Mayweather enters groundbreaking PPV deal with Showtime/CBS
The advisor of Floyd Mayweather Jr. has confirmed reports that the pound-for-pound king will make his first-ever appearance on Showtime Pay Per View against Robert Guerrero on May 4 as part of an exclusive venture with the cable network and its parent company, CBS Corporation.
Under the terms of the “revenue-sharing arrangement between Showtime Pay Per View and Mayweather,” the five-division titleholder could fight “six times over a period of 30 months,” according to a press release from Mayweather Promotions.
“Floyd has signed a groundbreaking deal with Showtime/CBS and he will fight Robert Guerrero,” said Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts), who is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto for WBA’s junior middleweight belt last May.
“Floyd said that he wants to fight Robert Guerrero, and this will be an excellent fight for the fans. Floyd is a global superstar and he’s been on top of his game for 17 years now, and he’s been undefeated.”
Most of those years have been showcased on HBO, Showtime’s rival cable network which has exclusively televsied Mayweather since the late 1990s. A spokesperson for HBO released the following statement: “We made an aggressive and responsible pay-per-view offer. Now we move on.
“We are focused on the best boxing franchise in the television business,” HBO’s statement continued. “We are proud of the roster of superstar fighters and emerging stars who are scheduled to appear on the multiple HBO television platforms this year.”
Mayweather will next face Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs), a 29-year-old whose Robert Guerrero, whose unanimous decision over Andre Berto last November represented his 15th straight win during a run that includes nine stoppages.
“It’s a big fight. I’m very excited, and Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero has worked patiently and worked very hard toward this opportunity. I know that he’s wanted this for a long time,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
“We just told Robert to just keep on working and to keep on fighting and to keep on winning, and that eventually, we would get this fight done. Well, his eventually is now.”
Guerrero last suffered defeat by a split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz in December 2005, but won their rematch with a sixth-round knockout in June 2006.
“Floyd’s been the best at doing what he’s been doing for all of these years, so it’s just a matter of him, once again, having a guy in Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero calling him out. He wants to test his skills against Floyd’s,” said Ellerbe.
“But sometimes, you’ve got to be careful what you’re asking for. With all due respect to my guy, Andre Berto, this an entirely different situation. If he thinks he can beat Floyd, and he really believes that, he’s lost his f–king mind.”
Earlier this month, Mayweather created a media firestorm by announcing on his Twitter account that IBF 147-pound titleholder Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) was a likely front runner to land the fight over Guerrero.
“Devon Alexander is an outstanding young fighter,” said Ellerbe. “That’s that. He’s an outstanding young fighter.”
The May 4 event will include WBC 154-pound beltholder Saul Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) against an opponent to be announced, but could likely be WBA counterpart Austin Trout (26-0, 14 KOs).
The Mayweather Promotions press release called the fighter’s new deal “by far the biggest in the sport of boxing, although specific financial details are contractually confidential.”
“Mayweather is the PPV king, and averages over one million PPV buys per event, which is the highest PPV buy average of any boxer in history,” read the release. “At this record-setting PPV performance level, if all six fights contemplated by this deal occur, it will be the richest individual athlete deal in all of sports.”
In July, while Mayweather still was serving an 87-day jail sentence at the Clark County Detention Center that began on June 1 and ended on Aug. 3, he was named the highest-paid American athlete for 2012.
That honor topped Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 ahead of golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods at Nos. 2 and 3.
Nicknamed “Money,” Mayweather made $85 million for two fights, including his fourth-round knockout victory in September of 2011 that dethroned Victor Ortiz as WBC welterweight belholder.
Against Cotto, Mayweather earned an all-time boxing record guaranteed purse of $32 million.
In June, Mayweather topped Forbes’ list of its 100 highest paid athletes internationally, trumping second-place boxing rival Manny Pacquiao with $62 million from earnings and endorsements.
On July 11 of last year, Mayweather was named “The Best Fighter,” or, what is essentially Fighter of The Year at the ESPYs’, trumping other nominees such as RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward and mixed martial arts stars Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.
Mayweather was chosen for the fourth time in the past six years by the ESPY’s, with Pacquiao taking the honors the other two times, including for 2011.
Both Mayweather and Alvarez had targeted May 4 for their returns, in addition to each boxer having said that he wants to fight on Sept. 14. The dates fall on the two traditional Mexican holiday weekends — Cinco De Mayo and Mexican Independence Day.
With their big names, Alvarez and Mayweather stand a chance to bring unprecedented attention to themselves.
Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya told RingTV.com in an interview last montth that he believes that a card featuring both Mayweather and Alvarez will surpass the numbers drawn by his split-decision loss to Mayweather, who dethroned him for the WBC’s junior middleweight belt in May of 2007.
Mayweather-De La Hoya holds the all-time record of pay-per-view buys with more than 2.5 million.
“Those two dates, May 4 and September 14, I’m actually looking forward to one of those dates to break my all-time pay per view record,” said De La Hoya. “Those two dates, you’re going to see a blockbuster. Blockbuster, and that’s all that you need to know.”
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]