Sunday, May 28, 2023  |



Could Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s next fight be on CBS?

Fighters Network
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It’s a good problem to have, in theory. What do you do next after you just took part in the largest-stake prizefight for the ages, one which amassed revenues which surpassed expectations of most all?

You are Floyd Mayweather Jr., and your May 2 master class against Manny Pacquiao, which saw you win all but maybe two rounds against a phenomenal boxer and allowed you to collect a king’s ransom worth of moolah for your efforts, is a memory.

What to do now, what to do next … how do you top that effort?

Well, there is no foe who you could agree to fight which could synthesize the same $600 million dollar or so pile of dough as #MayPac did … unless, I suppose, you went off the rails and bulked up to 210 pounds, and got Wladimir Klitschko to step to the line.

That’s pipe dream stuff, back to reality …

What if, though, Floyd Mayweather actually activated the plan which is making the rounds in Rumorville, that being fighting on CBS, on “free” TV?

Now, before you dismiss that idea out of hand, hear me out. Yes, that would be taking some money off the table. How much, I could not say, because I don’t know how a Floyd-fighting-on-CBS deal would work … but of course you shrink the pie right off the bat when you don’t have 1.4 million buys or whatever coming in, at $59.95 a pop, minus monies going to the platform providers, etc.

But what about all those eyeballs? You guys felt the ratings buzz when the U.S. women’s World Cup team beat Japan. 26 million people tuned in at some point on Sunday …

Now, what kind of number would Floyd get, if he were to fight, say, Andre Berto, on Saturday evening, Sept. 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas? A quite healthy number, I’d venture to say. Not World Cup level, but healthy …

I put this question to a spokesperson at Showtime; they signed Floyd to a mega-moolah deal in February 2013, a six-fight package worth about $33 million a fight, guaranteed. He has one fight left on the deal, by the way. What about it, any possibility Floyd’s Sept. 12 fight will NOT be on PPV, and will run on CBS?

The Sho spokesman didn’t wish to weigh in, but I’ve been told before, when I asked, that that idea is always on the table. Those suits always consider all possibilities, including a fight on Showtime, or on CBS, I’ve been told.

It got me thinking this could be the plan when we started hearing names other than what I’d deem “the usual suspects.” Karim Mayfield, not a usual suspect … Andre Berto doesn’t seem, on the surface, to be capable of being THAT GUY, to be the first to beat Floyd.

A boxing bigwig, on the “sell” side, told me he loves the idea of Floyd fighting on “free TV.”

The mass of eyeballs on the sport would be immense, and he liked the idea, as a growth agent for the sweet science. Floyd could fight whatever level foe he wanted, pay him a million bucks, and the sport could showcase their lead dog in the same place the other “big” sports do … free, network television, the source told me.

That does seem to be the plan, under Al Haymon’s New Deal, right? Legitimize, normalize the sport, have it be seen as being on the same planet as MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL …

Another deal-maker, also on the “sell” side, told me he doesn’t think it happens, that Floyd will never leave that money on the table. “Not unless CBS has an extra $40 million [they want to pay out to Mayweather],” he said.

Readers, I’d like to hear from you. I have heard a lot of you tell me that you aren’t so enthused about paying for another Floyd PPV, and the choice of foe will also have an effect on you choosing to buy it, or not. Is there a chance, you think, that “Money” flips the script, and chooses to go for masses of eyeballs over masses of dollar bills?