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Mayweather running out of ‘money’ bouts

AP photo

MANILA, Philippines - Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has four more fights left in his $200 Million contract with cable network Showtime and trainer Freddie Roach said recently he’ll end up facing Manny Pacquiao sooner or later if he wants to maximize his earning potential.

Mayweather takes on Argentinian Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 3 and Roach said he expects a cakewalk. “Maidana is a little dangerous because of his power but Mayweather will give him a lesson,” he said. “After Maidana, I don’t know who else can give Mayweather the money he wants for a big fight except Manny. Mayweather’s been making excuses not to fight Manny. I think he’s afraid to lose that 0 in his record. But if Sugar Ray Robinson is considered one of the greatest if not the greatest fighter ever and he had losses, why is Mayweather scared of losing?”

Roach said if Juan Manuel Marquez overcomes Mike Alvarado on May 17, the Mexican will likely be Pacquiao’s next opponent late this year. Marquez said he wouldn’t mind a fifth encounter with Pacquiao. Roach called Marquez a big money opponent for Pacquiao like Mayweather and the Filipino will be ready for both when the time comes.

If Mayweather is all about money and business, Roach said he’ll realize a Pacquiao fight is a gold mine waiting to be discovered. For Pacquiao, a showdown with Mayweather will cement his legacy as one of the world’s greatest fighters ever. If Mayweather has a problem with Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, surely, it’s something that can be settled with money on the table.

So far, Mayweather has figured in 11 pay-per-view fights compared to 18 for Pacquiao. In 2007, Mayweather and Oscar de la Hoya figured in the biggest pay-per-view bout ever, registering 2.4 million hits. Last September, Mayweather rang up 2.2 million buys in his fight against Saul Alvarez. Five of Mayweather’s 11 pay-per-view events went over a million hits.

Pacquiao has never posted a two million pay-per-view fight but six of his 18 bouts went over a million. His bouts against De la Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito recorded 1.25 million. In June 2008, Pacquiao halted David Diaz before a crowd of 8,362 in Las Vegas with the fight drawing 206,000 pay-per-view buys. Last April 12, Pacquiao outpointed Timothy Bradley in front of 14,099 fans who paid $7.8 Million for tickets. Pay-per-view numbers for the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch are still being collated.

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If estimates are correct, the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch grossed at least $70 million to push the Filipino over $700 million in pay-per-view income over 19 fights. Mayweather and Pacquiao are the only fighters to generate at least $700 million in pay-per-view revenues. Mayweather is over the $1 billion level and has netted at least $350 million in his boxing career.

Pacquiao’s fight against Brandon Rios in Macau last November drew only 475,000 pay-per-view hits but that’s because it was staged outside the US. It was reported that pay-per-view numbers drop 25 to 75 percent when fights are held outside the US.

Mayweather’s promotions outfit has a staff of 11. Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbe are Mayweather’s chief lieutenants in his business ventures. Alan Hughes of Black Enterprise Magazine identified Mayweather’s income sources as pay-per-view, foreign sales, closed-circuit revenues, ticket sales, merchandising and sponsorships.

“Mayweather Promotions negotiates all deals for its promoted fighters (there are about a dozen in the stable),” said Hughes. “This includes fees from the casino or arena hosting the fight and broadcasting rights with TV networks. Mayweather Promotions receives all revenues generated by these agreements and then subsequently, pays fighters, other promoters (if it is a co-promotion) and additional expenses (operating costs toward the promotion) out of the monies generated.”

Hughes said Mayweather is the boss and every decision has to be approved by him. “Ellerbe handles the operations which include oversight of finance and accounting as well as day-to-day details of the company’s different portfolios (sports, entertainment, personal appearances, apparel, etc.) while Haymon has an advisory role but is involved in every business negotiation for fights as well as divisions of the company.”

Mayweather said he has developed a model where fighters are taking the power from promoters. “I changed the model to where I’m now teaching fighters to have a mind of an employer instead of an employee,” he said. “I believe in the long run, the fighters should win.” For the Alvarez fight, Mayweather was guaranteed $41.5 million, the largest in boxing history, and his take-home pay should reach $100 million when all revenues are accounted for.

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