Leonard Ellerbe: ‘Floyd definitely wants to stop Conor McGregor’
One could argue that there is zero downside potential for Floyd Mayweather Jr., regarding his August 26 clash against mixed martial arts ace Conor McGregor.
After all, the trend is saying that more than 5 million pay-per-view buys will get activated, at $89 or $99 a pop, and Mayweather is guaranteed the lion’s share of that take. So, there’s no denying the payoff will be ridiculously lucrative.
However…even those with the most overflowing of bank accounts enjoy being popular. They like to have the public, by and large, not dislike them. Some A-listers maintain they don’t care but, really, we all have feelings and money can’t hug back if we need some emotional succor.
In that framework, I am looking at the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight and thinking that it could go a couple different ways but, best case scenario, if you are Mayweather and team, leaving revenue out of it, is this: Mayweather and McGregor fight for a round, then another. The Irishman has a couple moments in each round. He lands one half-decent shot and his people in the arena explode like they just hit the lotto. They are allowed some exulation. Then, in round three, the hammer is dropped. Mayweather lands a lotto shot on Conor’s chin. Maybe a two-piece, then a third for good measure, from an angle that the UFC lightweight champion didn’t see. It comes at him harder than anything Nate Diaz has. He drops to the mat and gets counted out. A win for Mayweather and a win for fans on site and watching at home because they get that climactic finish. They get that happy ending. They get their payoff…
Mayweather Promotions’ CEO Leonard Ellerbe came on the Everlast podcast “TALKBOX” this week and we talked about this potential scenario. With lowest price seats being $500, I said, “Expectations are going to be very high. The way to satisfy expectations in this situation is with a knockout. So, the side of me that wants the fans to be happy wants the sport as a whole to succeed. I think that’s kind of what I’m hoping for.”
“That’s fair,” Ellerbe answered.
“How likely is that?”
“I think that’s very likely,” Ellerbe responded. “I think it’s very likely that someone will get knocked out. You have two guys, in this particular fight, are looking to get that done, to get a knockout.”
How, Leonard, does Floyd look at a KO? “It’s been no secret that Floyd has had hand problems throughout his career,” said Ellerbe. “It’s gotten a little better late in his career…also, it’s harder to knock out bigger guys,” he continued, noting that most of the time, Floyd is outweighed on fight night from between 15-to-23 pounds. “It’s hard to knock out guys, elite guys,” he said but he reiterated that Floyd has most definitely indicated to him that he is thinking KO. “I know Floyd’s looking to knock him out. Floyd is definitely going into this fight looking to knock Conor out,” Ellerbe said. “He wants to get this guy out of there, he definitely wants to stop Conor McGregor.”
My take: Good. The sport, as a whole, will be helped by having watchers tuning in and then leaving happy, having gotten their money’s worth.
Follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069.
Struggling to locate a copy of THE RING Magazine? Try here or…
You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of THE RING Magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: Anthony Joshua