Mayweather Picks September 13th Date
Boxing’s ultimate money maker and undefeated star Floyd Mayweather Jr. has announced a September 13th return to the boxing ring. This was revealed by Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellebre in an interview with ESPN on Monday.
Stage is Set
Ellerbe said that they are still looking at “who he’ll fight and where he’ll fight” although he hinted that Las Vegas is Mayweather’s “home” and that the MGM is “always a leading candidate. Mayweather has fought nine straight bouts at the MGM including his hard earned win against Argentinian Marcos Maidana a couple of weeks ago. But Ellerbe pointed out that Mayweather was “open” to fighting for the first time in New York, especially after Barclays Center “gave a tremendous offer” for the Maidana fight. Ellerbe believes that the people behind Barclays Center “will be looking at the Mayweather business” again in September.
The September bout will be the fourth installment in Mayweather’s six fight contract with Showtime/CBS. Mayweather signed a six-fight deal reportedly worth $200M with Showtime in 2013.
Khan’t Wait for Amir
The September date virtually eliminates British boxing star Amir Khan from the list of Mayweather’s next opponents. Khan’s name was being mentioned as a Mayweather foe since last year. It can be recalled that Mayweather “turned to” internet voting last year to decide his May 2014 foe by letting the fans choose between Khan and Maidana. Although Khan “won” the vote, Mayweather still chose to fight Maidana. A spurned Amir Khan turned his frustrations to his next opponent Luis Collazo. Khan fought as the supporting main event during Mayweather’s last fight. He demolished a game but overmatched Luis Collazo in a performance many believed earned him a rightful shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But religion will prevent Khan from fighting in September. Because Khan is a muslim, he will not be fighting during the Ramadan. Khan earlier stated that he is willing to fight Mayweather in November or December, but it’s clearly Mayweather who calls the shots. Ellerbe said that Floyd “has no intentions of moving the date to accommodate Khan.” He added that if Khan wants to fight Mayweather, they will have to fight on September 13.
With that hard stance, Amir Khan will have to wait at least until May 2015 to get his shot at the Mayweather sweepstakes.
Take Two for Maidana?
Ellerbe mentioned that Mayweather’s last opponent, Marcos Maidana is one of those being considered for his next bout. Ellerbe added that while Maidana is a “dirty fighter” he gave the fans a “great fight”. Maidana immediately asked for a rematch after the scorecards were read because he believed that he won the fight. The bout was competitive but Mayweather clearly beat Maidana. It would be difficult to fathom that Maidana can beat Mayweather in September when he lost in a bout where he had done everything in his power and skill.
Financially, that rematch may be hard to sell too. Although team Mayweather refuses to confirm it at this time, sources are saying that the Maidana bout brought in less than 1M PPV buys. If that is the case, that would be the first time in a long while that a Mayweather bout failed to scale the 1M PPV mark. The fight also had 248 unsold tickets although it generated a gate receipt of $15,024,400 which was fourth highest all time in Nevada.
Along with Maidana, the Mayweather camp is reportedly eyeing Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. All three fighters are from the stable of Golden Boy Promotions, which will make the negotiations easy.
Of the three Golden Boy fighters, Shawn Porter is slated to make a mandatory title defense in July against Kell Brook but that fight is not final. That would be the next logical fight for Mayweather because Porter holds the IBF title which is the only major alphabet welterweight belt that isn’t in Mayweather’s waist yet.
Danny Garcia is the light welterweight king although he has said that he will move up to the more lucrative welterweight division. He was unimpressive in his last bout against Mauricio Herrera where many thought he lost. Keith Thurman is an unbeaten prospect and has beaten Jesus Soto Karas and Julio Diaz in his last two bouts. But he hasn’t fought a marquee name yet in his young career.
Going, Going Gone
Although any fighter out there would love to be part of the Mayweather business, there is no more marquee name in the Welterweight division that Mayweather looks to make more money from. Apart from Khan and Timothy Bradley, the other name which has the potential to be a blockbuster would be Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao had been previously dismissed by Floyd Mayweather Jr as a “has been” after he lost successively to Bradley and Marquez.
But the Filipino has bounced back from defeat with two impressive wins, the latest of which was his masterful dominance of Timothy Bradley last April. With Juan Manuel Marquez winning last Saturday against Mike Alvarado, a fifth fight with Pacquiao looks inevitable. And if Pacquiao beats Marquez, he will have exacted revenge against his last two conquerors.
After September 13, Mayweather will have two more fights left in the Showtime deal. Pacquiao has reportedly signed a contract extension with Top Rank until December 2016. Although that mega fight is starting to drum attention once again, the hopes of it happening is going, going gone.
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