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Mayweather Jr. hints at split with longtime aide Ellerbe

When he walked into his postfight news conference after beating Marcos Maidana on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden, Floyd Mayweather Jr. seemed troubled.

He wasn’t his usual ebullient self, even though he had just won his 47th fight against no losses. Something seemed to be bothering him.

Perhaps there was some insight to his feelings Wednesday, when an Internet boxing site revealed that Mayweather is considering making changes to his team, inside and outside the ring, with the most impactful being the ouster of Leonard Ellerbe as CEO of Mayweather Promotions.

Mayweather, who retained his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association welterweight titles as well as his WBC junior middleweight belt with a 12-round unanimous decision, told FightHype.com that it might be time to go in a different direction with Ellerbe, who has been with Mayweather almost his entire career in various capacities. Mayweather, 37, turned pro in 1996.

“Leonard, I think we’re getting to a point where we’re outgrowing each other,” Mayweather said to Ben Thompson of FightHype. “I think I just see things my way, and I think he sees things in another way.

“For example, this time around when I went out and fought, my WBC and WBA titles in both weight classes were on the line, and I didn’t approve of that at all. Also, my daughter was sitting in the front row, and her mother wasn’t sitting next to her, so the ticket arrangements were totally wrong. It just got to a point where everyone wants to do what they want to do instead of communicating and compromising like we used to.

“I’m not mad at him. There’s no hard feelings like I hate the guy. Not at all. No hard feelings whatsoever. People just outgrow one another, just like when people get a divorce. They’re no longer on the same page mentally.”

Attempts to reach Ellerbe were unsuccessful, as his voice mailbox was full. Kelly Swanson, Mayweather’s longtime publicist, said she hasn’t heard from the fighter or Ellerbe, who also is Mayweather’s co-manager with Al Haymon.

As for Haymon, Mayweather told FightHype.com, “We may make a lot of changes in my team, but Al Haymon ain’t going anywhere.”

Regarding changes in the ring with his team, Mayweather confirmed that Rafael Garcia, his longtime cornerman who has wrapped the fighter’s hands before every bout, was not used in that capacity Saturday. Mayweather said another member of his team, Bob Ware, had that assignment after Maidana’s former fitness coach, Alex Ariza, showed Ware a different method to wrap a fighter’s hands.

Garcia apparently was unhappy with how things transpired, but Mayweather said: “I love Rafael, and I’m always going to love him, but I don’t know who’s out and who’s in. I don’t know if Rafael Garcia left me. I don’t know.”

If Ellerbe is indeed on his way out at Mayweather Promotions, could Richard Schaefer be on his way in? Schaefer, the former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which co-promoted Saturday’s fight, is close with Mayweather. He also is embroiled in a legal battle with Golden Boy, where he remains under contract until 2018 but wants out of the deal.

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said Friday that negotiations to settle with Schaefer had hit a snag and he was not prepared to let Schaefer walk away. Schaefer attended Saturday’s fight, sitting near Mayweather’s corner, but played no part in the promotion.

“I don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t have any inside information about what Floyd said,” Schaefer said Wednesday. “I am retired for the time being, and Floyd is my friend and Leonard is my friend, and I wish them both nothing but the best.”

Mayweather did not discuss Schaefer in his interview, saying: “I just want to be able to communicate with anybody that I work with. Once people start making power moves without communicating with me, then I think it’s time for us to move our separate ways.”

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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