighter Schaefer has signed in recent weeks. Previously, he signed two other 2016 Olympians: American lightweight Carlos Balderas and middleweight Misael Rodriguez, a bronze medalist for Mexico. Schaefer also signed bantamweight Jose Balderas, Carlos’ older brother.
“I’m very excited to be joining Ringstar Sports, and I am looking forward to starting my professional career,” Stanionis said. “I’ve watched boxing my whole life, and I always knew that Richard was a great promoter. He’s a very good man, and I feel that my career is in good hands. I think I have the best team around me, and they will help me get to where I want to go.”
Stanionis began boxing in 2007 and went 141-19 in the amateur ranks, including four senior national championships and two youth national titles. He won gold at the 2015 European Championships.
At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, Stanionis won his opening-round match, and then was eliminated by eventual silver medalist Shakhram Giyasov, of Uzbekistan.
“He really impressed us at the Olympics,” Schaefer said. “I am very fortunate to have him. He has several TV stations in Lithuania that are interested in his fights and have already talked to us. The kid is going to be a big star in Lithuania, but his style is extremely fan-friendly and going to appeal to boxing fans wherever they are from. I expect big things from him.”
Schaefer said Stanionis will make his professional debut in late February in Los Angeles on a card that will also feature the pro debuts of the Balderas brothers and Rodriguez.
“I am a hard puncher, and I do whatever it takes to win,” Stanionis said. “I think boxing fans will be excited by my style. I want to be the first world champion ever from Lithuania. My goal is to make history.”