His official website calls Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Money.” The site features photos of the undefeated welterweight champion styling in and out of the ring.
Whether splitting the ropes or breaking box office records, Mayweather has been big money in the bank in recent years, despite not being a pure knockout artist. As a drawing card, Mayweather has established himself as one of boxing’s few superstars at a time it’s being eclipsed by the more marketing savvy Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts association.
For Las Vegas, a Mayweather fight is a major economic development. Casino bosses and resort vice presidents hungry to fill hotel rooms know what a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight might have meant to the Strip. But the fact is, Mayweather against almost anyone sells tickets these days.
Mayweather’s ability to fill an arena tells only part of the story. That’s tip money compared to Mayweather’s impact on pay-per-view television sales. He has been involved in three of the six nonheavyweight fights in boxing history that have attracted more than 1 million buys, according to ESPN.
Although Mayweather, 33, lost out on a likely $40 million payday when the Pacquiao fight fell through, his wallet was fattened with a $22.5 million check for toying with Shane Mosley on May 1 at the MGM Grand. That fight generated $78.3 million in pay-per-view revenue.
“Money” Mayweather even looked respectable on “Dancing with the Stars.” He was eliminated before the final round, but if they would let him use his jab he would be wearing the crown today.
Given all that, you might ask: What on Earth is a guy with so much money doing weaseling out on the lease at Mayweather Promotions?
Mayweather’s people haven’t paid the $10,781 monthly rent since February. The total is now $62,888, according to a civil suit filed by attorney Ross Goodman on behalf of TDF Investments. According to the lawsuit, Mayweather signed “a personal guarantee” under the lease agreement on July 14, 2008, for the office space at 1001 S. Rancho Drive. Eviction papers were served last week.
Published reports in the New York Post and Las Vegas Review-Journal say Mayweather’s people were dissatisfied with the office, calling it “substandard.” But no one contested the eviction. The landlord wasn’t notified of any complaints, Goodman says, even after a demand letter. Beyond that, seven employees and one security guard were on the premises when the Las Vegas constable came calling July 13.
All that money, but not enough for rent.
Reminds me of when Mayweather’s fancy Mercedes Maybach 57S, valued at about $500,000, was repossessed after Mayweather failed to make his $9,000 monthly payments, according to published reports.
On a far more serious note, Mayweather’s name surfaced in the wake of an August 2009 shooting outside the Crystal Palace Skating Center. The incident resulted in attempted murder charges being filed against Mayweather’s friend, Ocie Harris. According to a police report, the incident stemmed from an argument over a text message sent by Quincey Williams wishing Mayweather “bad luck” in his next fight. Although Mayweather has not been charged in the case, a police report points to an argument between the boxer and Williams as the possible motive behind the shooting.
Anyone spotting a pattern?
If this were just any palooka, Mayweather would have my sympathies. Boxing history is littered with hungry former millionaires of the month. The racket leaves more former champs pushing brooms than polishing their Bentleys. Penthouse one day, Dollar Loan Center the next: Most boxers’ careers are money management nightmares.
The superstar Mayweather was supposed to be above that, but I’m no longer sure.
He’s undefeated in the ring. I suspect the only one who can defeat “Money” Mayweather is the man in the mirror.
John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. E-mail him at Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.